NCAA Football Betting Advice: Fading the Top 25 Weekly Free Picks
Week 3 in college football was everything it was hyped up to be and so much more. As a fan of college football, it was the type of week that reminds you why this is such an amazing sport. Every year we get a couple weekends where everything goes crazy, and last Saturday was one of those days.
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 9-12 ATS last week. Wisconsin lost outright at home to BYU as favorites of about 23 points. Two of the top four teams in the country very narrowly missed covering. Ohio State failed to cover by half a point, and Clemson failed to cover by a point. Alabama won by 55 points at Ole Miss, and they just continue to look like a machine.
Another really bad week for the selections last week. Utah constantly had the ball inside the red zone and could never cash in. They also got a tough whistle through that game. The Utah +7 loss was the one that really stung. Ohio State not covering by half a point wasn't fun either, but I didn't deserve that win. Boise State was a bad call, and Oklahoma State appears to be quite a bit better than I realized. San Diego State not only covered, but they won outright. Unfortunately that was the only winner, and it was just a one-unit play.
Play #1- Oregon +2 (4 units) Stanford beat USC comfortably a couple weeks ago, but that win doesn't look all that impressive now with the way USC is playing. San Diego State outplayed Stanford for half of the season opener. Oregon has a bunch of talent, and the Ducks have a quarterback who can really test the Stanford defense. Justin Herbert is easily the best quarterback Stanford has played against this season.
Oregon has clearly been downgraded by the oddsmakers based on how they played last week. In one sense, I can't blame them for thinking a sloppy 35-22 win over lowly San Jose State is a major disappointment. At the same time, Oregon was definitely looking forward to this game. They knew they could beat San Jose State, and they played like a team in a major look-ahead spot.
I think Stanford is overvalued right now. The Cardinal defense isn't what it was a few years ago. I'll take the undervalued home team in what should be a great environment.
Play #2- Wake Forest +8 (3 units) Notre Dame struggled badly with Ball State two weeks ago. That meant last weekend should have been a good bounce-back spot for Notre Dame. Instead, the Fighting Irish were badly outplayed by Vanderbilt. Notre Dame was extremely fortunate to get out with a win.
Vanderbilt averaged 6.00 yards per play in their 22-17 loss to Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish averaged only 5.17 yards per play. Vanderbilt got into the red zone often, but they didn't take advantage of their trips there. The Commodores scored only 2.4 points per trip into the red zone. Vanderbilt turned the ball over three times. Notre Dame didn't turn the ball over. Winning the turnover battle like this will definitely win you a lot of close games, but it is something that is hard to duplicate.
Dave Clawson has always been a good underdog coach. His teams play better with a chip on their shoulder. They didn't play very well last weekend, but they have a great chance against a huge name program here. I'll grab the points and Wake Forest.
Play #3- Texas +3.5 (2 units) TCU put a lot into that game last weekend against Ohio State. The Horned Frogs played well on the whole, but it was the big mistakes that crushed them. TCU has a lot of speed in the backfield, but Texas has a really fast defense. I wouldn't expect TCU to be able to break nearly as many big plays on offense this week.
Texas needed a momentum-building win, and they got one last week. By now, everyone knows that Tom Herman has a great underdog record. Texas has all the talent they need. They also have a great defense. I hate to pass up great defenses getting more than a field goal, especially when the opposition is coming off a deflating loss.
Play #4- Tulane +37 (1 unit) I can only make this one a small play since Ohio State could clearly run Tulane off the field. Still, this is a good situational spot for Tulane. Ohio State is coming off a big win over TCU. Who does Ohio State play next week? They play Penn State on the road. Remember how things went the last time Ohio State went to Penn State a couple years ago? That's a game Ohio State has had circled. This is a sandwich spot game, and Willie Fritz has a team that should be able to move the ball some here with their triple-option attack. If I'm Ohio State, I'm resting my starters earlier in this one since next weekend is their true test.
Top 25 ATS Record Last Week: 9 Wins 12 Losses
Cumulative Overall Top 25 ATS Record Year to Date: 33 Wins (46.5%) 37 Losses (52.1%) 1 Tie (1.4%)
Fade the Top 25 Selections Year to Date: 2 Wins 8 Losses (-$1,580)
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