Week 14 Top 5 ATS Cats & Rats: Iowa State Nabs #1 Top Cat Spot with ATS Win

Kevin Stott

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 3:17 PM UTC

Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017 3:17 PM UTC

The Holidays are here and there’s no better time than Now to try to turn a dollar into 6 or 7 so let’s try to bang out a couple of more pine-scented picks in Week 14.

1—Iowa State 10-2-0 ATS (Last Week: Tied #1)

Iowa State (7-5 SU, 10-2 ATS) deserves our top spot after going to Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan on Saturday and hanging with hosts against Kansas State in Week 13 in the Big 12 Regular Season finale for both schools, losing 20-19, but covering ATS as small 2- to 2½-point Road Underdogs (49½) in a game last Saturday that the Cyclones led 12-7 after the 3rd Quarter. Iowa State has now W7 of 8 against the betting number after Head Coach Matt Campbell (17-6 ATS) and the Cyclones went a profitable 7-4 ATS in 2016 in his first season in Ames. Iowa State is one of eight Bowl-eligible teams from the Big 12 Conference.

Since 2015, only two teams (with more than 30 decisions) have performed better at the betting windows in FBS than Iowa State (23-12-1 ATS, 65.7%)—Northwestern (25-13-0 ATS, 65.8%) and Temple (27-13-0 ATS, 67.5%). The Cyclones two ATS Losses this year came at Home to Texas as 5-point Underdogs (TEX 17 ISU 7) and at West Virginia as 3½-point Road Underdogs so this team was just 6 points away from being a perfect 12-0 ATS this 2017 Regular Season. Iowa State (TO Margin +0.92, Tied #9) deserves to be Top ATS Cats and it’s hard to see an ATS Loss in a Bowl game dropping them from this lofty perch.

2—Fresno State 9-2-1 ATS (Last Week: Not ranked)

Fresno State justly returns to the Top 5 ATS Cats and Rats List rankings this week by virtue of the Bulldogs outright Home win against Boise State in Week 13, beating the then 25th-ranked Broncos in Fresno on Saturday, 28-17, easily covering ATS as 7-point Home Underdogs and setting up a MWC Conference rematch between the two in the rarest-of-rares: Two College Football teams playing each other in consecutive games. Fresno State has gone 16-6-1 ATS its L23 and 1st-year Head Coach Jeff Tedford and the Bulldogs will also obviously be going to a Bowl game and that’s quite an impressive feat considering Fresno State went 3-9 SU in 2015 and 1-11 SU last season.

Things can really change in just one year and the early season (Week 2-3) games at Alabama and at Washington must have really helped this team grow mentally. From 1-11 SU to a Conference Championship Game, and like Campbell at Iowa State, Head Coach Tedford is a huge reason why Fresno State (+0.75 TO Margin, Tied #16) has been one of the best teams on which to bet these L2 years and contending for the MWC title this Saturday at Albertson's Stadium in Boise against the Broncos in a game which sees Fresno State as huge 9½-point Road Underdogs, where backing the Bulldogs seems like the logical thing to do, especially after last weekend’s Confidence-building result and Boise State’s abhorrent 2-12-1 ATS L15 Record on its Home turf and if there has been one team to back on the Road and to fade at Home this season, it’s been these Broncos.

3—Northwestern 9-3-0 ATS (Last Week: #4)

Big Ten Purple People Eaters and #23 Northwestern (+5.8 vs. ATS) move up a spot after the Wildcats routed rivals Illinois on Saturday in Champaign in The Land of Lincoln Trophy, 42-7, so Honest Abe’s Hat will get to stay in Evanston where it will probably dwell for the next decade or two. Red “The Galloping Ghost” Grange and Dick Butkus where have you gone? (Reddy’s dead.) Laying the 16 or 16½ to the Fighting Illini in Week 13 was no big deal and Northwestern improved to 9-3 ATS this year and a swell 17-8 ATS record over the L25 overall, second only to Temple over that span.

So esteemed 12th-year Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald (73-67 ATS) and the Wildcats have outscored their L2 opponents 81-7 at Ryan Field in Evanston to close out the Regular Season and this team has now W9 of 10 against the betting number, only failing to cover ATS in that span at Home to Penn State, losing 31-7 as big 14½-point Home Dogs. Since that blip, the Cats have W7 straight ATS. Cha-to-the-ching. RB Justin Jackson and Northwestern (0-2 ATS start) will be worth a look in their Bowl game and are definitely playing their best Football right now.

4—Wake Forest 9-3-0 ATS (Last Week: Tied #1)

Wake Forest (7-5 SU, 9-3 ATS) was humbled in Week 13, losing its Regular Season finale against Duke in ACC play, 31-23 (WAKE -10), but the Demon Deacons are still a profitable 15-5 ATS their L20 games (75%) and although the Demon Deacons (W6-8 ATS) fell from the #1 spot in our weekly Point Spread team rankings, Wake Forest (+4.9 ppg versus ATS) won’t get a shot to be Top Cats when all is said and done, but still, this is a College Football team which has gone a money-making 16-8-1 ATS the L2 seasons under respectable 4th-year and 50-year-old Head Coach Dave Clawson (28-18 ATS). Like many good teams ATS, the Demon Deacons have a nice TO Margin (+0.56, Tied #25). Having possession of the football matters.

5—Utah 8-3-1 ATS (Last week: Not ranked)

My boys Utah edge out Boston College, UAB and a couple of others like usual list regulars Georgia Tech, Buffalo, unbeaten Central Florida and Memphis, with the latter banging helmets in the AAC Championship game this Saturday in Orlando. Why? Because it’s hard not to love how they play and because 3 ATS Losses is less than 4 and it all adds up in the end. In Week 13 Pac-12 play, the Utes defeated Colorado, 30-14 at Home in Salt Lake City on Senior Day, covering ATS as 9-point Home chalks (57) as the Utes (6-6 SU) ran out to a 28-0 Halftime lead en route to only their 2nd Win in the L8 dates (4-3-1 ATS). New York, like a Christmas tree, tonight this city belongs to me.

But this Utes team was a sparkly 5-0-1 ATS at one point this year and had some regression due, as well as a fierce Pac-12 Conference schedule that read: Stanford, @ USC, Arizona State, @ Oregon, UCLA, Washington State, @ Washington and Colorado, or, absolutely no easy games from Sept. 22 (@ AZ) moving forward. Coaching in the Pac-12 is certainly not for the faint of heart, and with no member likely participating in the CFP Playoff system, it’s just play your best Bowl game and wait until next season for this quirky and Pass-happy lot. Someone leave Santa an acid-reducer and a purple carot for Rudolph.

Free College Football Pick: Fresno State +9½Best Line Offered: at BookMaker

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1—Hawaii 2-9-1 ATS (Last Week: #1)

Some have Hawai’i graded at 1-10-1 ATS but we have the Rainbow Warriors winning their first two games of the 2017 Regular Season ATS, winning outright, 38-35 as 3-point Underdogs at Independent Massachusetts in Week 1 and then laying the pineapple to FCS-side Western Carolina, 41-18 in Honolulu, covering ATS as big 19½ Home Favorites in their only ATS cover in Honolulu in the calendar year 2017. One is better than none? And you thought those wrinkles in your trousers were a dilemma. At least they can be ironed out, Don Ho. In Week 13, Hawai’i (3-9 SU) lost to BYU at Home at Aloha Stadium on The Big Island as small 3-point Home Underdogs, making the Golden Rainbows a pathetic 0-9-1 ATS since that 2-0 ATS start and a cash machine for this paying enough attention. This is why we research and write and proof and publish this, for you the reader, so Mele Kalikimaka and send some sugar cane, brah.

QB Dru Brown, RB Diocemy St. Juste and Hawai’i (-8.4 ppg vs ATS) was outscored 68-20 its L2 games, haven’t played an Over since Oct. 14th (SJS) and will not be going to any Bowl games unless attending the Hawai’i Bowl (Dec. 24) at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu in street clothes. The Rainbow Warriors haven’t beaten an FBS team ATS in Honolulu since Week 5 of last Regular Season (Nevada) and Hawai’i ends the season on a 4-15-1 ATS in their L20 games and this team has been the worst the L3 seasons ATS going a costly 10-27-1 ATS (27.0%). Onward and upward? No. We shall still fade. It is our duty.

2—UTEP 2-9-1 ATS (Last Week: #3)

Conference USA West Division member UTEP (0-12 SU, 2-9-1 ATS) was the only FBS team without a SU Win, so if you’d all send them a Cyber-hug... Week 13 play last Saturday, the Miners lost 28-7 at UAB, covering ATS as big 21½-and 22- point Road Underdogs in most shops but garnering a Push at +21, ending a 5-game ATS Losing skid. The Miners are now 14-21-1 ATS since 2015 and lost by 21, 24, 17, 35, 24, 17, 27, 35 and 21 points their L9 games. Fifth-year Head Coach Sean Kugler (23-34-2 ATS) and UTEP (-4.8 ppg vs ATS) finished the Regular Season with the 117th ranked Scoring Defense (36.8 ppg) in FBS and after going a combined 12-13 SU from 2014 to 2015, the Miners have now now gone a combined 4-19 SU the L2 woeful seasons down in El Paso. And no team in College Football scored less Points this season than the Miners (141), who ended up averaging a paltry 11.8 ppg. Remember to fade UTP from jump in 2018.

3—Florida State 2-8-1 ATS (Last Week: #2)

Florida State (5-6 SU, 2-8-1 ATS) is really lucky that it rescheduled this Week 14 makeup Non-Conference game against UL Monroe from Doak Campbell Stadium (Grass) in Tallahassee on Saturday (12 pm ET/9 am PT) in a game which sees the ACC Conference’s Seminoles as massive 26½- to 27-point Home Favorites against the Sun Belt Conference’s Warhawks and a chance for the hosts to climb all the way back to 6-6 (SU) and be Bowl-bound, baby. Alliteration may cause Dizziness, Hives and Erections that last for 7 hours, so be careful out there. And remember we’re at war.

The FSU-ULM game was originally scheduled for Week 2, but Hurricane Irma came on in and blew this baby up-calendar, forcing this rescheduling. And the Seminoles will no doubt emerge victorious, and are massive -5,000 Favorites over ULM in the Moneyline marketplace and should be up around 35-7 at Halftime according to my trusty cat, Louis Smudge. Florida beat Florida, 38-32 in The Sunshine showdown on Saturday in Week 13 action for its 2nd straight ATS cover Florida State, which lost starting QB Deondre Francois to an Injury in its opener against then-ranked #1 Alabama, earned it first ATS Win against FCS side Delaware State laying 51½ points, in a 77-6 Home victory over the Hornets in Tallahassee in Week 12.

4—Kentucky 3-9-0 ATS (Last Week: Not ranked)

SEC side Kentucky (7-5 SU, 3-9 ATS) has played ratty enough to earn a return to our list and after getting pounded by Bluegrass State rivals Louisville, 44-17 on Saturday in Week 13 action and the Regular Season finale for both schools in their first under in the L5 contests. And the #4 Rat spot seems perfect for these Cats who were 10-point Home Underdogs against their rivals (67½), the Cardinals and Lamar Jackson, and Kentucky is now 1-7 ATS in its L8 games overall and went a profit-sucking, mind-funking, space-trucking 1-6 ATS at Home in Lexington. Blech.

After going 7-6 SU and 7-5 ATS in 2015 in probably the strongest conference in FBS and ending a string of many losing seasons at Commonwealth Stadium, 5th-year Head Coach Mark Stoops (22-35 ATS) hit a speed bump in 2017 and when you look at the wildcats 2017 Regular Season schedule, even for the SEC, it seemed like one where another above-.500 mark was possible, with teams like Southern Miss, Eastern Kentucky, Eastern Michigan and down Florida and Tennessee teams on the slate. And it was. But compared to that great equalizer in the sky—the Point Spread—the Cats were way overvalued by linemakers and anyone fading Kentucky from Week 5 on looks wise right now and is probably eating a T-bone as they read this.

5—Oregon State 3-9-0 ATS (Last Week: Not ranked)

How large-enough mice East Carolina, BYU and San José State escaped this list is totally beyond my comprehension at this point in the Nerf Space-Time Continuum, but then again, they often play each other so that’s at least one ATS Win for somebody, right Saint Nicholas? Who knows. My mind has grown fuzz by Monday nights. And with similar 3-9 ATS Records, MAC sides Bowling Green, Miami Ohio and SEC let-downs Tennessee all could claim the #5 spot, but Pac-12 can of creamed corn Oregon State nabs the spot by virtue of how easily teams seem to score on them.

And with points always the biggest barometer of teams in College Football betting, giving it up quickly is a good thing if you’re betting against a team and a horrible thing if you’re backing a team. In Week 12 in their Civil War rivalry at Oregon, the Beavers allowed 52 points in the first 30 minutes of play to the Ducks (ORE 52 OSU 7 Halftime) en route to an ugly 69-10 pasting in Eugene as 25- to 26-point Road Underdogs (62). After losing the first 5 games ATS this season, 3rd-year Head Coach Gary Andersen (12-10 ATS) and the ratty Beavers reeled off 3 straight Wins ATS before ending the Regular Season on a 4-game ATS Losing Streak. Last season, Oregon State went a profitable 9-2 ATS, so the Beavers have gone from a Cat to a Rat as quickly as Pluto went from a planet to a dwarf planet. Hey, Life comes at us all extremely warp-speed fast these days. One you’re day an esteemed planet, the next day just a cold little distant rock with no Butterflies, Coral or Tigers. Appreciate.

Free College Football Pick: Florida State -26½Best Line Offered: at BookMaker

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