Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Friday, January 25, 2019 at 4:00 PM
We have a week off from football, so I’m going to devote my usual Friday report to money makers in college basketball. I’ll talk about how sharps are betting the Super Bowl on next Friday’s update. If you’ve been paying any attention at all to sports media, you know that all the early money is on New England at -2 or less, while sharps (and much of the public) are waiting to see if they can get the Rams at +3 before kickoff. (No reason to write an entire article telling you THAT!)
Let’s go through some big TV conferences in college hoops, and see who’s been making money for backers this season. I’ll go in alphabetical order.
*American Athletic Conference: Houston 13-6-1, South Florida 13-6
I wanted to include this league because Houston made such a strong impression on avid basketball fans last year in the Dance. You may recall that they “should” have taken out Michigan before the Wolverines made their run all the way to the finals. Even with high expectations for this season, the Cougars have still beaten the market more than two-thirds of the time so far. Unheralded South Florida has done the same…one of many straight up mediocrities that are still hanging tough enough to cash tickets.
*ACC: Virginia 15-3, Pittsburgh 13-5-1, Georgia Tech 13-6, North Carolina 11-6-2, Duke 11-7
Duke’s record isn’t as good as the others we’ll talk about today. But, if not for a buzzer shot from Virginia last week, the Blue Devils would be 12-6 ATS instead of 11-7 ATS. Frankly, I’m amazed they’ve been able to surpass their high expectations on such a consistent basis. After beating Kentucky to start the season, Duke was getting hyped as one of the best teams EVER. The market has priced them that way. Going 50/50 would have been impressive.
Virginia is an amazing story in its own right. They owned the regular season last year until making the wrong kind of history in the Big Dance. Oddsmakers and sharps continue to disrespect the Cavaliers on a weekly basis. It should be impossible for a national power to cover the spread at that rate. Great performance from kids with a chip on their shoulder.
Pittsburgh and Georgia Tech go on the list of outmanned but feisty teams who are better at covering spreads than people realize.
*Big 12: Oklahoma 14-3-2, Iowa State 11-6-2
Too many people thought Oklahoma would collapse when last year’s star shooter when to the NBA. You know the returning players themselves got sick of hearing about that. The line may have finally caught up to a point where it at least neutralizes results. Iowa State is a great dark horse this season…probably more so than in recent seasons when inside play wasn’t tough enough.
*Big East: Marquette 13-7, Villanova 12-7
Villanova is like Virginia…a well-coached team that plays consistently well enough to beat expectations. This year’s group isn’t quite a national superpower. But, it’s still cashing tickets at better than 60%. Marquette’s quality was no secret, yet it’s cashing at 65% despite a one-sided loss at St. John’s that knocked the East Coast media off the bandwagon too early.
*Big 10: Michigan State 16-4, Nebraska 11-6-1
Michigan State is something special right now. They don’t give out trophies for being great in late January. But, bettors need to respect what’s happening in East Lansing. Nebraska was a popular sleeper last year that’s maintained its edge. I know a few sharps who have continued to take advantage of that.
*SEC: Mississippi 15-3
Talk about sleepers! Ole Miss started the season 14-1 against the spread! Few were paying attention. When the market finally noticed in the past week or so, the Rebels fell back to earth. This shows you that keen-eyed observers can string together 10 to a dozen wins on surprise teams that catch fire early.
*West Coast: Gonzaga 15-6, St. Mary’s 14-7
How can this happen? The ONLY two teams in this conference that most fans have even heard of are Gonzaga and St. Mary’s. Their point spreads should be stacked so high that the teams couldn’t possibly pass 50%. Instead, Gonzaga keeps annihilating people. St. Mary’s will probably break your hearts in a month or so. But, for now, they’re hitting at 67%.
It’s very tough to find individual teams that you can back for profit in this sport. But, it is possible for the most talented teams to get results if a lot of contrarians keep betting they’ll regress. And, feisty off-the-radar teams can cash a lot of tickets too as long as they stay off the main TV networks. I’m guessing you haven’t watched a lot of Ole Miss or Georgia Tech games this season.
You regulars know that college basketball is my favorite sport to handicap and bet. If you’d like to have some fun from now through March Madness, you can purchase my daily BEST BETS right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions call the VSM office at 1-888-777-4155. Sign up for the rest of basketball and my Super Bowl selections will be included.
If you’re like many sports bettors, you don’t really jump into college hoops until after football ends. Well, football is virtually over! Only one game left and that’s a week away. Why not jump on the road to March Madness now with your friend in Las Vegas. I can’t guarantee you’ll make a fortune. But, I can guarantee you’ll get my very best bets every night of the week. College basketball is the sport I’m known for. I’d like the chance to show you why.