College Basketball Betting: Hot or Not handicapping Report
by Dave Schwab - 1/9/2012
After the first few weeks of conference play there have already been some stunning upsets and fantastic finishes in men’s college basketball as each team in Division I continues their push for a spot in this March’s NCAA Tournament. We have also seen a few surprise teams emerge as legitimate contenders for this year’s national title, and a few other high-profile programs take a major step backwards.
Here is a look at this week’s hot and not teams in college basketball betting based primarily on their performance where it counts the most; against the spread.
Who is Hot
The Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders, out of the Sun Belt Conference, have vaulted to the top of our list with 4-1 record against the spread in their last five games to move to a highly profitable 12-3 record ATS overall. They are 15-2 straight-up on the year and 4-0 SU in conference play. The Blue Raiders are averaging 73.9 points a game while shooting 49.5 percent from the floor, which is the 11th-best shooting percentage in the nation. Defensively, they are solid as well, holding their opponents to an average of just 61.1 points a game.
Another mid-major occupies a top spot on this week’s list with the Atlantic 10’s Saint Joseph’s Hawks coming in at 11-5 SU, and a healthy 10-2 ATS. This past Saturday the Hawks were stunned by Charlotte, 57-52, as 8.5-point home favorites, failing to cover for first time in their last nine games with a posted line. Carl Jones leads St. Joe’s in scoring with 18.4 points a game, but Langston Galloway has also been a force with 15.5 points a game while shooting 51.7 percent from the field. As a team, the Hawks are shooting 48.2 percent from the floor and averaging 73.1 points a game.
It’s a clean-sweep for the mid-majors at the top of this week’s list with the Nevada Wolf Pack, out of the Western Athletic Conference, boasting a profitable 10-2 record ATS to go along with a 12-3 record SU. They knocked off Utah State, 78-71, this past Saturday as five-point road underdogs to extend their current winning streak to nine games both SU and ATS. The Wolf Pack were underdogs in five of the nine games and the total has gone ‘over’ in five of their last eight games.
This week’s honorable mentions go out to the Saint Louis Billikens, also from the Atlantic 10, and the Big East’s Seton Hall Pirates. The Billikens are currently 13-3 SU and 9-3 ATS, while the Pirates knocked-off Connecticut and Providence last week to move to 14-2 SU and 9-3 ATS on the year.
Who is Not
The Kentucky Wildcats may be the No.2-ranked team in the nation with a sterling 15-1 SU record overall, but they have been extremely hard on the bankroll this season with a 3-11-1 record ATS. This past Saturday, the Wildcats rolled over South Carolina, 79-64, in their SEC opener, but could not cover as 21-point home favorites. They have now failed to cover the spread in their last 12 games dating all the way back to Nov.20. Part of the problem is that Kentucky has been a double-digit favorite in 10 of those games and a favorite of 20 or more points in eight of them.
The Butler Bulldogs, out of the Horizon League, might have been the darlings of the last two NCAA Tournaments, but this season they have simply been a drain on the wallet with a 9-8 SU record overall and a dismal 2-10-2 record ATS. They are starting to show some signs of life on the court with a 4-1 SU record in their last five games, but stay away from wagering on the Bulldogs just yet as they are 1-3-1 ATS in the same five-game span. Butler has been equally as costly no matter where it plays with a 0-5-1 ATS record at home and a 1-5-1 ATS record on the road.
A few dishonorable mentions go to the Pac-12’s Oregon Ducks and the Big East’s Pittsburgh Panthers. Both teams are 11-5 SU overall, but the Ducks are 4-9 ATS and the Panthers are 3-8 ATS.
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