NCAA Football Betting: Fading the Top 25 Weekly Free Picks Week 2
It was a rough start for our fading the Top 25 recommendations, as I posted a donut 0-3 ATS. No. 6 USC decided to play enough defense to cover their 38.5-point spread against Nevada, and ditto for Oregon State, winning as a 16.5-point favorite over San Jose State. In what was one of the sexy upset picks for many, Boise State got blown out against No. 10 Washington as a 14.5-point dog. Overall, the Top 25 teams were 19-3 SU, although the FSU-LSU game was the only contest between two ranked teams. The dogs were much more active against the spread (ATS), though, going 9-13 (including the Week 0 results).
Doc’s Sports offers college football picks for every game on our college football predictions page.
If you're new to this series, we take a look at the Top 25 action and try to identify value in fading the ranked teams, as they are sometimes overvalued by the bookies. We will keep a running tally at the bottom starting next week to see how Top 25 teams do overall ATS. If two ranked teams are playing each other, we will not include those ATS results in our running tally. These are just recommendations and this is an experiment to see if fading the Top 25 can be a valuable wagering strategy.
Nebraska (0-1) @ #22 Colorado (1-0) -3/59 Sat. Noon
While there are many interesting inter-conference battles this weekend, this matchup between former Big 8/Big 12 opponents promises to be the most watched. Colorado head coach Deion Sanders is, without a doubt, good for the game with the excitement and publicity that he generates. What people are rapidly learning is that he's also got one helluva squad, with a potential Heisman-caliber QB in his son Shedeur Sanders and possibly the 2025 NFL No. 1 draft pick in Travis Hunter. Adding even more entertainment to this game is the not-so-indirect shots that new Nebraska head coach Matt Rhule took at Coach Sanders back in the spring. From a handicapping perspective, my play of the weekend is the under 59. But I can’t recommend a pick on the ranked team here, so we will pass on a side for this game. PICK: No pick.
Troy (1-0) @ #15 Kansas State (1-0) -16.5/51.5 Sat. Noon
It's kind of strange to be thinking of a "trap-game" scenario in Week 2. However, with a trip to old Big 12 rival Missouri next week, the Wildcats may overlook the Sun Belt Conference Troy Trojans. Doing so would be a potentially costly mistake against a squad that went 12-2 last season. Troy has a deep and experienced offensive line that helped to pave the way for RB Kimani Vidal to rush for 248 yards last week, albeit against an FCS opponent. Kansas State also played an FCS school and defeated them soundly, 45-0. However, they did surrender 221 yards through the air on 25-37 (67.6%) passing. The Trojans covered last year against Ole Miss and lost by only 9 points at South Carolina in 2021. This looks like another one of their yearly Power 5 covers. PICK: Troy + 16.5
Appalachian State (1-0) @ #17 North Carolina (1-0) -19/58 Sat. 5:15 PM
These squads played, quite possibly, the most interesting game of the 2022 season, with UNC winning on the road 63-61. App St.'s starting QB was injured and 2nd-string Joey Aguilar came in, threw a 32-yard strike for a TD, and never looked back, going 11-13 for 174 yards and 4 TDs against Gardner Webb. UNC received some very disappointing news this week with star wide receiver Tez Walker being ruled ineligible. The Mountaineers are only 3-8 SU on the road in September but have a 6-5 ATS record. That includes last year's upset victory at Texas A&M as an 18-point dog. In fact, App St. is on a current 4-game ATS streak for games that meet this criteria. I selected the month of Sept. because that is when they're most likely to travel to the big Power 5 schools. UNC's rush defense, a bit of a liability last season, was hardly challenged by the pass-happy attack of South Carolina. Appalachian State will, surprisingly, give them a much stiffer test. The Mountaineers feature 4 returning starters on the offensive line, as well as transfers from Georgia and NC State, and it's this strength App St. will need to rely on if it has any hopes of another Top 25 road upset. I'm not calling for that, but I do believe they can stay within the number. PICK: App St. +19
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