NCAA Hoops Betting: Under the Radar
by Christopher G. Shepard - 1/21/2010
While public teams like Syracuse 18-1 SU (+870 ATS) and Villanova 17-1 SU (+860 ATS) are among the best cashing teams in NCAA basketball, in my opinion it is the non-public teams with losing records that bring more value for your sports investment V-Chips and this week I have uncovered a few such teams that meet this criteria.
Wyoming(8-11 SU, 9-4 ATS, +460) The Cowboys are currently mired in a three-game losing streak and have not won since hosting San Diego State. Despite their losing ways Wyoming has covered their last five contests and the ‘under’ is on a three-game streak. This year the Cowboys are money in the ‘underdog’ spot. In the last five games the Cowboys have been six- to 23-point underdogs. Seven of Wyoming’s last nine covers have come as underdogs.
The bad news for the Cowboys is they lost leading scorer Afam Muojeke to a knee injury eight minutes into last night’s game against BYU. In the second half of last night’s game the Cowboys were within five but BYU ripped off a 14-1 points run and put away the game for good. Wyoming has covered on the strength of their nation-leading free throw shooting but was only 14-24 from the charity stripe against BYU. The Cowboys now have a week off before facing Utah at Arena Auditorium.
Head Coach Heath Schroyer’s Cowboys fit the profile of an under-the-radar team; a sub-.500 record playing in a non-public conference and they rarely have nationally televised games. Casual punters will look at the Cowboys 1-4 Mountain West Conference record and assume playing against Wyoming is a lock, but watch out when the Cowboys are listed as underdogs since they’ve had tendency to punch them doggies.
Marshall (15-3 SU, 9-3 ATS +570) Head Coach Donnie Jones Thundering Herd will have to rebound quickly from an eight-point loss to in-state rival West Virginia last night as they will face a few more Conference USA powerhouses before their season is over. The Thundering Herd has also covered six of their last seven listed games.
If Marshall hopes to continue its covering ways the team will need to keep riding the substantial shoulders of 7-foot tall freshman forward Hassan Whiteside. Whiteside continues to get better and has even attracted the attention of NBA scouts with his 12.9 points per game and 9.2 rebounds per game.
If you haven’t noticed, the Thundering Herd is 4-0 in conference play and is off to their best season since 1971-72 when they finished No. 12 in the final AP Poll. Marshall will have to play their best when they host UAB on Saturday and then they’ll face Memphis and then Tulsa and Houston on the road.
Oregon State (8-9 SU, 9-3 ATS +570) The Beavers had a five-game ATS covering streak broken hosting Arizona State and losing 57-66 as five-point underdogs. Head Coach Craig Robinson’s team is another team I love as an under-the-radar team. Like Wyoming they have a losing record and like Wyoming have covered nine games against the spread.
Keep in mind that two years ago the Beavers went 0-18 in the Pac-10. Last season, under first-year coach Robinson, they went 18-18 overall and won the College Basketball Invitational. This year the Beavers are 2-3 in conference play. Having the Beavers top four scorers back and nearly 86 percent of their rebounding hasn’t translated into wins for Robinson but it has helped Oregon State cover the spread. The Beavers will end January with two road games at Stanford and then California.
When capping the Beavers this year keep an eye out on turnovers. In Oregon State’s win against Arizona they committed only eight turnovers but in their loss to Arizona State that number doubled to 16. What is a matter of slight concern is the poor play of senior guard Seth Tarver who has scored in single digits in four of the last six games.
Last week I looked at Cornell, Louisiana Tech, and Weber State. In their sole game since my last column Cornell beat Columbia 74-53. Big Red had no problem covering as a 19-point home ‘chalk.’ The win brought Cornell to 15-3 on the season and 10-3 ATS at +670 on the season. As I predicted Weber State had all they could handle at Idaho State and needed overtime to win but the two-point victory fell short of covering four points as road favorites.
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