College Basketball Betting: Weekly Atlantic 10 Report
by Christopher G. Shepard - 03/03/2009
With one week left in league play four teams, St. Louis, Duquesne, Temple and St. Joseph's will be looking to win out for a chance at claiming the fourth first-round bye for the Atlantic 10 Conference Championship in Atlantic City from March 11-14.
Last week, favorites in A-10 play notched a 4-8-1 mark against the spread while the under went 6-7 over the same time period. The highlight was when Dayton secured its 24th win of the season by beating Temple on Feb. 28, 60-55, as three-point favorites. This is the most wins for Dayton since the 1953-54 season when the Flyers won 24 games. Sports investors should keep in mind that Dayton has never won 25 games.
Undervalued ATS Team
It's a good thing owls can turn their heads 360 degrees because Duquesne (17-10 SU, 11-10 ATS, 8-6) is breathing right down Temple's neck for fourth place in the A-10. The Dukes trail Temple by one game and need to win both of their games this week to earn fourth place in the division and a first round bye in the conference championship.
Duquesne has a meeting this Wednesday against St. Louis in their home finale and then closes out their season on March 7 playing at Dayton. Duquesne, at 8-6 in the conference, is also tied with two other teams -- St. Louis and St. Josephs -- so both these games this week come at a premium for Coach Ron Everhardt's squad. The Dukes had a two-game win streak SU and ATS broken with a heartbreaking home defeat by Rhode Island on March 1, 71-73. Despite the loss, I think Duquesne will rally this week against a resurgent St. Louis team that has been great at home but has had a hard time on the road. Against Dayton, Duquesne will have a tough task to win, but I see them covering both games ATS and while the Dukes might not earn a first-round bye they will certainly be a dangerous team to face in the A-10 tournament.
Overvalued ATS Teams
The UMASS Minutemen (10-17 SU, 9-14-1 ATS, 5-9 A-10) find themselves almost on the outside looking in with one week left in conference play. Currently UMASS is second to last in the division standings overall and third to last in the conference standings. Dropping their only decision SU and ATS last week didn't help their chances of making it to Atlantic City next week, either. It looks as if the Minutemen are reverting to this year's trend of playing absolutely awful defense. The LaSalle Explorer's (16-12 SU, 11-10 ATS, 7-7 A-10) abused the Minutemen on March 1, 97-88, dropping 52.5 percent of their shots including a 10-20 mark from the three-point line. UMASS allowed Darryl Partin and Rodney Green 30 points each in the game while Vernon Goodridge posted a double-double in the win, registering 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Even if UMASS wins their next two contests against George Washington on March 4 and Rhode Island on March 7 they will still have a losing record in conference play and if they lose to GW this week and St. Bonaventure beats Charlotte there is a slim chance that UMASS will even make the conference tournament next week. With GW playing much better the last few weeks and winning their last two games SU and ATS I see UMASS being overvalued with one week left in the season. Sure, they might eek out a win against GW but RI will be very tough and I don't see the Minutemen having much luck covering the spread in either of their two remaining games.