College Basketball Betting: Hot or Not handicapping Report
by Dave Schwab - 12/5/2011
The calendar has turned the page to December for the 2011-12 men’s college basketball season as most teams continue to play out the nonconference portion of their college basketball schedule over the next few weeks.
While it remains far too early to make any hard and fast conclusions about any of the teams, we have seen a few get off to fast and profitable start, while others have just been huge drains on the wallet so far.
Here is a look at this week’s hot and not teams in college basketball in terms of not only their overall record straight-up, but also their performance where it counts the most; against the spread.
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Who is Hot
The hottest team in Division I men’s basketball through the first month of games has been the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders out of the Sun Belt Conference. After this past Sunday’s 77-53 victory over Akron as six-point home favorites, they are 8-1 SU and a perfect 8-0 ATS. Their only setback so far was an 87-84 double-overtime loss to Belmont on Nov. 20, but the Blue Raiders still covered as six-point underdogs on the college basketball odds. They are averaging 80.2 points a game led by LaRon Dandy’s team-high 14.6 points a game. The team as a whole is ranked first in the nation in field goal percentage as they are shooting an impressive 53.7 percent from the floor. This week’s games include a date with UAB on Wednesday and Tennessee-Martin on Saturday, which are a combined 3-13 SU and 3-10 ATS. Middle Tennessee has also been a solid play on the total line with five of its seven games with posted lines going ‘over’ the total.
The Georgetown Hoyas, from the Big East, made their debut on the AP’s Top 25 this week at No.18, but they are much higher on our list with a 7-1 SU record and a perfect 5-0 record ATS. This past week they knocked-off No. 16 Alabama 57-55 as seven-point road underdogs. The Hoyas are averaging 79.1 points a game while holding their opponents to 59 points. They are hitting just less than 50 percent of their shots from the floor and just under 40 percent from three-point range. Jason Clark and Hollis Thompson are combining for 31.8 points and 9.1 rebounds a game. Thompson is shooting 56.8 percent from the floor and an impressive 58.8 percent from beyond the arc. Georgetown hosts 2-5 Howard this upcoming Saturday afternoon, but it is doubtful there will be a line posted for this game.
A couple of other hot teams to keep an eye on are the Saint Joseph’s Hawks out of the Atlantic 10 and the Stanford Cardinal from the Pac-12. The Hawks are 5-3 SU, but a profitable 6-1 ATS. This week they play host to Boston University on Wednesday and No.19 Creighton on Saturday afternoon. St. Joe’s could be a very attractive home underdog in the matchup with the undefeated Bluejays.
The Cardinal are off to an 8-1 start SU and are also 6-1 ATS. They came very close to knocking off No. 3 Syracuse on Nov.25 in 69-63 loss as 8.5-point underdogs, and they just beat North Carolina State, 76-72, as nine-point home favorites. Stanford’s next game is not until Dec. 17 against San Diego.
Who is Not
The Butler Bulldogs have stumbled out of the gate at 4-4 SU, but have been a complete drain on the bankroll at 0-5 ATS. As they try and adjust to life without a good portion of the talent that took this team to back-to-back national title games, it could be a great time to keep betting against them with No. 8 Xavier on the schedule for Wednesday at home and a road game against Ball State this upcoming Saturday. Butler, from the Horizon League, is ranked near the bottom of Division I in shooting percentage as they are hitting just better than 40 percent of its shots from the field. The Bulldogs are also ranked in the bottom half of teams in terms of points (67.5) and rebounds (35.5) a game.
Another financial drain has been the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, out of the Big East. They too are 4-4 SU, but have yet to cover a spread in five games with posted lines. They have actually been favored in their last three games but lost them all straight-up. Rutgers plays host to Princeton on Wednesday and should be opened as a favorite at home. Given that the Scarlet Knights are ranked 186th in the nation in scoring and shooting just 44 percent from the floor, you might want to side with the Tigers in this matchup.
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