Advantage Group’s College Basketball Betting News and Notes
Today marks the completion of the first month of the college basketball season. It’s a perfect time to discuss some betting notes, observations, and things to look for the remainder of 2018.
Michigan began the year hovering around the top 25. The Wolverines obviously lost a lot from last year’s squad that finished runner-up to Villanova. But John Beilein has them looking sharp in the early going. Not only did Big Blue beat Villanova, Providence, North Carolina, Purdue, and Northwestern, but none of them topped a point per possession! Michigan also went 4-1 ATS against those five opponents but is only 5-4 ATS overall. Their kryptonite appears to be laying big points: 0-3 ATS as a -20 or more favorite. Bettors should be aware they’ll be in that profile three of their next four games.
Auburn played only six games last season with less than 70 possessions. They’ve already done so three times this season. The reason? Better defense. War Eagle held Washington, Xavier, Duke, and Arizona to just a shade over a point per possession. All four games would have gone under the total had it not been for overtime vs. the Musketeers. Compared to last season, teams are taking two seconds more per possession against the Tigers. The typical Bruce Pearl up-tempo is still there but the overall pace of Auburn’s games is fairly moderate thanks to an improved stop unit.
Funny what one game can do the perception of a team. Wichita State was absolutely gutted this offseason. A number of bettors — even Gregg Marshall — felt they were in trouble to start the year. Sure enough, Louisiana Tech, who ranks outside the top 100, waltzed into Koch Arena and won 71-58. Since then, the Shockers are 4-1 ATS with the lone point spread loss coming by a hook.
Funny what one game can do the perception of a team, part two. Duke opened the year with a 118-84, 82-possession win over Kentucky. Needless to say, over bettors didn’t have to sweat much. Since then, only one of the Blue Devils’ next eight games went over the total despite the the fact the offense averaged 91.3 ppg.
Pitt’s Jeff Capel has done a good job at getting the Panthers to believe they can actually win again. This is a program that closed out last year 0-19. The Panthers are currently 7-2 SU/ATS but perhaps the markets is a little too bullish on this squad. Last time out, laying -16.5, Pitt lost at home to Niagara who was without its best player, Marvin Prochet. Prior to the win at Pitt, the Purple Eagles lost three in a row to the likes of Grambling and St. Francis NY and PA. Remember, Pitt was a respectable 8-5 prior to their dubious 0-19 run. They’re in a better place but navigating the ACC won’t be easy.
Here’s a team that may have some betting value moving forward. Last season, Clemson finished 20-12 ATS despite losing its best player, Donte Grantham, just past the halfway point in the season. This year, it looks as if Ken Pom was a little generous with the Tigers’ no. 14 preseason ranking. Not particularly built for laying big points, Clemson has covered only one point spread thus far. Starting January 5, the Tigers open ACC play at Duke, at Syracuse, and vs. Virginia. Perhaps the role reversal will result in better fortune against the spread.
Another team to buy low on is Miami. The Hurricanes played three games in four days in California. They returned home, totally gassed, and lost to Rutgers. They followed that up with back-to-back losses to the Ivy League’s Yale and Penn. Six games in 13 days is tough for any team and while a few of those losses were questionable, note that the Hurricanes don’t play against until December 19. Time to rest, recharge, get back in the gym, and shore up some issues.
We’re sure there are others but Buffalo has to be one of the best point spread schools in the country. Over the last two years, the football and basketball teams are a combined 42-20-2 ATS!
Since 2015, Advantage Group has delivered a 132-90 60% +26.8 unit mark in college basketball. Join the winning action today with a seasonal or weekly subscription.