NCAA Football Betting Advice: Fading the Top 25 Weekly Free Picks
Week 9 of the college football season is here. Where does time go, anyway? Ohio State was crushed at Purdue, and the Buckeyes have started making a habit of having at least one of these blowout losses every year of late. Clemson took care of NC State in what was a possible revenge spot for the Wolfpack. This is the time of the year where we see the contenders separate themselves from the rest.
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 year 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 the last few weeks have been great. Let's hope the positive momentum continues.
The plays went 3-1 last weekend, and after a terrible start we are almost exactly back to break-even. Washington State cashed as the big four-unit play. The Cougars were really pumped for that game, and it was a great environment for football. NC State plus the points was a loser. The Wolfpack were never close. Clemson's secondary, that had been a problem most of the season, looked great last Saturday. Temple -3 was my most fortunate win so far this season. We had a bunch of bad beats early in the season, so it was nice to get one go our way this time around. Purdue +13.5 was probably the best play of the season for this article. Purdue thoroughly dominated Ohio State and pulled off a big upset on Saturday night.
Play #1 (Thursday 10/25 Game) on Baylor +14 (2 units) I'm not convinced this West Virginia team is elite. Will Grier is a really good quarterback, but West Virginia hasn't been tested by many good teams this year. West Virginia played a tight game at home against Kansas and then was blasted by Iowa State. Baylor nearly knocked off West Virginia last year. The West Virginia defense hasn't played many good offenses this year, and I expect their numbers to get much worse the rest of the year.
One other key factor here is Matt Rhule and his success in the underdog role. Rhule's teams are 25-13 against the spread as an underdog. Look for them to keep this one close.
Play #2- (Thursday 10/25 Game) on Georgia Southern +8.5 (1 unit) Appalachian State gets into the Top 25 and makes school history and then has to go play a very tricky game at Georgia Southern on Thursday night. This is a rare chance for these two teams to get some television time.
Georgia Southern is playing at the slowest pace of any team in the country. They have run the football on 87.38 percent of their plays so far this season. This is a team that can possess the ball for a long time and keep the opponent's offense off the field. I think this is a lot of points to be laying with a total set this low. I'll keep this to only a one-unit bet because Georgia Southern has played a weak schedule this year.
Play #3- Missouri -6.5 (2 Units) I've been waiting to fade Kentucky for a while. Kentucky is definitely a much-improved team this year, but I see them as overvalued at this point. The Wildcats have no passing game, and sooner or later that is going to be a big problem. I think it will show up in this game.
Missouri's offense is explosive, and Drew Lock will be able to get the Tigers into the end zone multiple times here. Kentucky wants to play a very low-scoring game and win with defense and their ground game, but if they get behind, they'll be in big trouble. Missouri has played the much tougher schedule, and the Tigers should win by at least a touchdown.
Play #4 Northwestern +7 (2 units) Wisconsin just isn't as good as everyone expected. The Badgers defense has suffered a lot of injuries, so that is certainly part of the problem. Still, Wisconsin ranks 106th in the nation in yards per play allowed so far this year, and that is unacceptable for a school with a defensive tradition like Wisconsin.
Alex Hornibrook is another big issue. He doesn't take care of the football well enough. The Badgers have a great running game, but Hornibrook hasn't been able to manage the passing attack. The Northwestern defensive front is solid, and the Wildcats will do their best to make Wisconsin have to throw the football. I think this is too many points on the road against a team that showed how tough they can be in their close home loss to Michigan earlier this year.
Play #5- Oklahoma State +3.5 (1 unit) Mike Gundy's team has been a little disappointing this year, but Gundy is a really good coach. He's consistently been one of the best coaches when you look at ATS records. Oklahoma State is 10-4 ATS in their last 14 following an ATS loss. They are 4-1 ATS in their last five following a bye week.
I'm not convinced this Texas team is great. Tom Herman and his teams have a history of pulling upsets, but they haven't been as good in the role of the favorite. Does Texas have enough on offense? The Longhorns are only 87th in the nation in yards per play. I'll grab the 3.5 points with the home underdog.
Top 25 ATS Record Last Week: 9 Wins 10 Losses
Cumulative Overall Top 25 ATS Record Year to Date: 80 Wins (44.2%) 100 Losses (55.2%) 1 Tie (0.6%)
Fade the Top 25 Selections Last Week: 3 Wins 1 Loss (+$570)
Fade the Top 25 Selections Year to Date: 16 Wins 15 Losses (-$40)
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