NCAA Football Betting: Fading the Top 25 Weekly Free Picks Week 6
It never ceases to amaze me how quickly the football season passes. I've written six of these articles, and it seems like it was only yesterday when I was writing about USC vs. Nevada. We took a beating last week, going 1-4 ATS in our picks, as all of the heavy favorites (more than 19 points) we went against found ways to cover. You take your lumps, and you move on.
With the level of parity in the college ranks this season, I expect a very fluid Top 25 each week. Florida was the only team in the Top 25 to lose to a non-ranked opponent, although USC came very close in their 48-41 triumph over Colorado. Not considering the four games inside the Top 25, the ranked teams were 13-1 SU and 8-5-1 ATS. Utah and LSU were the higher-ranked teams in their Top 25 matchup, and both lost outright.
There are four matchups between ranked teams, highlighted by the 109th edition of the "Red River Showdown" between Texas and Oklahoma, and seven Top 25 teams have a bye, which leaves us with 14 games of ranked vs. unranked.
Doc’s Sports offers college football picks for every game on our college football predictions page.
No. 10 Notre Dame at No. 25 Louisville (+6.5/53.5) Sat. 7:30 PM ABC
Under the tutelage of their new head coach, Jeff Brohm, the Cardinals are averaging 494.8 ypg. They are 21st in points per game at 37.0. Even though the Irish held Ohio State's offense in check, doing the same to Louisville will be much different. The Cardinals have been golden at home, going 6-1 SU and a perfect 7-0 ATS in their last seven home games. Furthermore, the Irish have received 86% of the wagers, allowing us to take the contrarian stance. While Notre Dame is 2-1 SU against Louisville, they are 0-3 ATS. PICK: Louisville +6.5
No. 20 Kentucky at No. 1 Georgia (14.5/47.5) Sat. 7:00 PM ESPN
We faded Georgia last week with success and look to do so again. This edition of Georgia is not the juggernaut we have grown accustomed to. They are either 0-4-1 or 1-4 ATS, depending on the line you had for the game against Ball State. But things are not air-tight in Athens when your only cover is against a MAC team. Kentucky owns a 4-1 ATS record so far. Ironically, Kentucky also played Ball State and only scored one less point than the Bulldogs. The Wildcats have a balanced attack, averaging 170.4 ypg on the ground and 225.8 ypg through the air. They play well away from the Bluegrass state, going 5-1 ATS in their last six games. In the previous five meetings between these two squads, Kentucky is 4-1 ATS. Another wager to look at would be the under 47.5. Trends are indicating this may be a low-scoring affair. PICK: Kentucky +14.5
Virginia Tech at No. 5 Florida State (-24.5/52.5) Sat. 3:30 PM ABC
Like every team in the nation, Florida State has an Achilles heel. Their weak spot is in the secondary, where the Seminoles are giving up 272.0 ypg and a total offense of 400.8 ypg. That is only 27 yards less than what FSU averages. The Hokies give me some pause with their horrible road record of late, going 2-8 SU and 3-7 ATS over their last ten games. Surprisingly, even though they reside in the same conference, they last played each other in 2018. Over their last five meetings, the Hokies are 3-2 SU and 4-1 ATS against the Noles. PICK: Virginia Tech +24.5
No. 11 Alabama at Texas A&M (+7.5/46.5) Sat. 3:30 PM CBS
Before the season started, the pundits had talked about this game as a potential upset for Alabama. They did not anticipate a Crimson Tide team ranked 11th. Saturday could be a long day for Alabama head coach Nick Saban, as his offense is struggling mightily, and Texas A&M's defense is only allowing 253.8 ypg a game. Historically, the Crimson Tide has been able to beat the Aggies, going 9-1 SU over the last ten games, but are an even 5-5 ATS. After having watched this Crimson Tide team a few times this year, it is clear that they are still struggling to find their identity. I believe A&M fans will be able to affect Alabama's QB Jalen Milroe's cadence and count. The Aggies get to celebrate Johnny Manziel style after beating Alabama. PICK: Texas A&M
Arkansas at No. 16 Mississippi (-11.5/62.5) Sat. 7:30 PM SEC Network
This has all the makings of a classic "let-down" game. After ballin' out last Saturday in their 55-49 win over LSU, the Rebels must face an Arkansas team that is better than their 2-3 record indicates. The Razorbacks are in the midst of a three-game losing streak and will have extra motivation to end it this week, as they have Alabama next on their schedule. Arkansas plays Ole Miss tough, going 6-3 SU and 8-1 ATS in their last nine meetings. The Rebels have had issues with the SEC West, going 5-12-1 in the previous 18 games against the Western Division of the SEC. Arkansas defense will slow down Rebel QB Jaxson Dart. Mississippi will get the W, but the Razorbacks sneak away with a cover. PICK: Arkansas +11.5
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