We are shedding sports betting light on the ATS Cats who cover and the ATS Rats who don’t, so let’s see who’s where in our latest weekly rankings.
1. Nebraska 19-6-0 ATS (Last week: No. 3)
Big Ten Conference surprise Nebraska (19-8 SU, 19-6-0 ATS) had a perfect 2-0 SU/ATS week. The Cornhuskers (+5.2 ppg vs. ATS) defeated Minnesota 91-85, covering ATS as closing 3½-point road underdogs, then beat Rutgers 67-55 at home to rightfully earn our Top Cat ranking with a profitable +13 mark ATS in their 19 lined games. Nebraska, which took a seven-game ATS win streak (W5 SU) into this week, is 15-1 ATS the L16. Yes, you read that right. After Tuesday's matchup against Maryland, Nebraska (No. 52 KenPom.com ranking, up nine spots from LW) plays Sunday at Illinois. That's a rematch of the only game in the L16 the Huskers haven't covered, a 64-63 home win as 4½-point chalks on Jan. 15.
2. Virginia 16-5-1 (Last week: No. 1)
Virginia (22-2 SU, 16-5-1 ATS), ranked No. 1 in this week's Associated Press poll, went 1-1 SU and ATS in Week 14. They beat Florida State 59-66, getting the money as 2½-point road favorites to up its win streak to 15, before losing to Virginia Tech 61-60 in overtime as 12-point home chalks. Virginia (No. 1 KenPom.com) trailed 33-26 at halftime but held Virginia Tech to just 16 second-half points to force OT, in which Virginia was outscored 12-11. Virginia (+725 to win 2018 NCAAB championship, JustBet) has a huge ACC showdown on Tuesday night at Miami (18-5 SU, 8-11-0 ATS). The Cavaliers, 6-point road favorites on the college basketball odds board, lost last season's matchup 54-48 in OT. And with the "under" a powerful 8-1 the L9 Cavaliers games, backing the total "under" seems like a good starting point, especially with the Cavaliers (+4.6 ppg vs. ATS) possessing the best scoring defense in the land. Virginia then will have seven valuable days off before hosting Georgia Tech on Feb. 21.
3. Auburn 17-6-0 ATS (Last week: No. 2)
Auburn (22-3 SU, 17-6-0 ATS) went 1-1 SU and ATS in SEC play last week, losing to Texas A&M 81-80 as 6½-point home favorites to snap a 5-game ATS win streak, before rebounding with a resounding 78-61 win at Georgia, easily getting the bacon as moderate 6½-point road favorites. The Tigers (No. 9 KenPom.com) improved to 10-2 in conference play, two games ahead of Florida and Tennessee. Auburn's next game is Wednesday at home against slumping Kentucky (L3 SU), followed by Saturday's game at South Carolina (13-12 SU, 9-14-1 ATS) in a rematch of a meeting the Gamecocks won by 29 (98-69) last season.
4. Montana 16-6-1 (Last week: No. 5)
It was another 1-1 ATS week (2-0 SU) for Montana (20-5 SU, 16-6-1 ATS), which rolled Portland State 80-60 and covered ATS as 16½-point home favorites, then won in OT against Sacramento State 71-69 but failed to cover ATS as 16½-point home chalks. That result revealed that Montana (No. 77 KenPom.com) might be able to make the Big Dance and win a first-round game, but that’s about it despite the record of 15-2-1 ATS L18. Montana (+2.7 ppg vs. ATS) will play two Big Sky road games this week, Thursday at Eastern Washington (12-13 SU, 11-11-0 ATS) and Saturday at Idaho (17-7 SU, 9-10-0 ATS, 7-2 SU at home in Big Sky) in what should be a good test for the Grizzlies (13-0 in Big Sky).
5. East Tennessee State 15-6-2 (Last week: No. 4)
Southern Conference member ETSU (22-5 SU, 15-6-2 ATS) went 0-1-1 after closing as 14-point favorites at VMI and winning 70-56, then seeing a 15-game win streak snapped in a 74-56 loss at UNC Greensboro. Still, ETSU is 14-4-2 ATS in its L20. The Buccaneers (+4.8 ppg vs. ATS) play at Western Carolina (12-14 SU, 11-10-1 ATS) on Saturday in a rematch of a game won by ETSU 66-50 on Jan. 20 at home. That was one of those four contest in the L20 where the Buccaneers didn’t cover ATS.
This week's five Cats were an impressive 83-29-4 ATS (74.1) entering Tuesday's schedule.
College Basketball: Top 5 ATS Rats, Week 15
1. Pepperdine 7-17-1 ATS (Last week: No. 2)
West Coast Conference school Pepperdine (4-22 SU, 7-17-1 ATS) went 0-2 SU and 1-1 ATS last week, losing 68-65 to San Diego but covering ATS as 5½-point home underdogs, and falling by 6 as 4½-point road underdogs at Loyola-Marymount. This week the Waves (-3.1 ppg vs. ATS) welcome upstart BYU (20-7 SU, 12-11-1 ATS) on Thursday night in a rematch of a game the Waves lost by 20 (83-63) in January. Pepperdine then plays Saturday against Gonzaga (23-4 SU, 10-14-0 ATS).
2. Vanderbilt 6-16-0 ATS (Last week: No. 1)
Vanderbilt (7-12 SU, 6-16-0 ATS) leaves the title of King Rat this week after the Commodores made it five ATS wins in seven games. They split last week in a SU and ATS victory against Georgia, 81-66 at home (VAN -4), followed by a 72-54 humbling and SU and ATS loss against Arkansas (ARK -6½). Vanderbilt (-3.2 ppg vs. ATS) is still a dismal 6-22-0 ATS in its L28 games dating to last season. Vandy hosts Mississippi State (18-7 SU, 9-11-0 ATS) on Wednesday in a rematch of a game MSU won by 18 (80-62) on Jan. 16. The Commodores then host Florida (17-8 SU, 12-11-1 ATS) on Saturday.
3. Charlotte 5-15-0 ATS (Last week: No. 4)
Conference USA side Charlotte (5-18 SU, 5-15-0 ATS) had a fade-worthy 0-2 SU and ATS week, losing by 18 points twice — at Louisiana Tech as 14-point road underdogs, and at Southern Mississippi as 9-point road underdogs. Next up for Charlotte (-3.1 ppg vs. ATS) are two C-USA home games, Thursday against UTEP (7-17 SU, 8-11-0 ATS) and Saturday against Texas-San Antonio (14-11 SU, 11-8-0 ATS). The 49ers are just 185-213-11 ATS since 2003 (46.5 percent).
4. Santa Clara 7-16-1 ATS (Last week: No. 5)
Santa Clara (9-17 SU, 7-16-1 ATS) went 1-1 ATS last week, losing 80-58 at BYU and beating San Diego 70-64 as 5-point underdogs. Santa Clara has played consecutive "overs" after six straight "unders." Next up for the Broncos are conference games against Portland (10-17 SU, 13-8-1 ATS) on Thursday and Pacific (13-14 SU, 15-10-1 ATS) on Saturday. Both are rematches of games Santa Clara failed to cover ATS.
5. Oakland 7-16-0 ATS (Last week: Not ranked)
Horizon League university Oakland (16-10 SU, 7-16-0 ATS) jumps into the rankings after the Golden Grizzlies lost their fourth game in a row ATS, beating Detroit 87-78 but failing to cover ATS as 13½-point home favorites. It was Oakland's sixth "under" in its past eight games. The Golden Grizzlies play at Youngstown State (7-20 SU, 11-13-0 ATS) on Wednesday in a rematch of a game Oakland won SU and covered ATS on Jan. 10, 95-82. The Golden Grizzlies (-2.5 ppg vs. ATS) then visit Cleveland State (7-20 SU, 12-12-0 ATS) in another rematch of a January game in which Oakland won 81-68 but (barely) failed to cover ATS (OAK -15½).
The five ranked Rats who made the cut this week were a poor 32-80-2 ATS (28.6 percent) entering Tuesday's action.
Free NCAAB Fade The Rats Saturday Pick: Pacific over Santa Clara