NCAA Football Betting Advice: Fading the Top 25 Weekly Free Picks
It feels like I start this way every week of late, but it was a really bad week for Top 10 teams last weekend. Four Top 10 teams lost outright last weekend. In fact, four of the top eight lost outright. Alabama was the lone Top 10 team to cover, and they covered by only one point. It sure feels like a year where there is one elite team and no one else very close to them.
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 below in the year-to-date tally.
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 few weeks have been very good. We'll try to keep digging out of that hole from the first couple weeks of the year.
The fading the Top 25 selections went a perfect 4-0 last weekend. I wish I had gone a little bigger on the plays, but overall it was a +8-unit weekend, so I can't complain. Memphis +5 cashed, and the Tigers probably should have won the game. As it is, UCF's winning streak is all the way up to 19 games. Iowa State has been a great moneymaker for us the last few weeks. The Cyclones absolutely dominated West Virginia by even more than the final score would indicate, and they won easily outright as a significant home underdog to West Virginia. Tulsa snatched defeat from the jaws of victory last Friday night. This Tulsa team has found some incredible ways to fall apart late in games. Still, they easily covered as a home underdog. Virginia pulled the outright upset on Miami, so the one-unit play on Virginia +6 won as well.
Play #1- Washington State -2.5 at -115 (4 units) The Oregon Ducks have played one road game so far this year. That one road game was against a Cal team that has turned out to be a big disappointment so far this year. Washington State is one of the biggest surprises of the season.
The Cougars have a great passing attack led by Gardner Minshew. The Oregon defense is strong against the run, but they have struggled defending the pass. Oregon is allowing 8.1 yards per pass, which ranks 103rd in the country. Washington State should be able to take advantage of this Ducks secondary.
Washington State also has a huge advantage as far as the situational spot here. The Cougars have ESPN at their home field for "College Gameday" for the first time ever. This is a great home-field advantage to start with, and the crowd should be extremely fired up for this one. Oregon comes in after several tough games in a row, and Washington State is off a bye. I'll take Washington State.
Play #2- NC State +17.5 (3 units) The Clemson Tigers are a very good team, but they have one clear weakness. Their secondary isn't even close to as good as the other best teams in the country. Texas A&M was able to take advantage of this weakness in the second half of their game earlier this year, and they almost ended up beating Clemson.
NC State's Ryan Finley is one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the country. NC State has multiple good receivers as well, and they should be able to get open in this one. The Wolfpack rank 28th in the nation in yards per play on offense, and I think they are able to score here more than most people believe. NC State has a history of playing top teams tough in recent years, and this line appears too big. I'll take the underdog.
Play #3- Temple -3 (3 units) The Cincinnati Bearcats are unbeaten and now ranked in the Top 25, but who have they beaten? UCLA isn't a good team. They needed a big comeback to beat Ohio on their home field. They have big wins over lowly UConn and Alabama A&M. The Bearcats are a good team, but they aren't as good as they appear right now.
Temple ranks fifth in the nation in yards per play allowed. The Owls started the season slowly, but they have played well of late. Temple's win over Maryland was an impressive one. The Owls are coming off a solid road win over Navy. I think Temple's defense makes it very tough on Cincinnati here, and I'll lay the short number on the Owls.
Play #4- Purdue +13.5 (2 units) The Purdue Boilermakers are a really well-coached team. Jeff Brohm's team has gotten much better since the start of this season. Purdue lost several close games early in the year, but they are on a nice winning streak now. The Boilermakers are 12th in the nation in yards per play. Ohio State is 13th in the nation in yards per play.
This Ohio State defense has been disappointing. The Buckeyes are allowing 5.62 yards per play, which is 77th in the country. Nick Bosa is out for the season, and the secondary has been bad so far this year. Purdue should move the ball a lot in this game.
Urban Meyer's Buckeyes are a very talented team, but this is a big game for Purdue and I expect a tight contest. This is a rare night game on ABC for the Boilermakers as well. I'll grab the points here.
Top 25 ATS Record Last Week: 6 Wins 13 Losses
Cumulative Overall Top 25 ATS Record Year to Date: 71 Wins (43.8%) 90 Losses (55.6%) 1 Tie (0.7%)
Fade the Top 25 Selections Year to Date: 13 Wins 14 Losses (-$610)
Doc's Sports is offering a great deal for new clients - you can get $60 worth of free college football picks with no obligation. No credit card is needed, and you will never have to deal with a salesman. Get $60 worth of premium members' picks free . Also, get three handicappers for the price of one when you sign up for a full-season football package! Click Here for details . Get free weekly free college football picks at Doc's Sports free football picks page.
Read more articles by Aaron Smith
Get all of this Weeks College Football Picks
Get all of this Weeks guaranteed Expert College Football Picks