NCAA Basketball Wagering: Under-the-Radar Teams with Betting Value
by Trevor Whenham - 2/5/2015
A lot of bettors spend too much of their college basketball betting time focusing on the big-name, high-profile teams. While there is obviously value to be found with some of those teams, some of the best return on investment each year comes not from the games that are broadcast on network TV but from the teams that people barely have heard of. Looking well under the radar can help you spot teams that are in excellent betting form, and you usually don't have to worry about a lot of public action messing with the odds and destroying your value, either. Here are six obscure college basketball teams that have been very kind to bettors this year:
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Georgia Southern (11-1-2 ATS): I'll admit to knowing almost nothing about Georgia Southern before sitting down to write this article. Many of you will be the same. There is only one thing that you'll really care to know, though - the Eagles (I didn't even know that - I would have guessed Panthers) are the most profitable team in all of college basketball so far this year. Bets on them have produced just one loser all season. Impressive. Their only somewhat impressive game of the season was their opener at Illinois. They didn't win, but they covered the 23-point spread very easily. Since then they have played a weaker schedule, but they have been flawless at home and fairly solid on the road. They are currently leading the Sun Belt conference, so they could be a tournament team next month. Whether they are or not, what they are doing now is both useful and impressive.
Bowling Green (12-3-2 ATS): There is always some good value to be found in the MAC, and this year the Falcons are delivering better than anyone. The team made a much-needed coaching change after seven mediocre years, and they hired Chris Jans, who had long been a key assistant at Wichita State. He has done a great job getting this team on track. Of note, two of the three spreads they haven't covered have been against conference rivals Akron, so if it weren't for them the Falcons would be atop this list.
UC Davis (12-4 ATS): The Aggies were 1998 Division II national champions, but they have done pretty much nothing since shifting to Division I. Head coach Jim Les, who is best known for leading Bradley to the Sweet 16 in 2006, has really got this team playing well now, though - albeit against a schedule that hasn't contained a single particularly interesting game. They are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games, so they are laying their best ball right now.
Oakland (14-6-2 ATS): Oakland University is in Suburban Detroit. Makes perfect sense. You can't question the stability of this team - Greg Kampe is in his 31st year as head coach. Unlike others on this list, the team is not having a great year - they had just five wins in their first 17 games. They are playing much better now, though - they have won seven straight. Regardless of their struggles, they have been money in the bank lately - they are 10-1-1 ATS in their last 12 games with lines, and they have covered six spreads in a row.
South Dakota State (14-6 ATS): This team has been better known than the others on this list lately because the incredible Nate Wolters played here. Wolters was drafted by Milwaukee but was cut early this year and is currently on a 10-day contract with New Orleans that isn't likely to be extended. The Jackrabbits made the NCAA Tournament twice with Wolters and are on track to make it back again without him out of the Summit Conference. The team is a great 12-1 ATS in their last 13 games, so they have really found form lately. They have also won eight straight games outright - especially impressive given that the current streak was preceded by an ugly four-game road losing streak.
Idaho (11-4 ATS): The Vandals have appeared in the NCAA Tournament four times, but the last was in 1990. That tells you pretty much all you need to know about the state of the program. They are 8-11 this year, so that streak certainly isn't likely to end this year, either. While they aren't winning, they are certainly covering spreads nicely. They are remarkably consistent, too - 6-2 ATS as underdogs and 5-2 ATS as favorites.
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