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Are Ranked Teams Locks vs Unranked Teams in Week 1?

Ranked vs Unranked Teams

With the opening week of college football in full swing, many people are looking for guaranteed bets and look toward the ranked schools in the nation to help them cash in. In football betting, typically you wager on spreads rather than moneylines as some books don’t release the moneyline if there’s a large disparity between teams or, if they do, the odds are astronomical and not worth the bet. I’m here to shed a cautionary tale on taking a seven- or eight-team spread parlay on ranked teams.

Numbers to Think About

Heading into the weekend, there have already been five ranked teams in action and they have gone 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS, with only Florida, at home in the opening game of the season, failing to cover. In Week 1 of 2018, ranked teams went 20-5 SU and 12-13 ATS, but four of those SU losses came in games in which there were two ranked teams colliding. The lone loss of a ranked team to an unranked team in Week 1 of last season came when No. 23 Texas fell 34-29 at Maryland.

In Week 1 of 2017, once again the ranked teams came out of the gate firing, going 21-4 SU and 13-12 ATS. Of the four ranked losses, three of those came in games with two ranked teams. This is not a typo, the lone defeat of a ranked team to an unranked team once again was No. 23 Texas losing, this time at home, 51-41 to Maryland again. The Longhorns are ranked No. 10 heading into this weekend’s games and are a 20.5-point favorite at home over Louisiana Tech, for your information.

The stats above are from a SU standpoint and if you are looking for an edge in those closer games with two ranked teams, the home squad in those matchups is 5-2 SU and ATS.

Although the ranked schools have dominated the unranked teams from a SU perspective at 34-2, the ATS record is a dead heat at 18-18. In 2018, home ranked teams went just 5-8 ATS against unranked squads, while the road ranked teams went 3-1 ATS vs those schools outside of the Top 25. A year prior, though, the home ranked teams were 8-5 ATS vs unranked teams and road ranked squads were 2-4 ATS.

So, if you’re one of those people looking at loading up a massive spread parlay taking all the home ranked teams over unranked teams or just ranked vs unranked overall, be warned that over the last two seasons, half of those squads have failed to cover. That being said, perhaps a Joe Osborne greasy moneyline parlay is the best option for you.