Betting on college football’s Top 25 didn’t get do anybody much good this past weekend, as many ranked teams had problems covering pointspreads. But taking the biggest of favorites turned a profit, as most of those tagged with the largest lines proved themselves worthy.
Teams ranked in the USA Today’s Top 25 went 17-4 straight-up vs. unranked teams in Week 3 action, but only managed to go 9-12 against the pointspreads. That action included four ranked teams – Auburn, Michigan State, Arizona State and Ohio State – losing outright as underdogs on the road.
So on the season, while ranked teams are 52-6 SU vs. unranked teams, they’re also only 28-29 ATS.
In games matching two ranked teams over the weekend the higher-ranked outfits pulled above .500 on the season by winning and covering both such contests. Thursday night No. 3 LSU, as a 3 1/2-point favorite at No. 25 Mississippi State, muzzled the Bulldogs 19-6. And Saturday No. 1 Oklahoma, as 3 1/2-point chalk at No. 5 Florida State, beat the Seminoles 23-13.
So on the year, of the seven games that have pitted two ranked teams against each other, the higher-ranked outfits have won four games outright, and are 4-3 vs. the pointspreads.
This week five games match two ranked teams. For Saturday 5Dimes.com is listing No. 2 Alabama at -12 over No. 12 Arkansas; No. 3 LSU is favored by 5.5 points at No. 16 West Virginia; No. 24 Georgia Tech is lined at -6 over No. 25 North Carolina; No. 14 Florida State is a three-point favorite at No. 22 Clemson; and No. 8 Texas A&M is listed at -3 over No. 6 Oklahoma State.
Last week 12 teams were favored by 30 points or more, and all 12, as we might expect, won outright. And more importantly to our discussion here, eight of those 12 covered the pointspreads. On the year favorites of 30 points or more are now 44-0 straight-up, and 25-19 vs. the spreads.
This week, as the non-conference mismatches get phased out of the schedule, 5Dimes is listing just one team as a 30-point favorite; defending national champion Auburn, fresh off losing at Clemson, is 32 1/2-point chalk over Coach Schnellenberger and Florida Atlantic.
The biggest upset of last weekend happened in Vegas, when a UNLV team that was getting 17 ½ points from visiting Hawaii pounded the Warriors outright 40-20. Other upsets included; Tulane, getting +12 ½ at Alabama-Birmingham, blew out the Blazers 49-10; Wyoming, getting 9 ½ points at Bowling Green, blocked an extra-point attempt with two seconds left to win 28-27; Duke, getting seven points at Boston College, survived a late missed FG to beat the Eagles 20-19; and Florida International, as a seven-point home dog vs. Central Florida, upset the Knights 17-10.
How many of those upsetters can back up those winning performances? Who knows; we’ll have to wait and see. For this Saturday 5Dimes.com is listing Tulane as a 10-point underdog at Duke; Wyoming is getting 23 points at Nebraska; and FIU is favored by 16 ½ points over Louisiana-Lafayette.