NCAA Football Betting Advice: Fading the Top 25 Weekly Free Picks
Last weekend saw three Top 10 teams lose outright. None of those were a huge surprise, but it definitely caused a change in the rankings for this week. There are more marquee games on the slate this 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. So far this year, blindly fading the Top 25 has done very well.
The Fade the Top 25 Selections finished last year at 23-23 for +$1,040 with the larger plays helping me turn a profit. A slow start to the selections this year, though the last couple weeks have been much better.
Last week, the selections went 4-1. Texas +8 ended up winning outright. Tom Herman continues to be money as an underdog. He is now 12-1 ATS as an underdog as a head coach. Texas tried to blow that game late, but they ended up pulling out a three-point victory. Maryland +17.5 was a loser. The Terrapins lost by 21 at Michigan. They didn't do a good enough job slowing down the Michigan offense. Iowa State won outright as 11-point underdogs, so that was a no-sweat winner. Indiana covered against Ohio State, and that game was close most of the way. Northwestern won outright as an 11-point underdog (what was it about 11-point dogs?) and the Wildcats covered comfortably against Michigan State. Overall, it was a good week, but I certainly wish I had bet those one-unit plays for more.
Play #1- Memphis +5 (3 units) Memphis was blown out in the regular season by UCF last year. The Tigers were then beaten by UCF in double overtime in the American Athletic Conference Championship contest. Memphis is playing with double revenge on their home turf. I think this UCF team is a little overvalued right now. The offense is clearly great, and they'll score a lot of points here. The problem for UCF is their defense.
The Knights haven't been good at stopping the run. UCF has allowed 4.13 yards per carry this year, and they haven't played a really good rushing attack yet. That will change this weekend. Memphis ranks first in the nation averaging 7.73 yards per carry. The Tigers are going to try to run the ball early and often, and they should have success. That also helps keep the dangerous UCF offense on the sideline. I expect Memphis to be ready to play in this spot.
Play #2- Iowa State +6.5 (2 units) I'll take Iowa State at home against West Virginia. I might sound like a broken record here, but Matt Campbell is a very underrated head coach. Campbell is 25-12 ATS as an underdog. I would have likely played this one for a larger amount if I knew David Montgomery was going to play. He is listed as questionable.
West Virginia is a good team. The Mountaineers haven't been tested much at all so far this season. Iowa State has played the second-toughest schedule in the country. West Virginia's passing attack is excellent, but I'm not sure this team is balanced. West Virginia's defensive numbers are sure to regress as they start playing good offenses. I also think well-coached teams will find a way to slow down the passing attack if the Mountaineers don't get a little better in the run game to keep teams honest. Iowa State is definitely a tough place for ranked teams to play. I'll take the home underdog.
Play #3- Tulsa +7.5 (2 units) The South Florida Bulls have played a very easy schedule so far this season. Tulsa has clearly played a tougher schedule. South Florida is likely overvalued at this point. The Bulls struggled to beat East Carolina at home. They beat Georgia Tech, but the Yellow Jackets dominated the box score in that contest. South Florida then rolled up some tremendous offensive numbers against a UMass defense that is second worst in the nation in yards per play allowed.
Tulsa has been competitive against good teams this year. Tulsa lost by only seven at Texas, and they were competitive with Houston for a long time last week. This Tulsa team is clearly better than last year's group, and this is a national television contest at home for them. I'll grab the points.
Play #4- Virginia +6 (1 unit) I'm surprised by this number. This is a game I had circled to play Virginia, but I expected to be getting more points than this. The Cavaliers have already taken some major sharp money at +7.5 and +7, and the line has dropped to +6 here.
Miami is a good team, but I don't think they can lay a big number on the road against quality teams. Bronco Mendenhall is a good coach, and I see this Virginia team as much improved this season. The Cavs are running the ball consistently and controlling the tempo. Miami is coming off a big comeback win over their rivals from Florida State.
With the number sitting at only six, I'll make this only a one-unit play, but I'll back Virginia here.
Top 25 ATS Record Last Week: 9 Wins 14 Losses
Cumulative Overall Top 25 ATS Record Year to Date: 65 Wins (45.5%) 77 Losses (53.8%) 1 Tie (0.7%)
Fade the Top 25 Selections Year to Date: 9 Wins 14 Losses (-$1,410)
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