College Basketball Betting: Weekly Atlantic 10 Report
by Christopher G. Shepard - 12/02/2008
Dayton upset No. 15 Marquette, and with Xavier, remains undefeated in non-conference play. However, last week the Atlantic 10 as a conference went a woeful 2-14-2 against the spread. The conference managed to win only five games. Charlotte led the bankroll burners at 0-2 SU and ATS over the same time period as they extended their ATS loss streak to three games and a conference worst 2-5 record ATS.
Obviously, the A-10 was the conference to play against last week. What is a huge surprise is Temple losing by double-digits on the road to Buffalo as a 4.5-point favorite. This season A-10 schools will participate in 13 marquee in-season tournaments and at least 37 non-conference games against teams that advanced to last year's NCAA Tournament. Temple will play five games against these teams, the most in the A-10.
Last year the A-10 notched a 130-73 (.640) record against non-conference opponents. This was good enough for their fourth highest winning percentage in A-10 Conference history. The outlook is bleak for A-10 teams to come close to duplicating last year's out-of-conference excellence.
If there are a any trends early in this season gamblers should be aware of they should certainly look at how the A-10 has done ATS and SU against ranked opponents. Currently A-10 teams have played 10 games against ranked opponents going 2-8 SU and ATS. Both covers came from the A-10 undefeated as Xavier beat No. 13 Memphis, 63-58, to cover and Dayton blew out No. 15 Marquette, 89-75, for the only other cover. Essentially, if an A-10 team other than Dayton or Xavier goes against a ranked opponent play on the ranked opponent.
Another trend I have spotted relates to in-game betting on George Washington. Keep in mind that the instances that you will be able to get an in-game line on GW will be few, but when you do this is a trend you should hammer. In their 70-64 win over UMBC (no line listed), under HC Karl Hobbs the Colonials improved to 103-5 in the last five years when leading after five minutes in the second half.
Overvalued ATS Teams
The Temple Owls (3-2 SU, 3-1 ATS) lead the list of over-valued teams this week (with an injury caveat). As it turns out sophomore forward Lavoy Allen, out with a thumb injury, means more to the Owls than at first look. Dionte Christmas played well, as usual, in the Buffalo loss, posting 25 points on 10-of-17 shooting from the field. They'll be playing Miami of Ohio and Penn State before two tough matches against Tennessee and Kansas. Monitor the progress of Allen, but until he comes back I place Temple as an overvalued team this week. I am not sure if Charlotte (1-6 SU, 2-5 ATS) qualifies as undervalued anymore but even getting points they haven't come close to covering. The 49ers' road doesn't get any easier with two tough road trips to Southern Illinois and Mississippi State. I am also going to stick Richmond (4-2 SU, 2-2 ATS) into this category as they have to play at ODU and then come back home for a tougher-than-advertised Delaware State program. The 'Cuse curse cover hangover is still lingering which would explain the -3.5 points against Bradley in a SU, 80-66, loss.
Undervalued ATS Team
The Rhode Island (5-2 SU, 3-2 ATS) cover was one of the few bright spots for A-10 teams last week. The Rams beat Penn State, 77-72, as a one-point 'chalk' last Friday. The Rams can beat teams many different ways and are powered by Jimmy Barron, who scored 20 points on 4-of-6 shooting behind the arc. Behind the charity stripe they made 18-of-22 shots and as a team made only nine turnovers in that game. Granted, RI did not cover the +8.5 points in the finals of the Hoop Group Challenge against No. 20 Villanova and this loss will keep the Rams as an under-valued team despite losing against a ranked team. I look to the Rams to generate a good price and to have SU and ATS success this week on the road against Northeastern and Providence.
ATS Surprise of the Week
Cross-town rivals George Washington (3-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) and Maryland (4-2 SU, 2-2 ATS) will face-off on Dec. 7 in the 14th annual BB&T Classic at the Verizon Center. This event has earned more than $7 million over the last 13 years for the National Children's Charities Foundation of Washington D.C.
In short, the Colonials have been covering monsters at the BB&T Classic. While the Colonial's program is down compared to recent years, GW sports a 2-2 SU and a remarkable 4-0 ATS in their past four games against Maryland in this spot. In 2000 GW lost, 63-71, in OT but covered as an 11.5-point dog; in 2002 they lost 82-93 but covered getting 13.5 points; in 2004 the Colonials won outright 101-92 as 6-point dogs and won again in 2005 78-70 as a 2.5-point puppy. In both 2004 and 2005 GW won the BB&T tournament outright. The under has cashed in Maryland's last four listed games.
The A-10 is 2-5 against the ACC SU this year but could as easily be 4-1 were it not for two end game collapses. If GW can avoid getting down early like they did against, UMBC-they were down nine points in the first half--they have a good chance to cover what is likely to be a double-digit spread; I see this as a low scoring affair. Rob Diggs averages 2.75 blocks per game and posted 14 rebounds in the UMBC game and Noel Whitmore came off the bench and nailed four treys while leading the team in scoring with 14 points-this is why I like the Colonials as my surprise cover of the week.