NCAA Football Betting Advice: Fading the Top 25 Weekly Free Picks
It was another wild week near the top of the rankings in college football. Four of the top nine teams in the country lost outright last weekend. Notre Dame, Washington, and TCU are almost certainly out of the national title picture now. Georgia suffered a big loss at Auburn, but the Bulldogs will get another chance to play their way into the playoffs. The Top 25 as a whole went 11-11-1 against the spread last week. The top three all lost ATS, but overall the picture was mixed.
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. We'll keep track of those selections as well.
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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).
The selections from last week were a disappointment again. It was a 2-2-1 week. The four unit play on Iowa State +7 ended up pushing. That was a really tough push. Iowa State was ahead by eight points with six minutes left in the game. Their starting quarterback got hurt and their freshman backup threw an interception in the end zone with a few seconds left in the game. A tough push to be sure. Michigan State plus the points was just an awful play. Ohio State came out pissed off and beat down the Spartans. Utah turned the ball over a whopping seven times and only lost by eight points. That was a three unit loser. Georgia Tech was a two unit winner as the Yellow Jackets caught Virginia Tech in a bad spot. Mississippi State nearly won outright, but they did cash plus the points for us, though it was only for one unit. In all, a down week because the bigger plays pushed or lost.
Play #1- Navy +18.5 (5 units) This is a fade of Notre Dame in a really difficult situation. The Fighting Irish had their bubble burst after getting blown out by Miami last weekend in one of the biggest games of the week. That game is very likely to have some hangover effect on this game. The team has to be down, and they know their goals have had to change.
On the other side, Navy is a really tough offensive scheme to prepare for. The Midshipmen run the triple option as well as anyone in football. Notre Dame hasn't played anyone who runs the triple option so far this year. While the Fighting Irish defense has been good against the run this year, facing a triple option is completely different. I think Navy will be the more motivated team.
Play #2- Utah +17.5 (5 units) I'll go back to Utah again this week, and we'll hope they don't turn the ball over seven times this time around! The Utes have a really strong defensive front. That should allow them to hold their own against Washington's strong rushing attack.
Washington also had their bubble burst last week. The Huskies had a shot to play their way into the playoff, but that loss at Stanford ended that chance. The Huskies were in the playoff last year, so falling short of that this season has to be a large disappointment. Utah lost by only a point at USC, and they beat Arizona on the road. This game has a total of only 47, so I'll grab the large amount of points.
Play #3- Virginia +19 (4 units) Miami had won two straight huge primetime games by large margins. That is bound to do a couple key things that will give us value in the number. First, it bumps up public perception a lot, especially since so many viewers were watching those games. Second, it makes Miami's next game against a non-big-name opponent a letdown spot for Miami. This is that game.
Virginia went to Boise State and won big, so the Cavs are capable. Also, Miami narrowly beat Syracuse and Georgia Tech at home this year. The Hurricanes also played a close road game against a bad North Carolina team. I think the young Hurricanes win, but this is a lot of points to cover in a bad spot.
Play #4- Kentucky +21.5 (3 units) Georgia got whipped last weekend. The Bulldogs had a good opening drive to lead 7-0, but after that things fell apart quickly. The defense was surprisingly bad, and the offense was too one-dimensional. Georgia is still a very good team, but they know the important game for them isn't this one. Georgia has a tricky game at Georgia Tech in a rivalry game next weekend. They would then play Alabama in the SEC Championship Game. This is the game it would be easy to overlook. I'll take the points.
Play #5- Temple +14 (3 units) UCF hasn't been as sharp in recent weeks. The Knights won 31-21 at Navy a few weeks ago. They won only 31-24 at SMU two weeks ago. UCF won 49-24 last weekend against UConn. The offense has still been very good, but the defense is having some major problems with missed assignments. UCF has all the pressure on them here as they look to get into a major bowl. Temple has quietly been improving the last few weeks, and I'll take them with the two touchdowns at home.
Fade the Top 25 Selections Year to Date: 17 Wins 21 Losses 1 Tie (-$1,300)
Overall Top 25 ATS Record Last Week: 11 Wins 11 Losses 1 Tie
Cumulative Overall Top 25 ATS Record Year to Date: 124 Wins (50.8%) 118 Losses (48.4%) 2 Ties (0.8%)
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Read more articles by Aaron Smith
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