NCAA Basketball Picks: ATS Trends From Last Season

Joe Catalano

Saturday, May 11, 2013 6:44 PM UTC

Saturday, May. 11, 2013 6:44 PM UTC

Let’s take a look at the ATS records for NCAA Basketball last season and see where money could’ve been spent wisely and who were the teams to fade when making our betting picks.

We all know that individual team matchups are what makes the decision making and handicapping an easier process when making our picks but let’s see if some of the teams in each conference were a good play or an automatic fade.

Good Plays

It looks like along with being a Cinderella team in the tournament, Florida Gulf Coast was “bettor friendly” as they went a perfect 7-0 ATS. There wasn’t another team in the Atlantic Sun Conference with a winning record ATS.


The Miami Hurricanes snuck up on some people and might have been underestimated by the NCAA Basketball odds makers just like they were underestimated when the NCAA Committee created them a #2 seed. The Canes were a good bet last season with a 20-11-2 mark ATS.

You go to their nemesis Duke and the Blue Devils were pretty much down the middle at 19-17. There were games in which Duke was created too big a favorite and games where they dominated the competition and covered.

As the season went on, it was apparent that North Carolina wasn’t as good as expected and they were given more slack where the spread is concerned and it resulted in a nice 21-13 mark ATS.

Champions All Around

This really was Louisville’s season all-around. The Cardinals were the highest rated team in the country, won the National Championship, and were a good bet during the season. Louisville had a 24-15-1 record ATS. Only Villanova (20-11) could compare with the Cards in the Big East and the worse that the SU records were, the ATS records weren’t any better.

Ivy League Mediocrity

When betting the Ivy League you were taking your chances as no team excelled ATS. This is to be expected because home court carries a lot more weight in the Ivy League than it does in other conferences and some low level teams were made favorites just because they hosted the game. Harvard led the way at 14-13-1 ATS.NCAA Basketball picks

Getting Too Many Points

You have to look at it from a bottom-feeders perspective at times. Take the PAC-12 for instance.  Although Utah and Washington State were both sub-500 teams SU and near the bottom of the PAC-12, they covered the spread on a consistent basis in comparison to conference leaders Arizona and Oregon who were stuck around the .500 mark ATS. Utah was 20-11 ATS while Washington State was at the absolute bottom of the PAC-12, but had a 16-12-1 record ATS. If you were looking for a combination of a winning team and a team that covered the spread, Arizona State was 18-10-2 ATS while having a good season.

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Teams to Fade

If you wanted to make a good chunk of change, you should’ve faded Furman (9-17), Siena (10-17-1), Cleveland State (10-18), Old Dominion (9-18), Idaho State (11-17-1), DePaul (12-17), TCU (8-19), and IUPUI (7-22).

What do these team all have in common? They were also the worst teams in their league SU. If a team was so awful, even a 20 point cushion couldn’t help them.

What Can We Take Away From This?

It’s all about the matchups. While most top rated teams were merely average, Louisville couldn’t be denied. The teams that had no talent didn’t have the guns to cover even when handed double digit point spreads.

Home and away also came into play in big conferences like the Big-Ten and the ACC. Sometimes the home team was given too many points (unless they were in the Ivy League). Finally, it comes to down to handicapping regarding teams that have met several times and other teams that have never met before.

We’ll be back in the next installment with over/unders and how that panned out for each respective conference to help us assess our future NCAA Basketball picks.

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