NCAA Football Betting Advice: Fading the Top 25 Weekly Free Picks
Maybe not quite as many as week three, but there were some strange results in week four once again. How did Virginia Tech lose to Old Dominion? The Monarchs lost in the first game of the year to Liberty 52-10. Last weekend, they upended Virginia Tech 49-35. Sometimes college football doesn't make much sense, but that's why we love it so much. Clearly, Virginia Tech would have been the best fade in the Top 25 last weekend.
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.
The Fade the Top 25 Selections finished last year at 23-23 for +$1,040 with the larger plays helping me turn a profit.
The Top 25 overall went 13-12 ATS last weekend. Four of the top six teams didn't cover. Several Top 25 teams covered in ridiculous fashion last week. I know all too well about that since a couple of those came against the selections in this article.
Oregon +2 was a brutal beat last weekend, and that was a four-unit play. That was among the worst beats of the season thus far. Tulane +37 was only a one-unit play, but Ohio State punching in a touchdown with one minute left instead of kneeing it definitely didn't feel very good. Wake Forest +8 was just a bad play. Notre Dame looks like a different team with Ian Book at quarterback. Texas got the job done in the lone winner last week as Tom Herman continues to be money as an underdog. It was a week of some really bad luck for the plays. A bad start, but a lot of the season remains.
Play #1- Northwestern +14.5 (5 units) The Northwestern Wildcats are coming off a bye week. Northwestern is a well-coached team, and they have had to think about their home loss to Akron for a long time. That should have them extremely motivated at home this Saturday against the Michigan Wolverines.
Michigan played very well last weekend in their romp over Nebraska, but the Wolverines have looked vulnerable in their other games. Michigan still has a vanilla offense, and Northwestern has a strong defensive line that should be able to get some pressure on Shea Patterson in this game.
Jeremy Larkin retiring from football was definitely a big loss for Northwestern, and that is at least part of the reason for this line move. The biggest reason for this move though is recency bias, and I have to take more than two touchdowns at home with a good defense and a good coach.
Play #2- Iowa State +11 (3 units) Matt Campbell is still underrated as a head coach. He's done a tremendous job at both Toledo and Iowa State. Campbell has been at his best as an underdog. Campbell's teams are 23-12 ATS as an underdog. As an underdog of more than a touchdown, Campbell's teams are a whopping 13-4 ATS. Here is one of those spots.
Iowa State now knows they have two very good options at quarterback. That should help them the rest of the way. The Cyclones have a defense that has done a good job bending without breaking. This is a team that will play in a lot of close games this year.
TCU is a good team, but the Horned Frogs have made a lot of key mistakes that have held them back so far this season. Having an inexperienced quaterback at the controls, I can't see why TCU is a double-digit favorites against a quality Iowa State team.
Play #3- BYU +17.5 (2 units) This is a game with a posted total of only 46 points. BYU is catching a bunch of points for that kind of extremely low scoring environment. I love Chris Petersen, and I respect this Washington team, but I'll be taking BYU plus the points here.
BYU has a much improved running game with a better offensive line this year. Squally Canada showed what he can do in that win over Wisconsin. Washington's defensive front is good, but they are no longer dominant as they were a year ago.
Jake Browning has regressed as a quarterback. His arm was never all that strong, but he made great decisions with the football in the past. Now, he is making questionable decisions and putting the team in some bad situations. If he keeps that up, BYU is liable to get an easy touchdown or two, which makes taking the points even more valuable.
Play #4- Texas Tech +3.5 (1 unit) It took a massive comeback late in the game for West Virginia to beat Texas Tech last year. The Mountaineers couldn't slow down the Texas Tech offense. The Red Raiders are always known for their offense, and they are very good on that side of the ball again this year. Their defense has been woeful most years. They are at least improved this year. Jah'Shawn Johnson just returned in the secondary, and he's one of the best players in the conference. Texas Tech's defense was tremendous with him on the field last weekend against Oklahoma State. Both teams will score a lot here, but I'll grab the points with the home team.
Top 25 ATS Record Last Week: 13 Wins 12 Losses
Cumulative Overall Top 25 ATS Record Year to Date: 46 Wins (47.9%) 49 Losses (51.0%) 1 Tie (1.0%)
Fade the Top 25 Selections Year to Date: 3 Wins 11 Losses (-$2,260)
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