Wearing headphones, a signature salt-and-pepper beard and a mischievous grin, Chuck sidled over to my cubicle in what we both call our home sportsbook and inquired about college basketball.
Our chat drifted down south, where he’s from, regarding a SIU-Edwardsville-LSU game. Which led me to a favored strategy, involving not just bad teams but truly horrible programs, squads with an extended pattern of shoddiness. SIUE, I informed him, qualifies in multiple glorious ways.
“Oh yeah, you wrote about that a bit last season,” he said. “Could you update?”
Chuck, this one’s for you.
Twice a week, I review the top 10 and bottom 10-percentiles of about two dozen statistical categories. With 357 programs, that’s the top 36 and bottom 36 in many areas. Some are more important than others, but I seek repetition. A team that appears among many of those B36 and T36 windows receives special attention, bright-yellow highlights and more excavation into their makeups.
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That’s why Edwardsville is so special. It is one of seven programs, The Little 7, that finished last season in the B36 in both offensive and defensive efficiency. They are brutal at both ends of the court.
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SIUE also sports a gorgeous three-year pattern of ineptitude — tied for eighth-lowest cover percentage (40%) in the country and 13th in Over rate (at 58.1%). So its foes beat the spread 60% of the time and Cougars games finish Over at nearly the same frequency.
Wearing headphones, a signature salt-and-pepper beard and a mischievous grin, Chuck sidled over to my cubicle in what we both call our home sportsbook and inquired about college basketball. We rollin. #ICMBB | #MAACHoops | #GaelNation pic.twitter.com/ZuBgLspxtN
— Iona Men’s Basketball (@IonaGaelsMBB) November 30, 2020
If just blind wagering, that’s useful. But we recommend comparing or contrasting SIUE opponents’ figures to what the Cougars do to form an accurate tea leaf.
SIUE’s first two games, as expected, went Over. Saint Louis won, 89-52 (140.5 total), and LSU triumphed, 94-81 (155 total). SIUE failed to cover, with 23 points, in that first game, but did, with 29.5 points, in the second. Remember, the spread play is on SIUE’s opponent. It’s at Northern Illinois Wednesday.
Chicago State and Kennesaw State are just as special as SIUE, since both are the only other Little 7 members that factor significantly in two betting angles.
Over the past three seasons, Kennesaw covers the number a paltry 32.8% of the time, worst in the country. So its foes beat the number by more than four points per game at a clip of 67.2%. Plus, 58.3% of Owls games finished Under during that span. It’s almost possible to blindly parlay Kennesaw foes to that Under five consecutive times, hit two and make money. Kennesaw plays its first lined game Wednesday at Alabama-Birmingham.
Chicago State has won only 20 games, total, over its past five seasons. These Cougars were the third-worst cover team over the past three seasons, only beating the spread 37.3% of the time, and 59.3% of those games finished Under.
They have played exactly to form, failing to cover while getting 21 (84-61 loss to Ohio), 42.5 (97-38 defeat to Illinois) and 12 points (74-44 belting to North Carolina A&T), and all three finished Under. Chicago State is at Eastern Illinois on Thursday.
So there’s five games with 10 betting options. Just following form, with individual side and total wagers on each, would have returned nine winners, or a return on investment of 9.9 units.
The other four in the Little 7 have single angles.
Central Connecticut’s cover rate of 40.7% over the past three seasons is 11th-worst in the country, 56.6% of Southeast Missouri State’s games have gone Over (26th-best), Incarnate Word has covered only 41.8% (T15th-worst) of its games and Mississippi Valley State tilts sail Over at a 57.4% clip (T22nd).
Individual wagers against Central and Incarnate, and Over on Southeast and Valley, are 5-0-2. That’s a combined 14-1-2, or a total return of 12.9 units over four days of Little 7 action.
Chuck, you are welcome.
Iona at Merrimack, Total 134: No team in America, over the past three seasons, has had a better Under rate than Merrimack, at 69%. Even better, its games finish Under by nearly 7 points. UNDER
Wisconsin -8 at Marquette, Total 145: Six of their past eight meetings would have finished under this total. These are two of the peskiest defenses in the nation, so expect a rock fight. MARQUETTE and UNDER
Rice at Houston Baptist, Total 155: Baptist’s game Sunday against Arizona State went Over by 7.5 points. Typical, as more than 60% of its tilts over the past three seasons have gone Over, by nearly 10 points a game. OVER
Last week: 2-0