College Basketball Handicapping: Good Teams that are Bad ATS
by Indian Cowboy - 3/3/2013
Public bettors love the glamour teams. Sharp bettors love to look for spots to bet against the glamour teams. Betting against the current No. 1 team this season in certain spots could have created a windfall of betting profit. The public loves to get on teams that are ranked highly and teams with good records. But the sports bookies always add points to the lines for these teams, and that creates some great opportunities to find value. Here on Sunday we will look at some teams that have been good on the court but not so great at the betting window.
The nation’s new top-ranked team is one that is not new to the Top 25. Mark Few’s ‘Zags have been a mainstay in college basketball for the past decade or so, but not ever has Spokane’s own reached the summit in the college basketball standings. They are now 29-2 on the season after routing Portland at home on Saturday. Things are all good in the Pacific Northwest for a team that is done will to shed its mid-major role as most casual fans thought this was a nice, little team that did well in March. Not any longer.
But while Gonzaga has surged in the standings, the team’s record against the number hasn’t been as impressive. A 16-11-2 mark for bettors is quite mediocre, actually. Maybe lofty expectations have been set by oddsmakers, particularly in the West Coast Conference, where the Bulldogs have dominated over the years.
And while the team is doing quite well offensively with over 78 point scored per game, the team is just 8-18 on the “over/under,” as league opponents with less offensive firepower have essentially dragged down the point totals when the facing the ‘Zags. Gonzaga has stayed \under the posted total 39 of the past 56 games overall. They are also just 6-4-1 ATS in their past 11 games.
Another skilled West Coast school, the Rebels, could be a tricky out come tourney time. UNLV, like Gonzaga, boasts a favorable overall record (22-7) but has really struggled at the betting window at just 11-17 ATS this season.
Vegas has gone just 5-12 ATS in its past 17 games overall, but a comfortable 17-point victory was a good start to March with the team’s road blowout over Nevada.
U of A couldn’t bounce back and dropped both its Los Angeles games to USC and UCLA this week.
Still ranked inside the Top 15, Arizona’s 23-6 record is a strong one. But, as a trend we are seeing, a highly-ranked team doesn’t necessarily mean a good one betting-wise. The Wildcats are under .500 at 12-15 ATS this season, and notably because of their shakier road form with a 4-7 mark against the number away from home.
Mark Lyons and Solomon Hill lead the way for Arizona, who trails Oregon and the aforementioned Bruins in the Pac-12 standings.
Oklahoma State Cowboys
This was a surprise team to begin the season, and the Pokes seem to be a legit contender for a Top 5 or 6 seed for the upcoming NCAA Tournament. Travis Ford’s squad holds a 22-6 record after playing host and routing Texas in Stillwater.
OSU has gone 7-8 ATS in its 14 home games thus far.
But, surprisingly enough, Oklahoma State has failed to cover each of their past four home games. They did, however, do well to cover the 12-point number against the poor road Longhorns this past weekend.
St. Mary’s Gaels
The Gaels are red hot after coming off a convincing performance in their BracketBusters victory over a very good Creighton team and then holding serve at home against Santa Clara.
St. Mary’s may be in Gonzaga shadow, and have been for quite some time, but few will admit this is a team that can’t play with anyone in the country.
And while the Gaels are a lights-out 16-1 in Moraga, Calif. this season, their 7-3-1 ATS mark on the road has been one to be impressed with. They rank in the Top 25 in points scored (76.4), field goal percentage (48.4) and three-point shooting (38.7).
As a team, this is a dangerous bunch when faced with a one-game matchup to advantage come March Madness.
Saint Mary’s, however, is just 3-8 ATS in their last eleven games at home against the number, and again they showed this form in a narrow game against the Broncos last time out.
Indian Cowboy has one of the most watched YouTube daily videos for a handicapper/oddsmaker on the Internet with over 500,000 Views! Join IC as he seeks to duplicate his January this year where he went 35-24 (+$2600) and produced 6 straight winning months in college basketball last year!
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