Top teams that have a great win-loss record, as well as a strong spread record, are the best indicator of the nation’s programs that are getting the most from elite talent and good coaching.
Among the best are squads that have had the most success both on the court and at the window; no surprise. But it should be noted to separate them from some of the nation’s top teams that are falling short against the line, whether it be because of underachieving or an overabundance of public support.
Often these teams are already facing slightly increased odds because they could be considered “public” teams in many situations, but they still find a way to get the money.
Xavier (15-2 overall, 12-5 ATS), Purdue (15-2, 11-5), Michigan State (15-2, 11-6), Virginia (14-1, 9-3), Arizona State (13-2, 9-3-3), Auburn (14-1, 9-4), Villanova (14-1, 9-5), Kansas (12-3, 9-5), Maryland (14-4, 9-5), Texas Tech (14-1, 8-3) Florida State (12-3, 8-3-2) and Clemson (14-1, 8-4) have had the “covering” instinct, often as public favorites, laying plenty of points.
Some teams with good overall records find a way to still be money burners. They also could be facing over-inflated lines, but you can be the judge of these squads’ current status.
St. Mary’s (15-2 overall, 5-8 ATS), Mississippi State (13-2, 3-7), Arizona (12-4, 5-9-1), Kansas State (11-4, 3-9), Providence (11-6, 4-11), Texas (10-5, 4-7), Memphis (10-6, 4-8) and Oregon State (10-5, 5-10) leave their backers swearing off playing favorites ever again.
A few clubs are downright average, but give bettors a few great sleepers both the public and oddsmakers have under their radar.
South Alabama (8-8 overall, 11-2 ATS), North Texas (9-8, 9-3), Oral Roberts (7-11, 9-6), Southern Utah (6-9, 8-5), Idaho State (8-6, 7-3) and UT-Martin (6-11, 7-4) are the spread sleepers.
And finally, those teams that can’t get out of their own way. Hopefully, your money hasn’t found its way to any of these embarrassing sides.
Vanderbilt (6-9 overall, 1-10-1 ATS), UNC Wilmington (4-12, 1-11-1), CSU Northridge (3-12, 2-9-1), Santa Clara (6-10, 3-11-1), Denver (6-10, 3-10), SIU Edwardsville (6-9, 3-10), North Dakota (4-11, 3-9) and Eastern Kentucky (6-11, 3-9) have cost punters plenty.
Xavier (+10, 168) at Villanova (Wed., 5, FS1): Second-ranked Nova continues to be a thorn in XU’s side, including a pair of one-sided wins last year, holding them under 60 points. Musketeers got off to a 3-0 conference start, but lost as a 5.5-point choice at Providence on Saturday. Wildcats have gone OVER in seven-straight contests, averaging 98 points in three conference games.
LSU (+12, 162) at Arkansas (Wed., 6, SECN): Tigers on a back-to-back after road upset as 9-point dog at A&M on Saturday. Arkansas is 6-2 ATS at home, including 7-1 to the OVER in those contests. Hogs covered 14.5 here last year against LSU and covered five on the road, as well. Arkansas dropped a pair of road contests last week at Miss. St. and Auburn for a 1-2 SEC start.
UNLV (-10, 153) at Air Force (Wed., 7 ATTSN): The Rebels’ loss at home to Utah State on Saturday preceded by the OT road win at woeful San Jose State last week has brought serious cause for concern after once super-high conference hopes. UNLV has failed to cover in six-straight road games and gone OVER in five-straight on the road. Falcons bad, but won here, 81-58, last year vs. UNLV.
Maryland (+4.5, 142) at Ohio State (Thu., 4, ESPN2): Unselfish Terps shook off 30-point loss at Mich. St. and covered 8.5 at home against Iowa on Sunday to improve to 3-2 in conference. Bucks are 4-0 in Big Ten after spanking Sparty at home on Sunday behind 32 points from Keita Bates-Diop. UM won ‘em both last year, including 77-71 here as a 2-point dog.
Clemson (-7.5, 144) at N.C. State (Thu., 6, ESPN): Teams already finishing up having just met on Dec. 30, a 78-62 home win for Tigers, who are off to a 3-0 ACC start. Clemson needed OT to put away Louisville on Saturday, failing to cover 6 points in a 5-point win. Wolf Pack great team win over Duke at home on Saturday. Pack are 23-5 to the OVER dating back over two years.
Oregon (+10, 158) at Arizona State (Thu., 7, FS1): Eighth-ranked ‘Devils were looking like conference favorite, but then lost first two games before push on road Sunday in 80-77 win at Utah. ASU on 9-2-3 ATS run at home, although just 1-2-3 over last six here. Ducks just 3-9 ATS over the last 12 and are off to just 1-2 conference start, including loss at Oregon St. on Friday as a 2.5-point fave.
Utah (+6, 156) at UCLA (Thu., 8, ESPN2): UCLA 3-1 in conference, but lost in two OTs last Thursday at Stanford. Bruins have gone OVER in seven of their last nine. Utes were feeling good after opening sweep at Oregon schools to open P12 play, but were quickly brought back to expectations in home sweep by Arizona schools last weekend.
Marquette (+5, 165) at Butler (Fri., 3:30, FS1): Bulldogs stunned ‘Nova, but followed it up with two straight losses, including a 90-87 home loss to Seton Hall as a 2.5-point choice on Saturday. Marquette lost twice to Butler last season.
Nebraska (+7.5, 142.5) at Penn State (Fri., 4, BTN): Huskers came into the week with six straight covers in lined games, covering 17.5 last Saturday in 12-point road loss at Purdue. Lions are in an UNDER run of their own with nine of last 10 lined games at home to the low.
Providence (+1.5, 148) at DePaul (Fri., 5:30, FS1): Friars in a spread funk, going just 4-11 ATS so far with 10 of those 15 going OVER. DePaul stunned St. John’s on the road last Saturday as a 7.5-point dog to get first conference win.
Michigan (+11, 133) at Michigan State (Sat., 9, FOX): Top-ranked Spartans now 17-3 ATS at home back to mid-December of last season. Wolverines have covered the number in nine of their last 12 overall.
Kansas State (+11, 148) at Kansas (Sat., 9, ESPN): Jayhawks took a bit of a stunning loss at home last week to Texas Tech, but before panic set in KU got the win right back in a near toss-up at TCU on Saturday. KSU just 2-9 ATS over last 11.
TCU (+5.5, 178) at Oklahoma (Sat., 10, ESPNU): Teams met on Dec. 30 in 90-89 OU road win behind 39 points from Trae Young. Sooners on an 11-2 run to the OVER into Tuesday contest vs. Texas Tech at home.
West Virginia (+7, 146) at Texas Tech (Sat., 11, ESPN): Fifth-ranked Tech had won seven straight and covered eight of last 10 into Tuesday game at OU as part of 14-1 start. WVU had won 14 straight into Tuesday’s home game with Baylor.
North Carolina (-3, 147) at Notre Dame (Sat., 3, ESPN): Irish picked up wins over N.C. State and Syracuse last week. Tar Heels searching for answers after second-straight ACC loss.
Texas A&M (+4.5, 137.5) at Tennessee (Sat., 3, SECN): Vols were off to 0-2 start then knocked off Kentucky at home. Aggies had the most drastic power drop with three straight losses to open SEC.
San Diego State (+5.5, 140) at Boise State (Sat., 7, ESPN2): Broncos now 6-1 ATS at home over last seven games at Taco Bell. Aztecs say they’ve turned the corner after late surge in road win, cover at Colorado State last week.
Northwestern at Indiana (Sun., 12:30, CBS): Hats off to the Hoosiers for the road win at Minnesota on Saturday as an 8-point dog. Wildcats are among nation’s biggest disappointments and are keeping it up with 1-3 league start.