NCAA Hoops Betting: Under the Radar
by Christopher G. Shepard - 2/12/2010
As the college hoops season makes its push toward March Madness savvy gamblers can still find value in the teams that have yet to capture the public’s imagination. This week I have found three more schools to put on your ‘strong buy’ list when investing in the final weeks of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Exchange.
Drake (11-15 SU, 13-7-1 ATS, +530) The Bulldogs may have lost their last three games in a row, and four of their last five, but Coach Mark Phelps has gone 2-1 ATS in that same time span. Meanwhile, in their home loss on Wednesday to Missouri Valley Conference leader and 19th-ranked Northern Iowa, the Bulldogs only went to the charity stripe three times and made one free throw. Not a good sign for a team that averages more than 60 percent from the stripe. The good news for Drake is that they are done with Northern Iowa for the season. Northern Iowa has now broken two of the Bulldogs’ ATS win streaks. On Jan. 27 Drake lost to Northern Iowa, which cost them a six-game ATS win streak.
This Saturday I have what could be termed by investors as my Game of the Year play on Drake. The Bulldogs travel to Indiana State on Saturday and then host Southern Illinois on Tuesday. However, Drake has a good chance for avenging for the 20-point drubbing they took at the hands of Indiana State in January. The Bulldogs will face a hobbled Sycamores team on Saturday since Indiana State’s two leading scorers, Harry Marshall and Dwayne Lathan, are both out with injuries. Combined with being mired in a three-game losing streak you should see Drake actually giving points in this game, or the number ranging around a ‘pick‘em’. Whatever the case you should consider backing the Bulldogs in this spot on Saturday.
Valparaiso (13-14 SU, 14-8-1 ATS, +520) Head Coach Homer Drew’s Crusaders hit a speed bump en route to rising in the ranks of the Horizon League. Valpo had won seven of nine games SU entering this week, but has since dropped their last two contests SU and ATS. The Crusaders had a seven-game ATS winning streak broken versus Illinois–Chicago, 83-82, as 10.5-point home ‘chalk.’ Three days later Valpo traveled to Cleveland State and lost, 80-71, as +7.5 road dogs. It was the second consecutive game that the Crusaders have not covered. They conclude their brutal schedule of three-games in five days stretch at Youngstown State on Saturday so it has been a busy week.
However, despite their last two losses the Crusaders are still one of the best three-point shooting teams in the Horizon. The Crusaders have buried at least 10 three-pointers in six games and have hit at least 45 percent of their three-point shots in eight games this season. Gamblers should note that in their last seven outings the Crusaders games have been decided by single digits. If you are thinking of investing in Valpo this Saturday the Crusaders are 8-2-1 ATS after a SU loss and 4-0-1 after an ATS loss.
South Florida (15-8 SU, 15-6-1 ATS, +840) I think it is safe to say that if you are Stan Heath’s Bulls and you beat Pittsburg at home and Georgetown on the road you are no longer flying under the radar on the East Coast. However, on a national scale the Bulls may not have resonated due a 5-6 Big East Conference record. The Bulls have not cracked the Top 25 yet despite winning five of their last seven games SU. South Florida, more importantly has gone 7-0 ATS over the same time period.
The Bulls have done it behind the hot shooting of junior guard Dominique Jones, who has been unstoppable until the Notre Dame game when the Bulls lost, 65-62, as 7.5-point road ‘dogs. Against Pitt and Georgetown Jones was a monster, averaging close to 30-points per game. Notre Dame’s lock down defense limited Jones to 3-17 shooting from the field, but he turned it on with eight assists and missed the three at the buzzer to send the game into overtime.
Despite the ATS tear I still like South Florida as team to back for the remainder of the season. They have three of their next five games at home and in that span they’ll need to beat Cincinnati (and they’ll also travel to Marquette on Saturday and Villanova in 10 days). I think college hoops investors will find they’ll get a good number in both the Villanova and Cincinnati game so circle those now.
Last week I took a Northern approach and examined Northwestern, North Texas and Northeastern. As I figured Northwestern abused Indiana with strong inside play, winning 78-61 and easily covering the number at home as a 9.5-point ‘chalk.’ The Wildcats ended up losing to Iowa, 65-78, as a 3.5-point road favorite. Meanwhile, Northeastern cruised by Georgia State at home to the tune of 62-53 but will have a stiff challenge against William and Mary this Saturday. North Texas continued its winning and covering ways as Mean Green destroyed New Orleans, 68-46, and is only one game in the loss column from tying Arkansas State for first in the West Division of the Sun Belt Conference. This Saturday the Mean Green will host Denver, which should bring another ducat to the ATS win column for North Texas.
Most Recent College Basketball Handicapping
- College Basketball National Championship Odds and Expert Analysis and Predictions
- 2021 ACC Tournament Predictions and Betting Odds
- Weekend College Basketball Primer
- 2021 NCAA Tournament Projections and Predictions
- Non Conference College Basketball Betting Loophole
- 2020 Big Ten Basketball Predictions
- 2020 ACC Basketball Predictions
- 2020 Big East Basketball Predictions
- 2020 Big 12 Basketball Predictions
- Doc's Sports 49th year 3 for 1 anniversary college basketball picks special offer