NCAA Football Betting Advice: Fading the Top 25 Weekly Free Picks
If you were blindly fading the Top 25 teams last week, you made a lot of money. The Top 25 went 9-16 against the spread last weekend. For the year, the Top 25 teams are cashing at less than 43 percent. As a whole, it shows that many of the teams in the Top 25 just aren't that trustworthy. That is why we've seen so much turnover in the rankings as well.
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.
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 2-2 split on the selections last week. Unfortunately, for a second week in a row it was the bigger plays that lost. Cincinnati jumped ahead of UCF early, but the Knights dominated from the second quarter on in that showdown. Iowa State's offense never got going in their game at Texas. That one surprised me quite a bit. Brock Purdy looked like a freshman in that contest. Both of those selections were three-unit losers. The two winners were Indiana +28.5 and Middle Tennessee State +16.5. Indiana was in the game the whole four quarters against Michigan, and that one covered comfortably. Kentucky outplayed MTSU, but that one fell within the number.
Play #1- Texas A&M -3 (4 units) The Texas A&M Aggies are a better team than their record indicates. Texas A&M's defense matches up well with LSU as well. The Tigers aren't a team that is going to throw it all over you. Texas A&M's secondary has been their clear weakness this year. The Aggies are very strong up front. In fact, they are allowing only 3.09 yards per carry on the season.
The Texas A&M offense is a balanced attack. Kellen Mond has done a very good job in his first year in the new offensive scheme. The Aggies have been an explosive offense this year. They have 69 plays of 20 yards or more on the season, which is 10th most in the country. LSU has only 44 plays of 20 yards or more this season.
LSU has a much better record thanks in large part to a +12 turnover margin. Texas A&M is at -8 in turnover margin for the year. I think that is the type of thing that tends to regress to the mean more often than not. Texas A&M has a great home-field advantage, and I'll lay the short number with the Aggies here.
Play #2- Ole Miss +11.5 (3 units) Mississippi State travels to Ole Miss to take on the Rebels in the Egg Bowl on Thursday night. This is an underrated rivalry game. Ole Miss can't go to a bowl game because of sanctions. Mississippi State is ranked 18th in the latest Associated Press Top 25 Poll. The Rebels have plenty of reasons to get up for this game, and I wouldn't worry a bit about motivation.
The Rebels offense has had more big plays than any other team in college football. Ole Miss has a whopping 83 plays of 20 yards or more this year. They have 50 plays of 30 yards or more. Jordan Ta'amu and company should get some big gainers on the Bulldogs defense here.
Mississippi State is a really good team, but they aren't very balanced on offense. Nick Fitzgerald has been great in the running game, but he struggles in the passing game. I think Ole Miss will do their very best to make the Bulldogs one-dimensional here.
This is a lot of points at home for a talented Ole Miss team. I'll take the home underdog.
Play #3- West Virginia +2.5 (2 units) West Virginia lost last weekend, and they won't be part of the playoff. Some believe that will make them not especially motivated for this game, but I think the Mountaineers still care plenty about their home finale against a Top 10 team.
West Virginia has a tremendous home-field advantage, and this game is at night, so the advantage will be even bigger. The Mountaineers passing attack is among the best in the country. Will Grier is a future NFL quarterback, and he has a lot of weapons at his disposal. That's key because Oklahoma's secondary has been very bad this year. They are 94th in the nation in opposing quarterback rating allowed.
Oklahoma will score a lot of points with their well-oiled machine of an offense. West Virginia will score a bunch of points too, though. The Mountaineers have the better defense, and they are getting points at home. That's a combination I can't overlook.
Top 25 ATS Record Last Week: 9 Wins 16 Losses
Cumulative Overall Top 25 ATS Record Year to Date: 118 Wins (42.9%) 153 Losses (55.6%) 4 Ties (1.5%)
Fade the Top 25 Selections Last Week: 2 Wins 2 Losses (-$260)
Fade the Top 25 Selections Year to Date: 23 Wins 22 Losses (-$750)
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