College Basketball Betting: Hot or Not Handicapping Report
by Dave Schwab - 1/30/2012
The NCAA men’s basketball season closes out the month of January tonight. And while the top teams in the country continue to polish up their resumes for this year’s NCAA Tournament in March, there have been a few other teams to emerge as potential gate-crashers for the big dance through their performance on the court so far.
The real measure of success for this ‘Hot and Not’ list is not necessarily a team’s overall record straight-up, but rather how it has done where it counts the most; against the spread. Here is a look at this week’s hot and not teams in men’s college basketball through this past weekend’s games.
Who is Hot
No.4 Ohio State currently holds the top spot in the Big Ten standings, but the No.10 Michigan State Spartans hold the top spot on this week’s list with a SU record of 16-4 and a 12-6 record ATS. The Spartans knocked-off Minnesota, 68-52, last Thursday as nine-point home favorites to cover for the sixth time in their last eight games. They are now 7-3 ATS at home this season with the total going ‘over’ in six of the 10 games. Next up for Michigan State is a road game against Illinois this Tuesday night.
The Nevada Wolf Pack out of the Western Athletic Conference have opened some eyes this season with an 18-3 SU record overall and a perfect 7-0 SU record in conference play. The reason they caught our eye is a highly profitable 13-4 record ATS that is equally impressive at home at 6-2 or on the road at 7-2. The total has gone 8-9 overall, but it has gone over in five of their eight home games. Nevada’s 65-63 victory over Louisiana Tech this past Saturday as a 6.5-point road favorite was its 15th in-a-row SU. The Wolf Pack host Utah State this Wednesday night.
The Summit League is a mid-major conference that usually flies well under the radar, but this season the South Dakota State Jackrabbits are making some noise with an overall record of 17-6 SU and a healthy 11-3-1 record ATS. Their 74-43 rout of IUPU this past Saturday as 5.5-point road favorites raised their record to 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games. The Jackrabbits are 4-0 ATS at home this season and 7-3-1 ATS on the road. This Thursday night they host Oral Roberts, which is a perfect 12-0 SU in conference play, in a huge showdown between the top two teams in the Summit League.
A few other teams deserving of an honorable mention this week are the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders, who are 20-3 SU this season and 16-5 ATS, and the Atlantic 10’s La Salle Explorers, who are 16-6 SU and 11-4-1 ATS.
Who is Not
The 21-1 and No.1-ranked Kentucky Wildcats are doing their best to work their way off of this list by covering the spread in their past two victories on the road, but their overall body of work at 6-14-1 ATS has made them a major drain on the bankroll this season. The Wildcats have been especially brutal at home with a perfect 14-0 record SU, but an extremely costly 2-10-1 record ATS. The total has stayed ‘under’ in 13 of their 21 games this season and in all five games on the road. Kentucky plays host to Tennessee this Tuesday night. The first time they met this season, the Wildcats had to scrape their way to a 65-62 win as 9.5-point road favorites.
Another top team in the country that has been impressive on the court, but costly ATS, is the No.8-ranked Duke Blue Devils. Saturday’s 83-76 nonconference victory over St. John’s as a 17.5-point home favorite raised Duke’s overall record SU to 18-3, but dropped it to 8-13 ATS. The Blue Devils are 4-7 ATS at home this season and 4-6 ATS on the road and in neutral site games. The total has gone ‘over’ in 14 of the 21 games overall. This Thursday, they go back to work in the ACC with a road game against Virginia Tech.
A few other teams that have played well on the court, but have been consistent money drains this season, are the PAC-12 Oregon Ducks and the No. 24 Connecticut Huskies, out of the Big East. The Ducks are 15-6 SU overall but 7-11 ATS, while the defending national champs are 14-6 SU but 6-10 ATS.
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