Top 10 ATS Cats & Worst 10 ATS Rats so Far in 2017-18 College Football Season

Kevin Stott

Wednesday, September 20, 2017 12:32 PM UTC

Wednesday, Sep. 20, 2017 12:32 PM UTC

Betting against or on the same teams every weekend is a sports betting style many employ during the football season. Let’s look at 10 FBS Cats who have registered winning streaks —in perceived order of strength—and FBS 10 rats—in order of weakness to make this theory stronger when making for college football picks.

Top 10 College Football ATS Cats List (September 18, 2017)


1. Oklahoma 3-0 ATS

The #3 Sooners (11-2 SU, 7-6 ATS in 2016) and 19th-year HC Bob Stoops (130-106-1 ATS) have the nation’s longest SU winning streak (13). QB Baker Mayfield and Oklahoma have now W7 straight ATS dating back to last season and get the top spot because of that profitable run and the ease at which it scores (47.7 ppg, #7). On Saturday, in Week 4 and Big 12 play, #2 Oklahoma (17/1 to win CFP National Championship) heads to Waco to face Baylor in what looks like a nice spot to back the visitors and the Over. Oklahoma (+12.5 ppg ATS) have W2 straight ATS vs. the Bears, winning by 10 (2015) and 19 (2016). The CFP-hungry Sooners could win by 37+ in this spot, even in the Lone Star State.


2. Clemson 3-0 ATS

The defending national champions and #2-ranked Tigers (14-1 SU, 7-7 ATS in 2016) and 9th-year HC Dabo Swinney (59-48-1 ATS) haven’t lost a game SU before the month of November since 2005 (19-0) and with QB Kelly Bryant looking every bit the part, Clemson has also W5 straight ATS with him and now-Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson at the helm. The Tigers have now gone an amazing 74 games without losing back-to-back games. In Week 5, Clemson (12/1 to win CFP National Championship) will play a team from our “11 Rats List” below in Death Valley at Clemson Memorial Stadium on Saturday, and a seemingly great spot to again back the Tigers who are getting some incredible play of the defensive side of the football. ACC powerhouse Clemson has played 13.3 points per game better than the Point Spread.


3. Oklahoma State 3-0 ATS

The #2-ranked Cowboys (10-3 SU, 7-5 ATS in 2016) and 13th-year HC Mike “I’m A Man” Gundy (82-61-4 ATS) were the only team in FBS history with a 3,000-yard QB, two 1,000-yard RBs and two 1,000-yard WRs in 2016 and with a 4-game ATS win streak. QB Mason Rudolph and the Cowboys currently rank #2 in the nation in scoring offense with 54.0 ppg (C-FLA is #1 with 61.0 ppg). On Saturday #9 Oklahoma State (24/1 to win CFP National Championship) face #16 TCU in a Big 12 showdown in Stillwater (OK St -5, 5Dimes) in another likely high-scoring affair. RB Rennie Childs (10 rushes, 101 yards, 4 TDs vs. Pitt) and the quick-score Cowboys (+17.3 ppg ATS) are 4-1 ATS L5 vs. the Horned Frogs. Oklahoma State has only been penalized an average of 35.33 ypg to date.


4. Mississippi State 3-0 ATS

The SEC’s #17 Bulldogs (6-7 SU, 5-7 ATS in 2016) and 9th-year HC Dan Mullen (52-46 ATS) have the highest average ppg against the point spread in the FBS so far this season (+35.5), thanks in great part to lopsided 49-, 36- and 30-point SU wins and a Mississippi State defense which has yielded just 28 points (21 to LA TECH, 7 to LSU). The Bulldogs (+0.67 TO Margin) are on the road at #11 Georgia in Athens on Saturday in a game which sees the Bulldogs from the Peach State currently 6½- to 7-points chalks against the upstart Bulldogs from the Magnolia State.


5. Penn State 2-0-1 ATS

The Big Ten’s #4 Nittany Lions (11-3 SU, 9-4-1 ATS in 2016) and 4th-year HC James Franklin (52-46 ATS) have gotten off to a wonderful start this season—their +2.33 TO Margin is #2 in FBS—and with QB Trace McSorley and RQ Saquon Barkley, Penn State (+13.7 ppg vs Point Spread) may be the team from this talented and still fairly underrated conference (Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan, Penn State) making the CFP. This weekend, the Nittany Lions are in Iowa City looking to remain unbeaten on Saturday. The disciplined Nittany Lions have only been penalized 35.0 ppg.


6. Duke 3-0 ATS

The Blue Devils (4-8 SU, 6-5 ATS) and 10th-year HC David Cutcliffe (60-41-5 ATS) ran off a string of 5 consecutive ATS covers in the middle of last season and this year, the ACC side is off to a sweet start with 2 straight ATS and Home Wins against FCS side NC Central, Northwestern and Baylor. Expect the Blue Devils to be tested on Saturday in their first road game against North Carolina in Week 4 in Chapel Hill. Duke ranks #7 in FBS in Total Defense.


7. Iowa State 3-0 ATS

Another Big 12 toughie and money-maker, the Cat List-worthy Cyclones (+1.33 TO Margin per game) went 3-9 SU but a profitable 7-4 ATS in 2016 and with this 3-0 ATS start, 2nd-year HC Matt Campbell (11-4 ATS) and his squad looked good against Northern Iowa, Iowa, and Akron in Weeks 1-3. The Cyclones (+8.5 ppg vs point spread) have a Bye Week this weekend and will then host Texas in Ames in Week 5 (September 28) in what promises to be a thriller (IA ST 3-1 ATS L4 vs. TEX) and what will end up being a tough Loss for the eventual loser.


8. Wake Forest 3-0 ATS

With a +15.5 ppg heading into Week 4, one would think 4th-year HC Dave Clawson (22-15 ATS) and Wake Forest (7-6 SU, 8-4 ATS in 2016) would have feasted on some cupcakes, and you’d be right with beating up on FCS side Presbyterian in Week 1, Ratty Boston College in Week 2 and a choppy Utah State side in Week 3. With Appalachian State scheduled for Week 4, Wake Forest has had one of the schedules to begin this campaign. The Demon Deacons have covered 4 straight ATS dating back to last year and are averaging +1.67 TOs a game.


9. Purdue 3-0 ATS

Also at a robust +25.5 ppg over the linemakers numbers so far, Purdue (3-9 SU, 5-6 ATS in 2016) and 1st-year HC and former Louisville QB Jeff Brohm gave Louisville and Heisman Trophy-winner Lamar Jackson all they could handle in Week 1. Whereas sportsbooks seem about 5 points off on BYU line to the high, Purdue (W4 ATS) lines seem to be off about 5, in what looks to be an underestimation of the Boilermakers. In Week 4, Purdue welcomes #8 Michigan to West Lafayette in an important Big Ten game in which Purdue can be found as high as +310 on the moneyline. The Boilers could upset.


10. Utah 3-0 ATS

The Pac-12’s Utes (9-4 SU, 7-5 ATS in 2016) and 13th-year HC Kyle Whittingham (79-67-3 ATS) are +4.2 ppg against the point spread, +1.0 ppg TO Margin in games versus FBS North Dakota, heated rivals BYU and San José State. The #23 Utes look like a great pick on Friday night against Arizona in Tucson although Utah is just 1-2 ATS L4 vs. the Wildcats.


Top 10 College Football ATS Rats List (September 18, 2017)


1. East Carolina 0-3 ATS

The Pirates have now L7 consecutive ATS losses and are 1-12 ATS L13 (7.7%) with ECU opponents averaging 53.4 ppg in those last 7 games (64, 56, 34, 37, 66, 55, 45) and this struggling AAC team is off to a 0-3 SU start, allowing 643.5 ypg on defense (#128 of 129 in FBS) and 21 opponent TDs so far. Hello (hello), is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me. Second-year HC Scottie Montgomery (2-12 ATS) and the Pirates have lost 6 TO’s in their 3 games and are the worst in the nation at 2.33 TO per game (lost) heading into a much needed Bye Week this weekend. In Week 5, ECU (3-9 SU, 2-9 ATS in 2016) will welcome Quinton Flowers and South Florida to Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium in Greenville in a series which has seen the Bulls go a profitable 5-0 ATS the L5 meetings.


2. Charlotte 0-3 ATS

The 49ers (4-7 SU, 4-8 ATS in 2016) are like the NFL’s 49ers and have gone 6-16-3 ATS since joining the FBS and becoming a lined team. Charlotte (L6 ATS) and 7th-year HC Brad Lambert (6-16-3 ATS) rank tied for 120th in (average) yards per play on offense (3.8), have been outscored by 32.5 ppg, committed 25 penalties in its three games (71.0 ypg) and are only behind ECU in worst TO Margin (-2.00, #125). 


3. Kent State 0-3 ATS

The Golden Flashes (5-9 SU, 5-5 ATS in 2016) have played Clemson, Howard, and Marshall to start the season so excuse MAC East side Kent State (L5 ATS) for any whiplash. Fifth-year HC Paul Hayes (16-29-1 ATS) and the Golden Flashes are the most penalized team in the nation to date (97.0 ypg, 32 Penalties) and the Kent State defense has allowed 492.7 ypg (#119), giving up 19 TDs heading into this Saturday’s Week 5 date against #19 Louisville.


4. Boston College 0-3 ATS

The Eagles (7-6 SU, 6-5-1 ATS in 2016) really seem to have trouble scoring points (17, 20 ppg L2 years) and Boston College’s has a feeble 4.1 ypp offensive average, a -16.7 ppg point differential and are averaging 1.57 TO’s a game. Fifth-year HC Steve Addazio (23-23-3 ATS) and the Eagles find themselves in an awful spot this weekend, heading to Death Valley to face Kelly Bryant and #2 Clemson in a game which could get real ugly by Halftime. Better hide the women and children.


5. Brigham Young 0-4 ATS

These Independent Rats called BYU lost their third consecutive game SU, falling to #9 Wisconsin, 40-6 and the Cougars (3.4 ypp), #126) have only scored 3 TDs in 4 games—2 of them in Week 1 against FCS side Portland State at Home in Provo. In fairness to BYU (9-4 SU, 9-3 ATS in 2016), the Cougars have played LSU, Uta,  and Wisconsin and after reeling off 9 ATS winners in 11 games, BYU has L5 in a row ATS dating back to last season. Next up for the Cougars (-22.3 ppg) and 2nd-year HC Kalani Sitake (9-7 ATS) is a needed Bye Week followed by what could be a tougher game than most think in Week 5 against rivals Utah State in Logan on Saturday, Sept. 29 (BYU 28 USU 10, -17 in 2016; BYU 3-1 ATS L4 in series).


6. Texas El Paso 0-3 ATS

UTEP (4-8 SU, 5-6 ATS in 2016) and 5th-year HC Sean Kugler (20-28-2 ATS) probably have a great deal of trouble getting recruits to want to play football in El Paso, Texas, and the 0-3 ATS mark and -37.7 ppg point differential isn’t a great start to the new season, even with #3 Oklahoma, Rice and Arizona on the Miners schedule so far. Next up, a Week 4 date on Saturday against New Mexico State in Las Cruces and probably an Aggies blowout in The City of Crosses with talented NMS QB Tyler Rogers (10 TD Passes).

7. Oregon State 0-4 ATS

The Beavers (4-8 SU, 9-2 ATS in 2016) and 3rd-year HC Gary Andersen (12-14 ATS) are off to an 0-4 ATS start thanks to a porous defense which has averaged 6.39 ypp and 485.5 ypg (#117) so far and 25 TDs by opponents. In Week 5, Oregon State will enjoy a Bye week to regroup before running into #9 Washington in a Pac-12 meeting at Home in Corvallis (1-4 ATS L5 in series). The Beavers had covered 7 of 8 games to end the 2015 Regular Season but this 0-4 ATS start plops OSU on the list.


8. Florida International 0-2 ATS

The Golden Panthers (4-8 SU, 5-6-1 ATS in 2016) and 1st-year HC Butch Davis have been blown out (spreadwise by 26½ and 11½) in their two lined games (UCF 61 FIU 17, UCF -17½; FIU 17 ALCORN 10, FIU -18½). FIU ranks #128 in scoring Differential (-44.7 ppg) and the C-USA East Golden Panthers rank #125 in penalties, having being flagged 19 times already for an average of 96.5 backwards yards each game. Monsieur schedule-maker gives FIU a little break this weekend in Week 4 when the Golden Flashes are at Rice on Saturday in a game they could actually win. But probably not.


9. Miami (Ohio) 0-3 ATS

The Redhawks (4-8 SU, 9-2 ATS in 2016) and 4th-year HC Chuck Martin (22-14-1 ATS) are only averaging a weak 4.7 ypp when on offense. Miami (6-7 SU, 9-3 ATS in 2016) has already lost twice outright as favorites (26-31 @ MARSH, MIA -4 and 17-31 vs. CIN, MIA-3½) along with a non-ATS cover against FCS side Austin Peay (MIA 31 AP 10, MIA -35). Next up the schedule, a MAC meeting with at Central Michigan this Saturday in a game which the Redhawks can definitely win and has moved 2½ points in a day from a PK Opener on Chippewas money. Last season Miami made some regular season history at The Cradle of Coaches, L6 straight and then W6 straight to make a Bowl game, losing to SEC school Mississippi State by a point, 17-16 (MISS ST -14½).


10. Missouri 0-3 ATS

The Tigers (4-6 SU, 4-7 ATS in 2016) and 2nd-year HC Barry Odom (4-10 ATS) have gotten off to a horrific start—and SEC play is just starting for Mizzou—with this team -25.7 ppg in point differential after facing FBS side Missouri State, South Carolina and Purdue in their first three contests. Missouri gets #15 Auburn in Columbia this year but the way the Tigers (-1.67 TO Per game) have looked so far averaging just 5.31 ypp on Defense, 11 TDs and 442.7 ypg, backing the Tigers from the state of Alabama would be the logical approach, points and Site be damned.


Free NCAAF WEEK 4 Feed The Cats Pick: Oklahoma State -11 -106Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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