College Basketball Betting Advice: Mid-Majors with Wagering Value
Most casual college basketball fans don't start paying attention to mid-majors in a real way until tournament time starts to draw near. The sooner you start, the better, though. Therefore, as we ease into this new season, this a very good time to look at a few mid-major teams that are worthy of our attention. One team that isn't on here is Evansville. Their win at No. 1 Kentucky will likely be the biggest shock of the whole season, but it doesn't change the fact that this isn't a team anyone is taking really seriously. Really, that just makes the whole thing more impressive. Here are seven mid-majors that are catching my eye right now:
VCU: The formula here is pretty easy to understand. Last year this was one of the toughest, most dangerous defensive teams out there. And this year they return basically all of last year's roster. And they add a couple of nice players, too. They are deep an experienced, which should make them as defensively solid as they were and hopefully more offensively competent. They have looked solid in their three games so far, but it is worth noting that bettor expectations are probably a little bit too high right now - they are 0-3 ATS.
Saint Mary's: It has been a wilder ride for the Gaels than they were hoping for so far. They opened against Wisconsin in Sioux Falls - of all places for those schools to meet - and came out with a solid overtime victory. But then they played Winthrop, a school that didn't come anywhere close to this list, and lost as 19.5-point favorites. Ouch. The pieces are here, though, as they added some nice transfers to a talented team with tourney experience. They should settle into their game. Hopefully.
Utah State: This team is easy to like. Sam Merrill is a high-scoring, efficient guard, and his backcourt mate is strong defending senior Diogo Brito. And, later on, they get to add perhaps their best player in Neemias Queta, a currently injured big man who was defensive player of the year in the Mountain West as a freshman last year. He'll be a boost for a team that is my pick to be the top mid-major not named Gonzaga this year. They haven't played anyone of note yet, but they have looked really good against the teams they have played. One to watch for sure.
Davidson: The formula here is much the same as VCU's - they return much of the talent from a decent team last year. This team comes into the year with a chip on their shoulders, too, as they stumbled in the A-10 Tournament to cost them an NCAA Tournament bid and then flopped in the first round of the NIT. They should be better than that this year and will be fun to watch. And it's not like we will be watching Davidson's most famous alum for a while, so this is a good distraction. They are off to a really ugly 0-2 start, but hopefully that just helps them offer some value when they get back on track.
New Mexico State: When we last saw the Aggies last year, they were giving eventual Final Four squad Auburn all they could handle in the first round of the tournament. And now they return seven key players from that squad. My favorite stat about this team - 12 guys on the roster started their careers at another school. This place knows how to work the transfer market. They have had a loss to UTEP already that wasn't great. But the upside is here.
Harvard: Bryce Aiken and Seth Towns have been arguably the two best players in the Ivy League the last two years. And even though they seem like 11 th-year seniors, they are both back for another go. That's a heck of a one-two punch, and they don't have to do it alone. They lost their opener on the road against Northeastern, but have looked good since, and have room to grow in a big way. They have some big chances to prove themselves coming up before conference play. I like this squad.
Vermont: The Catamounts have a very strong centerpiece in Anthony Lamb, a mid-sized forward who plays like a giant. If they can figure out how to get through to transfer center Daniel Giddens - a Top 60 recruit who has struggled at Ohio State and Alabama and is now hoping to find his way in a lower league - then Lamb can play in a more natural position, and the team could really be dangerous. Giddens is off to a slow start, but Lamb is on a tear, and the team is at 3-0 out of the gate. They are usually the best team in the America East, and they have a chance to be strong even by their own standards.
Most Recent College Basketball Handicapping
- 2020 Pac-12 Tournament Predictions with Betting Odds
- 2020 SEC Tournament Predictions and Betting Odds
- Free College Basketball Picks Wednesday 3/11/2020 and Opening Line Report
- 2020 Atlantic 10 Tournament Predictions and Betting Odds
- 2020 Big East Tournament Predictions and Betting Odds
- 2020 Big Ten Tournament Predictions and Betting Odds
- Free College Basketball Picks Tuesday 3/10/2020 and Opening Line Report
- 2020 Big 12 Tournament Predictions and Betting Odds
- 2020 MAAC Tournament Predictions and Expert Picks
- 2020 ACC Tournament Predictions with Betting Odds