Spotting The NCAA Basketball Top-25 Ranked Teams Worth Shading

Ted Sevransky

Tuesday, January 19, 2016 8:37 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016 8:37 PM UTC

Let's bring to the table some of the top ranked teams that we can bet against, join us in reading this revealing article worth reading before making your NCAA basketball picks. Don't miss it!!

College Hoops Top 25 ‘Bet Against’ Teams
Bookmakers don’t worry very much about ‘public’ money in college hoops. The vast majority of college basketball wagers come from ‘sharps’ not ‘squares’. And when it comes to the total of actual money wagered in college hoops, wiseguy money quite literally drowns the limited public money that comes in on these games.

But public bettors do pay attention to the marquee teams from major conferences, and they do bet the TV games. I’m not going to write an article talking about IUPU-Ft Wayne (the nation’s best pointspread team at 13-2 against the NCAA basketball odds) or Illinois- Chicago and St Louis (the nation’s two worst ATS teams).  Instead, I’ve taken a hard look at the current Top 25, identifying three ‘Bet Against’ teams moving forward.

The first ‘bet-against’ is an easy team to pick – the defending national champs.  Duke is in free-fall right now, losing each of their last three games. The particularly scary thing for Blue Devils supporters is that two of those games came at Cameron Indoor Stadium AND that Duke was favored by -7.5 or higher in all three contests.

Head coach Mike Krzyzewski has been reluctant to go to his bench on many occasions during his tenure at Duke. This year, the situation is particularly bad, with Coach K down to what is essentially a six man rotation. Four of his five starters played at least 37 minutes of floor time in their loss to Notre Dame last week. Only one bench player – Derryck Thornton - has scored a point in their last two defeats. 

And that lack of depth has been very clear during the second half of these recent efforts. Duke went into halftime with the lead in all three losses during their current skid. A lack of quality depth isn’t a problem that gets solved very easily at this stage of the campaign.  And it’s surely worth noting that in ‘competitively’ lined games – games where the Blue Devils have been favored by -9.5 or less, Duke is 2-4 SU, 1-5 ATS, the lone cover coming at Wake in a game where they shot 52% from the floor and 93% from the free throw line

Another ACC heavyweight, Virginia, is going through a rough stretch right now as well. Tony Bennett’s Cavs are on a 2-5 ATS skid, while suffering three SU losses in their last four games – all as betting market favorites for NCAA basketball picks. Virginia’s problem has been a lack of poise in hostile environments. In all three recent losses, their late game execution was sorely lacking.

Virginia shot 49% from the floor and committed only seven turnovers against the Yellow Jackets, but allowed a late 11-0 run after tying the game at 49-49. Virginia also shot 49% from the floor against the Hokies, but blew a second half lead to lose outright.  At Florida State last weekend, the Cavs were once again outscored by double digits after halftime. They didn’t make a single shot from the field for more than four minutes with the game on the line in the latter stages. Virginia is a clear ‘bet-against’ team facing quality foes on the highway moving forward

And then there’s Kentucky, now 4-10 ATS in their last 14 ballgames.  They’ve lost in SU fashion at UCLA (-6.5), Ohio State (-9.5), LSU (-3) and Auburn (-11.5), all away from home.  John Calipari sent all five starters from last year’s to the NBA and lost two key reserves as well.  We’re used to seeing Kentucky with very young teams in recent seasons, but Calipari’s team this year doesn’t share the poise and verve from recent versions.

Kentucky still has a boatload of NBA caliber talent, and there’s hope for this team to turn things around between now and March.  But, particularly in hostile road environments, this year’s Wildcats team presents very little in common with recent versions, a ‘bet-against’ squad.

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