Best and Worst Against the College Basketball Odds
by Trevor Whenham - 2/10/2011
We’re getting into the stretch drive of the college basketball season. That means that fans of the sport are getting more and more excited about the postseason with every passing day. It also means that teams have played enough games that we now have a very good sense of which teams are kind to bettors, and which ones burn betting money recklessly. Here’s a look at the studs and duds against the college basketball odds to this point:
George Mason (18-5 ATS) - Maybe the Patriots are poised for another impressive tournament run. What stands out when you look at this team is how remarkably efficient they are. No mid-major has a bigger gap between the points they score per possession and the points they allow per possession. Teams that are this efficient often do very well in March. We certainly know they have the coaching to succeed when it matters.
Texas (15-4 ATS) - It took some time for the Longhorns to get rolling this year, but they are in fine form now. They have won their last nine games, and have covered the spread in all but one of them. The Big 12 is reasonably tough this year, too, so Texas is doing very well against strong competition. The rise of this team is due more than anything to the great play from youngsters Cory Joseph and Tristan Thompson. As a Canadian, I can’t help but point out that both guys are from the Great White North as well.
Duquesne (12-3-1 ATS) - There was a lot of buzz surrounding this team heading into the season, and for the most part they have justified it. Nonconference play was not as consistent as would have been ideal, but they have been strong in the Atlantic 10 and are looking very much like a March Madness contender.
Oakland (16-8-1 ATS) - The Golden Grizzlies are coming off a very strong tournament appearance last year, and they look to be headed right back for another try this year. The problem this team has, though, is that they can let setbacks get them down -- they failed to cover four in a row in December, and two straight at the end of January. They will need to show more resiliency in the postseason.
Furman (13-6 ATS) - Unlike the other teams on this list, the Paladins are going to need a good conference tournament run to get out of the Southern Conference and make the tournament. They aren’t as flashy as other teams here, but they sure take care of business for bettors.
Central Michigan (4-16-2 ATS) - the Chippewas have a very nice player in freshman Trey Zeigler -- the coach’s son. Unfortunately, they have little else going for them right now. The West Division of the MAC is really lousy this year, and still this team can’t get anything going. They have covered the spread just once since Dec. 11.
San Diego (5-16 ATS) - There is no mystery why the Toreros are here -- they are a crappy team. They are the worst team in the West Coast Conference, and face an uphill battle against most opponents. Things have improved slightly recently, though -- they are 3-2 ATS in their last five.
Michigan State (6-16 ATS) - The biggest name on this list of losers is perhaps also the biggest disappointment in the country. They started the season ranked No. 2 in the nation, but they now face an uphill battle just to make the tournament. Things have been particularly brutal recently -- they haven’t covered the spread in their last nine, and have dropped six of nine of those games.
Western Illinois (3-13 ATS) - The Leathernecks may have the best name in Division I, but they are a lousy team right now. They have just one win and one cover in their last 10 games, and look like a team that is desperate for this nightmare to end.
Southern Illinois (7-15-1 ATS) - Illinois is not the best state for bettors right now. The Salukis have done some damage in the tournament in the past, but right now they just aren’t very good. They are well under .500 on the season, and they aren’t gaining any steam -- they 1-5 ATS in their last six.
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