Fading ATS Streaks In NCAA Basketball

Penn State

Sunday, January 15, 2017 9:27 PM GMT

Basketball is a game of runs, and that goes for ATS streaks, too. Don't expect college teams to enjoy extended stretches beating the number, though. Check out why here.

Basketball teams have a tendency to go on hot winning streaks. Fewer players (five starters) contribute to the final result than compared to most other team sports, so quality synergy, confidence, and a little luck can go a long way at stringing together victories. The strongest streaks will typically enjoy a run covering the betting line as well.

In college basketball, ATS streaks are typically brief when compared to some of the longer runs seen in the NBA. These young adults are not professionals; inconsistency is greater, and most are balancing course work, relationships, travel, and a host of other factors associated with university life.

A hardwood team covering four straight spreads tends to catch the public's eye—and the oddsmakers for that matter. It's a sign of a strong play from a squad, but betting market value tends to vanish afterwards. Don't expect the streak to last, especially deeper in the season.

Sports books offer a betting line on a little more than 4,000 college basketball games a season; 3,500 or more are posted after the New Year when conference play begins and many tune-up contests ends. From January through the end of March Madness, anywhere from 50-80 teams will notch a covers streak of 4 games in a season; 5 or fewer will double down and make it to eight.* In the last five years, in fact, only two teams have recorded double-digit ATS streaks in this span: in 2015, Michigan State bested the number 12 times in a row before dropping one as 5.5-point chalk in a 64-61 win versus Maryland in the Big Ten tournament, while UAB strung together 10 ATS wins in 2014.

Midway through the 2016-17 season, ATS streaks are growing in number. Only 10 programs have reached the threshold to date, but five teams enjoy a 4-game run entering the week of January 16th, including Illinois-Chicago, Penn State, Tulsa, Nebraska-Omaha, and UNC-Greensboro. Look to fade this group in the coming games.

More immediate attention should be given to No. 13 Oregon and Metro Atlantic representatives Quinnipiac. The Ducks, 16-2 on the season, are on a 5-game ATS run, having won 14 in a row outright. They whipped up on rivals Oregon State 85-43 as 25-point chalk in Eugene on Saturday night. Oregon hosts Cal on Thursday, Stanford on Saturday, then travel to Utah to take on the Utes next week, Remeber to keep checking back to our NCAA Basketball picks page to get all the proper information,

The Bobcats, meanwhile, have cashed in six straight, five of them receiving points in the market. It's the best ATS run for the program in recent history. Quinnipiac squares off with Canisius on Friday, before tough road tests at Iona (Jan 23) and Monmouth (Jan 27). Look for the streak to snap in this stretch.

*Teams that play an off-market game during the run are not included.