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Each week we will provide trends for the top teams in college football. Some trends will be team specific and others situational. Our database goes back to 2005, the trends include all games in that time frame unless otherwise mentioned.
No. 1 Alabama (-21.5) vs. No. 19 LSU
Alabama-LSU is one of college football’s biggest rivalry games but this year’s edition might be lackluster. Since 2005, there have been 156 games between top 25 teams in the SEC. This is just the 5th time a team was favored by 20 or more points in one of these matchups. Bama is the second most profitable team in our database against ranked opponents (37-24-2 ATS, +11.31 units) but the Tide have struggled to cover the number against conference foes.
Alabama vs ranked teams
- SEC West: 18-18 ATS
- All other teams: 19-6 ATS
No. 2 Georgia (-25) vs. South Carolina
Georgia is one of five undefeated teams in college football and the Bulldogs are enjoying their highest rankings since 2008. Kirby Smart’s teams has been rolling over its SEC counterparts going 5-0 in conference play and winning by an average of 32 points per game. The Dawgs are big favorites once again but undefeated teams late in the season haven’t been great bets.
In College Football Playoff era, undefeated teams late in the season (November/December): 17-34-1 (33.3%) ATS
No. 3 Ohio State (-16) at Iowa
J.T. Barrett rallied Ohio State from down two scores in the fourth quarter to beat No. 2 Penn State 39-38. The Buckeyes are back in the College Football Playoff conversation but could Urban Meyer’s team be poised for a letdown?
Top 10 team after beating a top 10 opponent: 57-82-2 (41.0%) ATS
No. 4 Wisconsin (-9) at Indiana
Casual bettors like to wager on teams they know, usually programs that are highly ranked. No. 4 Wisconsin is undefeated but the Badgers have played a soft schedule. Highly ranked teams are expected to easily beat unranked opponents but wagering on them to cover the spread has hurt your bankroll.
In College Football Playoff era, top 5 teams vs. unranked opponents: 62-91-3 (40.5%) ATS
No. 5 Notre Dame (-14.5) vs. Wake Forest
The Irish crushed No. 14 NC State as 7-point favorites last Saturday winning 35-14. Notre Dame is a public team and the easy cover will attract even more square action. One of the best times to fade a highly ranked team is after they covered the spread against a Top 25 opponent.
Top 10 team, easily covered previous game (10 or more points) vs. ranked opponent: 75-95 (44.1%) ATS
No. 6 Clemson (-7) at No. 20 NC State
Clemson shook off its loss to Syracuse and beat Georgia Tech 24-10. With a healthy Kelly Bryant, the Tigers have shown themselves to be one of the best teams in the country. Dabo Swinney’s squad will get another chance to prove it on Saturday against No. 20 NC State.
In matchups of top 25 conference teams, the favorite is 243-199 (55.0%) ATS
No. 7 Penn State (-7.5) at No. 24 Michigan State
The Nittany Lions can’t dwell on their disappointing loss to Ohio State. Penn State faces its third straight ranked opponent and second on the road. Can the Lions bounce back? Casual bettors think so, nearly 80% of spread tickets have come in on PSU. Value on the home underdog.
Top 10 team after a loss: 27-48-6 (36.0%) ATS
No. 8 Oklahoma at No. 11 Oklahoma State (-3)
There is a logjam at the top of the Big 12. The Bedlam showdown between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State can help clear up the conference race and push the winner one step closer to the College Football Playoff.
In top 25 matchups, the higher ranked team
- Non-conference 66-39 (62.9%) ATS
- Conference 230-212-11 (52.0%) ATS
No. 9 Miami vs. No. 13 Virginia Tech (-2.5)
Lesser ranked teams aren’t often favored in Top 25 matchups. When they have been the favorite is 68-64-5 (51.5%) ATS. Nothing special but location matters.
Lesser ranked teams favored on the road in top 25 matchups: 18-7-2 ATS. In games the road favorite won: 18-0-2 ATS.
No. 10 TCU (-7) vs. Texas
TCU stumbled in Ames losing to Iowa State 14-7. At 7-1, the Frogs aren’t done but Gary Patterson’s team can’t afford any more mistakes. The Horned Frogs are touchdown favorites over Big 12 foe Texas. The Longhorns are 13-9 ATS as underdogs of 7 or more points and Tom Herman as an underdog is 8-0 ATS.
Top 25 teams after a loss, favored by a touchdown or more against unranked conference opponents: 85-108-9 (44.0%) ATS
College Football Pro Systems
All picks are 160-141, +18.51 units in 2017