College Basketball Betting: Overrated Teams
by Trevor Whenham - 1/15/2015
With so many teams in college basketball, people often rely on reputation and hype to make decisions about which teams to bet on. That can lead to situations in which teams are performing on the scoreboard in a way that gains a lot of attention but which isn't being matched by their performance at the betting window. From a betting perspective, then, these teams are highly overrated - and that can get expensive if you get sucked in by their reputations. Here is a look at five of the most overrated betting teams in college basketball so far this year:
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Louisville Cardinals: The Cardinals are off to a strong 15-2 start, and their losses - to Kentucky and by a single point at North Carolina - are far from embarrassing. With Rick Pitino in charge this team always gets attention, and this year they have mostly warranted that attention. Unless you have been betting on them. At a dismal 4-10-2 ATS, this team has been an absolute disaster for bettors. They are an ugly 1-7-1 ATS in their last nine games and are 1-8-2 ATS at home where they should shine. This is a team that obviously does enough to win most games but is just not good enough to meet the high expectations that the public has for them. Until they start winning with more authority - or the public starts to sour on them - this is a team to stay away from.
VCU Rams: VCU came into the season with a whole lot of hype, and at 14-3 and ranked 17th they have mostly lived up to it. They are just 7-9 ATS, though. While that is much better than Louisville has been to bettors, it's still far from profitable. You certainly can't accuse the Rams of scheduling soft. They have already played teams like Villanova, Virginia, Northern Iowa, Davidson, Oregon and Tennessee. Impressive. The problem for bettors is that they only covered the spread against the last two in that list even though they went 4-2 straight up. The schedule is more manageable going forward, so perhaps the team will be more effective for bettors in the second half.
Duke Blue Devils: Duke has disappointed mightily in their last two games with mystifying losses to Miami and N.C. State. Even before that, though, this team had been disappointing to bettors. They are 8-8 ATS on the season, but after a decent start they have dipped to 2-6 ATS in the last eight. They have been heavily favored in most of the games over that stretch but have not been doing enough to meet the expectations and the hype - the risks of being a very public team. They play at Louisville on Saturday in an epic showdown, so one of the betting duds on this list will be able to turn things around at least slightly in that contest.
Arizona Wildcats: At 14-2 the Wildcats are about where you would expect them to be at this time of year - though their loss to UNLV wasn't ideal and dropping their last game to Oregon State was just a disaster. Despite the strong record, though, this team has not been as good for bettors as they should be - they are just 8-8 ATS. Unlike Duke, though, this team is actually performing much better against the spread lately than they were early on - aside from the collapse against the Beavers, of course. They were just 2-4 ATS out of the gate and seemed to be on the path to a rough betting season, but they went 6-3 ATS in their next nine before the Oregon State game.
Maryland Terrapins: The Terps are seemingly very comfortable in the Big Ten as they have leapt off to a very strong, and somewhat surprising, 16-2 start. They are a perfectly bland 7-7-1 ATS on the year, though, and have been unable all year to get any momentum going when it comes to betting success. The concern here is that they have yet to play the toughest stretch of their schedule. Their toughest conference games have been against Michigan State, Minnesota and Illinois - all teams with major flaws that are stopping them from achieving their potential. Outside of Virginia, they have not played a particularly challenging nonconference schedule, either. Fittingly, they were just 2-2 ATS in those games, so it is tough to get too excited about Maryland's betting prospects the rest of the way this year.
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