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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 – bye week
The top team in the country enters its bye week off a rout of Tennessee. Nick Saban gets a week to prepare Alabama for rival LSU. The Tigers have won three straight after a shocking loss to Troy and have reentered the Top 25 at No. 23. The Crimson Tide have been profitable bets against ranked opponents but division games have proven tricky.
Alabama vs ranked teams
- SEC West: 18-18 ATS
- All other teams: 19-6 ATS
No. 2 Penn State (+6.5) at No. 6 Ohio State
The undefeated Nittany Lions easily dispatched No. 19 Michigan 42-13 in Beaver Stadium. Penn State outscored the Wolverines 21-0 in the second half making for a stress-free cover as 7.5-point favorites. Bettors shouldn’t be so quick to jump back on the Lions’ bandwagon, highly ranked teams off easy covers have disappointed in the past.
- Top 10 team, easily covered previous game (10 or more points) vs. ranked opponent: 73-95 (43.5%) ATS
No. 3 Georgia (-14) vs. Florida (neutral field)
The World’s Largest Cocktail Party kicks off Saturday with Georgia installed as big favorites (only Florida -16.5 in 2009 has been bigger since 2005). The Bulldogs had a week off to prepare for Florida but in their previous game they failed to cover (-28.5 vs. Mizzou). Think UGA will bounce back and take care of business against the Gators?
- Top 10 team at home (or neutral site), failed to cover in previous game: 147-175-8 (45.7%) ATS
No. 4 TCU (-6.5) at No. 25 Iowa State
“The road to the Big 12 championship runs through Iowa State,” says Sports Action’s college football expert Collin Wilson. TCU will need to take care of business in Ames if the Frogs are to win their second Big 12 title. Over 70% of spread bets are on TCU, is that the right side?
- In matchups of top 25 conference teams, the favorite is 242-197 (55.1%) ATS
No. 5 Wisconsin at Illinois
Top 25 teams have been bad bets against unranked opponents. In the College Football Playoff era you’ve blown your bankroll if you’ve been targeting these matchups.
In College Football Playoff era ranked vs. unranked
- Top 25 teams: 359-396 (47.5%) ATS
- Top 10 teams: 132-168 (44.0%) ATS
- Top 5 teams: 61-90 (40.4%) ATS
No. 6 Ohio State (-6.5) vs. No. 2 Penn State
Who is the best in the Big Ten? We find out on Saturday but does Ohio State have an advantage coming off a bye? With ten or more days to prepare, Urban Meyer is the 7th most profitable coach in our database (11-4 ATS, +6.46 units).
Top 25 teams at home off a bye: 100-68 (59.5%) ATS
- Vs ranked opponent: 36-22 (62.1%) ATS
No. 7 Clemson vs. Georgia Tech (no line at time of publication)
Remember when Clemson lost to Syracuse as 24-point favorites? Well the Tigers have had a week off to forget about the upset. Will Dabo’s team bounce back? It doesn’t happen often but top 10 teams off a loss haven’t been profitable.
- Top 10 team, after losing previous game to unranked opponent: 8-15 ATS
No. 8 Miami (-20.5) at North Carolina
Miami needed a score with under three minutes to play to beat unranked Syracuse in Week 8. The Canes got last second plays to beat Florida State and Georgia Tech in their two games prior. Can the Hurricanes continue to get lucky? As big favorites at North Carolina it won’t be easy to cover the spread if the game is close late.
- Ranked teams in ACC play: 158-194 (44.9%) ATS, -43.08 units (worst of any conference)
No. 9 Notre Dame (-7.5) vs. No. 14 NC State
We often preach the best way to profit in sports betting is being contrarian. That means betting underdogs and fading the public. However, its not always a good idea to go against the grain. Popular favorites in Top 25 matchups have proven to be the exception.
- In top 25 matchups, popular favorites (+50% of spread bets) of 7 or more points: 73-54-3 (57.5%) ATS
No. 10 Oklahoma (-20) vs. Texas Tech
OU overcame a 21-10 halftime deficit to beat Kansas State 42-35. The Sooners got the win but failed to cover as 14.5-point favorites in Manhattan. This week Baker Mayfield and the Sooners get Texas Tech in the bright lights of primetime.
- In primetime games, ranked teams, that failed to cover previous game, vs. unranked opponent: 178-237 (42.9%) ATS
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