NCAA Football Betting: Fading the Top 25 Weekly Free Picks
After a break for Thanksgiving last week, we are back with another edition of the Fading the Top 25 weekly free picks article. The College Football Playoff picture isn't very clear at all right now. The winner of the Georgia vs. Auburn game will be in. But will Alabama? If Wisconsin beats Ohio State they'll get in, but Ohio State may have a hard time getting in even if they win. There's plenty left to be decided!
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).
To wrap up this year's regular season, if you were blindly fading the Top 25 it didn't go as well as normal this season. The Top 25 teams were 146-143-2 ATS this year. That's a cover rate of 49.1 percent fading teams in the Top 25.
The selections from two weeks ago helped us make up a good bit of ground. The three biggest plays all cashed. Navy plus the points against Notre Dame was a five unit winner. Utah +17.5 was an easy five unit winner as the Utes should have won outright. Virginia was a four unit winner against Miami.
With the Top 25 going 14-9 ATS last weekend, it probably worked out well for there to be no selections last weekend. Let's see if we can finish things up with a solid week of picks here.
Play #1- Memphis +7.5 (6 units) I really like this spot for Memphis. The Tigers were in a bad spot when these two met the first time. Memphis ended up getting blown away in that first meeting, and that gives us better value on them here. The Tigers have gotten significantly better since the first game between these two in September. Still, the market and bettors are going to go back to that game and assume that UCF coasts to another win here. I don't think that is likely.
Quinten Flowers threw for more than 500 yards on 24 pass completions last week against this UCF secondary. Riley Ferguson is one of the most efficient passers in the country, and I think he'll be very good in this one for Memphis.
UCF has actually trended downward late in the season. They were fortunate to win against SMU, and they were outgained by Temple on the road. They relied on turnovers by their opponent to win those games. Memphis' offense has looked like a well-oiled machine of late. I see this as a spot where UCF has much more pressure on them, and Memphis is out for revenge. I'll take Memphis for six units here.
Play #2- Stanford +4 (5 units) USC had a week off to get ready for this game, but Stanford should have the home crowd advantage as this one is played very close to their campus. The Cardinal were embarrassed by USC on the road in early September, but Stanford is a much better team now than they were at that point in the season.
USC lit up Stanford's defense for more than 600 yards in that first meeting. Stanford has been getting more pressure on opposing quarterbacks of late, and I see the Cardinal getting in the backfield quite a bit here against a shaky USC offensive front. Sam Darnold hasn't been consistent at all this year.
USC has struggled to stop the run this season, and you know Stanford is going to run the ball constantly in this one. I don't expect USC to consistently be able to stop Bryce Love. I'll grab the points.
Play #3- Wisconsin +7 (5 units) The Wisconsin Badgers have been doubted all season long. Wisconsin is 8-4 ATS on the season. Ohio State clearly has more talent than Wisconsin, but the Buckeyes have been far less consistent. Ohio State is 5-7 ATS on the season so far. At times, Ohio State has looked like the best team in the country. At other times, well… you saw the Iowa game didn't you? The Buckeyes are a tough team to figure out this year.
I'm confident we'll get a Wisconsin team that is well-prepared for this game. Ohio State is coming off their game against rival Michigan, and the Buckeyes romped Wisconsin in this same spot a few years ago. While there are quite a few different players on the roster this time around, I imagine the Wisconsin coaching staff will use that game as a motivational edge here.
I expect a close game, so I'll grab the full touchdown on the unbeaten team.
Fade the Top 25 Selections Year to Date: 20 Wins 23 Losses 1 Tie (-$560)
Overall Top 25 ATS Record in Week 12: 8 Wins 16 Losses
Overall Top 25 ATS Record in Week 13: 14 Wins 9 Losses
Cumulative Overall Top 25 ATS Record Year to Date: 146 Wins (50.2%) 143 Losses (49.1%) 2 Ties (0.7%)
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