College Basketball Betting: Weekly Atlantic 10 Report
by Christopher G. Shepard - 02/11/2009
First place in the Atlantic 10 conference is on the line tonight as Xavier, who had their 11-game winning streak snapped at Duquesne and tumbled from No. 9 to No. 13 in the AP Poll, visits Dayton for the 148th time at 7 p.m. and is part of ESPN's Rivalry Week televised on ESPN Classic.
Dayton (21-3 SU, 8-12 ATS, 7-1 A10), for their part, will also try to get back in the win column as they had their own seven-game win streak halted when they were upset at Charlotte last week. Despite the loss Dayton still remains at the top of the overall standings with 21 wins while Xavier is one game behind with 20 wins. However, the Flyers trail the A-10 in conference wins by one game.
Xavier (20-3 SU, 12-8-1 ATS, 8-1 A10) hit the 20-win plateau for the fourth consecutive year and the 12th time in 13 years. Both teams were obviously looking ahead to this tilt as they both were upset in their last games.
This matchup pits the A-10's money co-leader Xavier as a 3.5-point 'chalk' (tied with Temple), +3.2 units on the season, against Dayton whose -5.3 units on the season are the third worst in conference.
The A10 will feature five more games tonight as Duquesne will try to avoid a letdown at Richmond (-1.5), road warriors St. Bonaventure (7-1 SU and ATS away) at Rhode Island (-14), UMASS (-10) travels to Fordham, La Salle (-2) travels to George Washington and Charlotte will try to make it two wins in a row at Saint Louis (-4).
On Thursday night St. Joes hosts Temple in the battle for Philadelphia. This matchup is also part of ESPN's Rivalry Week as Owls' senior guard Dionte Christmas will try to become the conferences first ever three-time scoring champion. Fans of the A-10 will have a lot of action-packed games and will be able to watch a few of them on the World-Wide Leader. I expect a lot of public money to pour in on the wrong side of both televised tilts.
Undervalued ATS Team
George Washington (7-13 SU, 7-7-1 ATS, 1-7 A10) has been a disappointing team this season to say the least. However, despite the Colonials poor start, and an 11-game SU losing streak, they have seemed to find a way to cover the points in five of their last seven games with the other two games a push and a loss. While GW covered the 13 points at home against Fordham last week, much more impressive was the way the played at St. Joe's, easily covering as 11.5-point 'dogs. This week GW travels to LaSalle and then hosts Charlotte. While I see the Colonials going 1-1 over these two games I think it is realistic that they'll be able to cover the points in both of their matchups.
Overvalued ATS Teams
Despite Fordham's (3-17 SU, 4-14 ATS, 1-7 A10) freshman guard Jio Fontan scoring a game-high 22-points, the Rams' lost to GW last week. Not a huge surprise when you look at the league's top money-burner. Fordham is awful on the road, (1-8 SU, 3-8 ATS) and awful at home, (2-9, 1-9 ATS). It cannot be stressed enough that you should stay away from betting on the Rams this season. If there is a bright side, and it's dim, then it's that the Rams are 3-0 ATS on the road as DD underdogs. Things won't get any easier for the Rams as they host UMASS and then travel to Xavier on Saturday.
ATS Surprise of the Week
The Richmond Spiders (11-12 SU, 9-7 ATS, 3-5 A10) will host third place Duquesne Dukes (15-7 SU, 9-7 ATS, 6-3 A10) tonight at 7 p.m. The Dukes are fresh off their upset of Xavier -- then ranked No. 9 -- and face a Spiders team that is mired in a four-game losing streak -- 1-3 over that same time period -- and needs to win big having fallen one-game below .500 for the first time this season. The Spiders have fallen from one of the league's best covering teams to a mediocre squad ATS. Even with four straight losses the Spiders have earned their faithful +1.3 units on all listed games this season.
Duquesne has also earned their backers +1.3 units on the season and will have to avoid a letdown tonight and then go on to play Temple in four days. This is a sandwich game for the Dukes who might get caught between patting themselves on the back for upsetting Xavier and looking ahead to Temple this weekend. That is why I like the Spiders to surprise the Dukes and to cover the bucket spread at home.