Cats & Rats: Streaking Nebraska Earns Top Cat Status

Kevin Stott

Tuesday, February 13, 2018 1:59 PM UTC

Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018 1:59 PM UTC

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.

College Basketball: Top 5 ATS Cats, Week 15

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 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 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 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 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

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