NCAA Football Betting Advice: Fading the Top 25 Weekly Free Picks
Alabama didn't want anyone to forget about them. They went out and absolutely throttled Vanderbilt last weekend. The score was bad enough, but they had 38 first downs compared to three for the Commodores. The Crimson Tide did everything they wanted against a defense many thought was one of the best in the country. They are still the team to beat.
The goal of this article is to track how teams in the weekly Top 25 do against the spread. We're here to look a little deeper than most and figure out how the top-ranked teams do at the betting window. In addition, in this weekly article I'll be taking a look at which Top 25 teams I think are best to fade that particular week.
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How did the Top 25 do overall against the spread last season? Last year's full season results- 137 wins (45.97 percent) 159 losses (53.35 percent) and 2 ties (.67 percent)
Last week the overall Top 25 went 14-10 ATS.
After an 0-3 week on the selections in Week 3, it was great to bounce back in a big way with a perfect 4-0 day this past Saturday. The three-unit winners were Georgia -5 and NC State +13. Both of those teams covered the spread easily, and neither was ever in doubt. Iowa +13 was a two-unit winner. The Hawkeyes lost on the final play of the game to Penn State. It was the ultimate heartbreaker for the team, but we still cashed our ticket. I should have played TCU +12 for more than one unit, but I was hesitant after being burned by Oklahoma State multiple times. Overall, a tremendous week going 4-0 and gaining $900. Back into the positive for the year.
Let's see if we can keep the momentum going.
Play #1- USC -3.5 (3 unit play) We'll fade Washington State here. The Cougars have a nice offensive system, but I expect USC's talent to be too much here. Remember, Boise State had Washington State beaten before handing the game away in the final minutes. How did Boise State grab such a big lead? The Broncos defensive front got after Luke Falk and disrupted the timing of the Washington State offense. USC should be able to do the same thing.
While Sam Darnold hasn't played as well as expected so far this year, I'm still very high on him. Look for a big game from him here against a mediocre secondary. USC has a good offensive front that will give him time to throw here as well.
Play #2- Duke +7 (2 unit play) I'm fading Miami here on Friday night. The Duke Blue Devils are 19-7 ATS in their last 26 games as an underdog. Duke's defense ranks in the top 20 in the country in all the major categories. It should be noted that Duke has played a relatively difficult schedule so far this year also.
Miami is still in a bit of a weird spot having played only two games this year. The Hurricanes lack experience, and I think this is the type of situation where that hurts them quite a bit. Duke will be highly motivated for this game after losing to Miami on the final play of the game in 2015. A full touchdown on the dog is enough to make me like this one.
Play #3- Northwestern +14.5 (2 unit play) The last four games between Northwestern and Wisconsin have been very low scoring. I expect another low-scoring game here. In a low-scoring environment, catching more than two touchdowns is very enticing. I think Northwestern is better than they have played so far this year, and here is a great opportunity for them to show it on a big stage.
The last three meetings between these two teams have finished with a total of 34 points or less. Northwestern has won two of those three contests. This is too many points on a talented team that has underachieved in the early going.
Play #4- Miami Ohio +21.5 (2 unit play) The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are coming off a 38-18 win at Michigan State. That game was very misleading, though, because Notre Dame was outgained 496-355 in the game. Michigan State turned the ball over three times, while Notre Dame had zero turnovers.
Miami (Ohio) is one of the best teams in the MAC. Still, Notre Dame likely isn't too excited to be playing a MAC team after going on the road to beat a Big Ten school. The Fighting Irish play North Carolina, USC, and NC State in their next three games. This would be the one that could be a letdown spot. I'll grab the price at more than three touchdowns.
Play #5- Troy +21 (1 unit play) I had high expectations for Troy coming into the season. They haven't played very well. Still, LSU has obviously been a much bigger disappointment. The Tigers haven't looked very good on offense in any of their games. The defense has looked shaky in their last two games as well, and that comes as a surprise.
LSU plays at Florida next week. The Tigers will likely be without their star running back Darius Guice. Guice has been banged up all season, and it is unlikely they'll play him in this nonconference game against a Sun Belt opponent.
I see this being a sloppy game where 21 points is a lot to cover. I don't completely trust Troy based on their level of play so far this year, so I'll keep this to a one unit play.
Fade the Top 25 Selections Year to Date: 7 Wins 7 Losses (+$150)
Overall Top 25 ATS Record Last Week: 14 Wins 10 Losses
Cumulative Overall Top 25 ATS Record Year to Date: 46 Wins (49.5%) 47 Losses (50.5%)
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Read more articles by Aaron Smith
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