NCAA Football Betting Advice: Fading the Top 25 Weekly Free Picks
All of the Top 10 won last week, and they did great against the spread as well. It was the teams in the 16-25 range that were money-burners last weekend for bettors. It was rare to see very little movement in the rankings last weekend compared to the huge changes in recent weeks.
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 season-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.
A 2-3 week for the selections last weekend. Michigan State +3.5 was a loser as Ohio State got some great special teams play to make a big difference, and the Buckeyes running game finally got going late in the game. Wisconsin +9.5 was a loser as well. The Badgers offense was worse than I expected in that one, and Wisconsin lost 22-10. The other loss was on Oregon +4. For a good while in that game, it looked like Oregon might win outright. Utah ended up kicking a field goal right at the end of the game that turned Oregon +4 from a push to a loser. South Carolina blew a big second-half lead, but fortunately they held on enough to cover the +6. The other winner was on Baylor. The Bears outgained Iowa State, but they didn't convert on enough red zone opportunities to win. They did cover the spread, though.
Play #1- Iowa State +3 (3 units) Matt Campbell and Tom Herman are two of the best underdog coaches in the country. Campbell's team is the underdog here, though. Campbell's teams are a whopping 29-12 ATS as an underdog. Iowa State was always a scrappy team capable of pulling an upset, but I think they are a really dangerous team now that they found a very good quarterback in Brock Purdy.
Texas still has plenty to prove, in my opinion. This is a Longhorns team that was outgained 595-469 last week against Texas Tech. They were fortunate to win that game. Texas' defense ranks 82nd in yards per play allowed. Iowa State ranks 29th in yards per play allowed.
Iowa State has even played the tougher schedule. They aren't the name brand that a team like Texas is, though, and that's why there is value on them here.
Play #2- Cincinnati +7.5 (3 units) UCF is a good team, but they aren't nearly as good as their record would indicate. UCF was very fortunate to cover at home against Temple a couple weeks ago. I think Cincinnati presents an even tougher test. Cincinnati has the best defense UCF has faced this year, and it isn't even close.
UCF ranks 82nd in the nation in yards per carry allowed. Cincinnati is running on more than 67 percent of their plays from scrimmage, and I expect the Bearcats to have a lot of success in the ground game here.
UCF is +14 in turnover margin so far this year. That's third-best in the country. Cincinnati is -3 in turnover margin. That's the type of thing where you would expect to see a regression to the mean. I almost always like getting the much better defense and more than a touchdown, and I'll take Cincinnati in this contest.
Play #3- Indiana +28.5 (2 units) Michigan has been tremendous recently, and this isn't a fade of Michigan as a team as much as it is a fade of the situational spot. Michigan plays Ohio State next weekend, and everyone knows that is the key game for this Wolverines team. They haven't beaten Ohio State in a long time, and if they beat them this year, they will have the inside track to a playoff berth.
Indiana has been plenty good enough to play good teams very close. They just haven't been able to get over the top and win the game outright. In fact, Indiana has lost to Michigan in overtime in two of the last three meetings between these two teams. The other game was a 10-point win for the Wolverines.
This is a bunch of points when you consider the spot here. I'll grab the points and go with the road team.
Play #4- Middle Tennessee State +16.5 (2 units) The Kentucky Wildcats were never as good as their record indicated. Kentucky is coming off two straight deflating losses. They now host a Conference USA team. I don't see why Kentucky would be highly motivated to blow out MTSU in this one. Even if they are though, this Kentucky offense simply isn't very good. Kentucky is 95th in the nation in yards per play this year. Their running game is solid, but the passing attack has been non-existent in most games.
MTSU is led by a great quarterback in Brent Stockstill, and this is a Blue Raiders coming into this game with nothing to lose. In a game with a total sitting at 44.5, this is a lot of points. I'll take the points and back the Blue Raiders.
Top 25 ATS Record Last Week: 11 Wins 13 Losses
Cumulative Overall Top 25 ATS Record Year to Date: 109 Wins (43.6%) 137 Losses (54.8%) 4 Ties (1.6%)
Fade the Top 25 Selections Last Week: 2 Wins 3 Losses (-$360)
Fade the Top 25 Selections Year to Date: 23 Wins 22 Losses (-$490)
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