College Basketball Betting: Weekly Atlantic 10 Report
by Christopher G. Shepard - 12/16/2008
Xavier, UMASS, and Temple led the Atlantic 10 in a banner week for sports investors as A-10 teams went 12-2 against the number and 13-6 SU with UMASS winning outright at No. 23 Kansas and Temple upsetting No. 8 Tennessee. Xavier, UMASS and Temple combined for a 5-0 ATS and SU record last week.
UMASS and Temple represented the A-10 well by beating ranked opponents on an afternoon doubleheader last Saturday. The Owls win was their first win over a Top 10 team since the 2006 A-10 Championship against No. 6 George Washington. UMASS never trailed at defending national champion Kansas. This was UMASS' first win over a ranked opponent outside Massachusetts since 1996. A-10 teams are improving each week and have now recorded four wins over ranked teams in the past three weeks, helping make the A10 a great play as a conference.
Overvalued ATS Teams
The Dayton Flyers (9-1, 2-4 ATS) lost their first contest on the road as seven-point underdogs to Creighton despite snatching 42 rebounds. Granted, the Flyers won against Coppin State, 73-56, in an unlisted game. But Dayton managed to fall behind eight points in the first half but overcame the deficit behind guard Marcus Johnson's 15 points and forward Chris Wright's 13 points and nine rebounds. In the Flyers last five listed games they have alternated between wins and losses ATS with their last cover coming against Akron as a two-point 'chalk,' 50-54. With UNC Greensboro, Marshall and George Mason left on the 2008 schedule I'll be staying away from the Flyers because I believe I won't get a good price until conference battles begin.
Another notable team that made the undervalued list last week and scored a huge SU and ATS win was UMASS Minutemen (3-6 SU, 1-5-1 ATS). But thanks to the big upset win, as they were 17.5 underdogs at Kansas, they may not be a value play for much longer as the team still has a bunch of kinks to work out. However, what really stands out is the road win against a ranked opponent. They'll play host to Hofstra (8-1 SU, 4-2 ATS) on Dec. 20 and the Minutemen could be looking at a letdown of historic proportions or they can build on their success at Kansas. I am betting on the former outcome.
Undervalued ATS Teams
The Richmond Spiders (5-4 SU, 3-1 ATS) have covered both of their last two listed games but enter a tough tilt at home against Wake Forest (9-0, 3-3 ATS) on Dec. 19 and then Bucknell on the 22. The Spiders are catching the Demon Deacons in a good spot and should be significant underdogs in this contest. Wake Forrest has been atrocious from the perimeter and managed to sink 39.1 percent of their shots, their highest percentage in seven games, in a non-covering win against Wright State on Saturday. In their only game as double-digit underdogs the Spiders covered the 16.5 points at Syracuse on Nov. 18.
The Charlotte 49ers (3-6 SU, 4-5 ATS) made this list last week and they did not disappoint backers as they grabbed eight points at Mississippi State and won outright behind senior Lamont Mack's first career double-double, good for 19-points. Four other players had double-digits for the 49ers. However, Charlotte really has improved on defense, holding the Bulldogs to 17-of-55 or 30.9 percent shooting in the game. The 49ers won't have a meaningful game until 1/3/09 when they travel to Maryland.
ATS Surprise of the Week
On Dec. 20 the Rhode Island Rams (8-3 SU, 5-2 ATS), who have been unbeatable at home, will try to continue their 2-0 ATS mark in their last two games as the they travel to Oklahoma State (6-3 SU, 2-4 ATS) behind the sweet stroke of senior guard Jimmy Baron, who will enter this game with 278 career three pointers; this includes 14 games Baron has recorded at least five treys.
Baron is averaging 19.1 points-per-game this season and has had a lot of support from the starting four and off the bench. Senior Kahiem Seawright exploded for 26 points against Central Connecticut State while Baron was good for 22 points. Off of the bench forwards Lamonte Ulmer and Delroy James each tallied 10-points. The Rams are 4-0 ATS on the road this year while Oklahoma State is 1-3 ATS in their last four listed games with the three non-covers coming in Stillwater.
Oklahoma State did not look good at Washington when the Cowboys got blown out, 83-65, as a seven-point underdog. Against Washington you could tell the Cowboys were not functioning as a team and they got owned on the boards. The news that the Cowboys only post presence Ibrahima Thomas might be heading back to Africa with his family won't help improve rebounding. Obi Munueoio stepped up with 32 points and 14 rebounds against Texas A&M Corpus Christi, but the Cowboys struggled in the first half before pulling away for the SU win. HC Ford's first year replacing Sean Sutton is a transition year as the Cowboys learn a new system and so far it seems as if there is a large learning curve and that is why I like the Rams to be my upset cover of the week.