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How to Bet Matchups Between Top-10 CFB Teams

Betting Records Two Top-10 Teams

Week 4 of the college football schedule has a massive game with playoff implications as the No. 7 Notre Dame Fighting Irish travel to Sanford Stadium to take on the No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs. Notre Dame is a 14-point underdog ahead of this contest – is that too many points? How exactly should we approach two highly ranked squads? I took a look into the numbers to find an edge on how to wager on this game Saturday night.

Home Faves Paving the Way

Two top-10 teams playing each other occurs almost 10 times a year in the regular season. Often, the matchup could be a precursor to an eventual conference championship rematch, while other times the result may knock one team out of contention. An obvious strategy when betting on these tight games would be to simply take the home team with its fans and hope for the best. Overall, that isn’t a bad strategy looking back at history.

Since the start of 2018, home teams in regular-season matchups between two top-10 teams have gone 5-4 SU and 7-2 ATS. Looking further back to the start of the 2016 season, there have been 33 regular-season contests involving top-10 teams and the home squad is 23-10 SU and 22-11 ATS.

Meanwhile, if your strategy is riding with the favorite, that has proven to be profitable as well. Since the beginning of last season, favorites are 8-1 SU and 6-3 ATS in top-10 matchups. This evens out a little more the further back you go, though. Since the start of 2014, there have been 50 meetings of top-ranked squads and the favorites cover at 55.1 percent with a record of 27-22-1. The average spread in those games has been -6.8, and the winner has had an average winning margin of 16.5.

Last year, there were two games in which there was a double-digit spread between top-10 ranked teams and both involved Alabama. The Crimson Tide won and covered against LSU and won but didn’t cover against Georgia in the SEC championship game. Both of those contests were road games for Alabama.

As mentioned off the top, we have No. 7 Notre Dame on the road against No. 3 Georgia with the Bulldogs being a 14-point favorite, so how do double-digit favorites perform? Since the start of 2014, there have been 10 regular-season games between top-10 teams in which there was a double-digit spread and the favorites are 9-1 SU and 6-4 ATS. Home favorites of 10 or more points in those games have gone 4-2 ATS since 2014. With Georgia laying 14 on Saturday night, don’t let the large number scare you. The stats back it up.