NCAA Football Betting Advice: Fading the Top 25 Weekly Free Picks
The Week 11 Fading the Top 25 Weekly Free Picks article is back. Alabama didn't just beat LSU on the road at night. The Crimson Tide humiliated the Tigers on their home field. It's going to be really tough for anyone to beat Nick Saban's team this year.
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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Last year, teams in the Top 25 did better than normal covering the number. The Top 25 teams were 153-149-2 against the spread last season That's a cover rate of 49.0 percent fading teams in the Top 25. So far this season, going against the top 25 teams blindly has been a great strategy as you can see in the season-to-date tally below.
The Fade the Top 25 Selections finished last year at 23-23 for +$1,040, with the larger plays helping me turn a profit. It was a terrible start to the season, but things have improved in recent weeks.
It was a bit of an unfortunate 2-2 last week for the selections. Northwestern +9.5 was a two-unit loser for the article. The Wildcats were underdogs by 10 or 10.5 later in the week, and they ended up losing by 10 points at home against Notre Dame. Louisiana Tech +23.5 was never close, and that one was a three-unit loser. Cal was tied up with Washington State for the majority of the game, and the Golden Bears +10.5 cashed as a three-unit play. The other winner was Georgia -8. The Bulldogs went to Kentucky and completely dominated the Wildcats. Kentucky is a good team, but they aren't in the class of the elites yet, and Georgia is starting to look more like last year's team again.
Play #1- Michigan State +3.5 (3 units) Ohio State had two weeks to think about getting blasted at Purdue and turn things around against a mediocre Nebraska team. The Buckeyes were at home in that game as well. Ohio State nearly lost. The Buckeyes won 36-31, but they were favored by nearly three touchdowns. Urban Meyer's team seems to have some serious problems. They aren't short on talent, but this Ohio State team doesn't look right.
Michigan State is coming off a really impressive win over Maryland. The Spartans defense held Maryland to only 100 total yards of offense. That is one of the most impressive defensive performances you'll see all season. Maryland entered last week's game third in the nation in yards per carry. The Terrapins averaged 0.9 yards per carry against Michigan State.
Mark Dantonio's teams are at their best in the underdog role. I'll grab the points here against a Buckeyes team that looks out of sorts.
Play #2- South Carolina +6 (2 units) Do you think Will Muschamp wants to win this one? Of course, wanting to win doesn't equal a win, but the Gamecocks are up against a Florida team that still isn't getting any kind of positive production from the quarterback spot. Dan Mullen's Gators have already been blown out at home twice this year, and I doubt morale on this Florida team is very high right now.
South Carolina's offense put up 48 points last week. Yes, it was against Ole Miss, but that is still important for them as they head into a key contest on the road. South Carolina has the more explosive offense here, and we are getting six points. I'll take the Gamecocks.
Play #3- Wisconsin +9.5 (2 units) The Wisconsin Badgers are badly banged up, and that is certainly part of the reason there are underdogs of this price against Penn State. Still, I don't see what kind of incentive Penn State has to finish off the season by blowing out quality teams. Penn State's season has been a big disappointment. The Nittany Lions lost in a heartbreaker to Ohio State. They then followed that up with a loss to Michigan State at home. Penn State got absolutely thumped at Michigan last weekend. James Franklin's team is assured of finishing far short of the goals they set before the season.
Wisconsin still has a good running attack, and the Badgers are a well-coached team. They tend to play close games because of their style of play and limiting possessions. Alex Hornibrook is questionable with an injury, but he hasn't been very good this season, so I'm not sure there is much of a drop off. I'll take Wisconsin.
Play #4- Oregon +4 (1 unit) I like Utah's team quite a bit, but I do worry about them losing Tyler Huntley. Oregon has the best quarterback in the conference in Justin Herbert, and this Ducks defense isn't the massive weakness that it was a few years ago. I trust Utah's defense to do a good job slowing down the Oregon offense here, but I'm not sure what to expect from Utah's offense. I don't think they should be laying this many points with a big question mark on the offensive end.
Play #5- Baylor +14.5 (1 unit) This is a matchup of two of the best underdog coaches in the country. Both Matt Rhule and Matt Campbell do a great job maximizing talent. Matt Rhule's teams are 26-14 against the spread as an underdog. Baylor isn't on the same level as Iowa State at this point, but they are getting more than two touchdowns. This is a game with a low total as well, so points should be at a premium. Look for Iowa State to win, but there's a good chance this game is closer than the spread suggests.
Top 25 ATS Record Last Week: 10 Wins 12 Losses 3 Ties
Cumulative Overall Top 25 ATS Record Year to Date: 98 Wins (43.4%) 124 Losses (54.9%) 4 Ties (1.8%)
Fade the Top 25 Selections Last Week: 2 Wins 2 Losses (-$50)
Fade the Top 25 Selections Year to Date: 21 Wins 19 Losses (-$130)
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