Virginia Back as Our Top Point Spread Cat, La Salle Top Rat After Losing 12 of Last 13 ATS

Kevin Stott

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 12:53 PM UTC

Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018 12:53 PM UTC

La Salle hovered quietly outside our Top 5 ATS Rats rankings until the Explorers lost their 5th in a row to the betting number and 12th in the L13 ATS in A-10 play in Week 15. Let’s see who else has been good and bad to Hoops bettors in the College ranks.

1—Virginia 17-5-1 (Last Week: #2)

Ninth-year Head Coach Tony Bennett and Virginia went 1-0 SU/ATS in Week 15, defeating Miami Florida, 59-50 and covering ATS as 5½-point Road Favorites at the Watsco Center in Coral Gables last Tuesday as the Cavaliers played their 4th straight Under and 12th in the L14 games as De’ Andre Hunter had 22 points off the Cavaliers Bench on 8-for-16 shooting and Guy finished with 13 in the victory which improved Virginia to 13-1 in ACC play. Guy, Devon Hall, Isaiah Wilkins, Ty Jerome, Jack Salt, Hunter and Virginia have two games on the slate this coming week, a Wednesday Home game in Charlottesville against Georgia Tech in a game the Hoos covered and that went Under the last meeting followed by a Saturday date at the Petersen Events Center vs. Pitt.

With the Under a powerful 9-1 the L10 Cavs games and Virginia possessing the best Scoring Defense in the land (52.7 ppg), looking at the Total and the Hoos first and then working backward seems like the best handicapping approach, but if betting the Under, best get it early as the Sharps often und Unders early, although in the Hurricanes game, bettors drove an opening 118½ up to as high as 121 (Over -107, Bookmaker) in a result that ended up being good for The House.

2—Nebraska 20-7-0 ATS (Last Week: #1)

Big Ten Conference side Nebraska went 1-1 SU/ATS in Week 15 action, beating Maryland at Home at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln last Tuesday night, 87-83, and covering ATS as modest 1½-point Home chalks as the Cornhuskers won their 6th straight and 8th in a row against the betting number before seeing both SU and ATS Win Streaks snapped in a 72-66 loss to Illinois in Champaign as 1-point Road Underdogs on Sunday. James Palmer Jr. (17.7 ppg), Evan Taylor, Glynn Watson Jr., Isaac Copeland, Isaiah Roby and Nebraska will welcome Indiana to Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln on Tuesday in a game in which sportsbooks have Nebraska as 4½-point Home Favorites after opening up at -3 and being wagered up on Monday afternoon.

The Cornhuskers will then host Penn State on Sunday in a rematch of a game that went to OT in State College on Jan. 12th, seeing Nebraska lose 76-74 but cover ATS as big 8-point Road Underdogs. The Cornhuskers are a profitable 16-2 ATS the L18 games (88.9%) with both of those ATS Losses coming at the hands of Illinois.

3—South Alabama 17-6-0 ATS (Last Week: Not ranked)

Sun Belt Conference members South Alabama return to our little corner of Cyberspace by virtue of the Jaguars 2-0 ATS week with a 77-66 triumph at Appalachian State last Thursday, getting the money as 5-point Road Underdogs followed by a 72-70 loss but ATS cover as 6-point Road Dogs at Coastal Carolina on Saturday in Sun Belt Conference play to make it 4 straight Wins against the betting number. Rodrick Sikes, Herb McGee, Trhae Mitchell, Josh Ajayi and South Alabama return Home to Mobile and the Mitchell Center on Thursday to lock horns with UL Monroe and then welcome ATS catty UL Lafayette ATS to town on Saturday for what could be a tough game for Sikes and the host Jaguars who lost 76-57 on the Road to the Ragin’ Cajuns at the Cajundome on Jan. 25th.

4—Eastern Tennessee State 16-6-2 (Last Week: #5)

ETSU moves up a #5 spot in our weekly rankings after the Southern Conference members went 1-0 SU/ATS in action last week. Head Coach Steve Forbes, Desonta Bradford (15.2 ppg, 3.5 apg, 5.9 rpg), Bo Hodges, Jalan McCloud, Peter Jurkin and the Buccaneers (+3.8 ppg vs. ATS) will next be welcoming The Citadel (9-18 SU, 9-10-1 ATS) to Freedom Hall Civic Center in Johnson, TN in a game in which oddsmakers have made ETSU large 20½-point Home Favorites on Tuesday night (7 pm ET/4 pm PT) in what could be a good spot to back ETSU over the Bulldogs in the 1st Half market although the last time these two met (Jan. 29), the Buccaneers eked out a 79-77 Road win and failed to cover ATS while The Citadel is 6-2 ATS the L8 series meetings.

ETSU is 12-4-2 ATS the L18 in SoCon play and won 90-69 in this spot last year—the Road team is 8-2 ATS the L10—failing to cover ATS by ½ as large 21½-point closing Home chalks in a game they led 45-32 at Half but were never covering in, despite the big 21-point win (U, 183). The Buccaneers (#67 KenPom.com ranking) then host Wofford (19-9 SU, 11-11-0 ATS) Friday night at Home in a tough test followed by a sunday (Feb. 25) meeting at Home against Furman (19-9 SU, 13-8-1 ATS), so despite the Site and three straight Home games at Freedom Hall Civic Center, Bradford and ETSU will really have their hands full in this testing hardwood week.

5—South Dakota 16-7-1 (Last Week: Not ranked)

Always keep your basketball betting eyes on South Dakota State and our #5 ATS team, South Dakota, two different, but very competitive teams who have gone a profitable 33-13-2 ATS (71.8%) who both do their dribbling in the oft-forgotten Summit Conference. The University of South Dakota is coached by Craig Smith and the Coyotes actually won the NCAA Basketball championship back in 1958 and Matt Mooney and the Coyotes are an impressive 10-2 ATS on the Road this Regular Season. Last week, South Dakota went 1-0-1 ATS and 2-0 SU, with Trey Burch-Manning (6.9 ppg), Nick Fuller (56.7% FG) and South Dakota winning by 18 at Oral Roberts, 85-67, covering as 6½-point Road Favorites (Over, 147) and then beating Nebraska-Omaha, 79-64 at Home at Sanford Coyote Sports Center in Vermillion, South Dakota, pushing ATS as 15-point chalks on Saturday (U, 156½).

South Dakota (#66 KenPom.com ranking) will collide with those aforementioned Jackrabbits of South Dakota State on Thursday (Feb. 22) in their only scheduled contest this week and a Summit Conference and Mount Rushmore State rivalry game probably best just left alone with SDS 11-1 SU and South Dakota 11-2 SU in conference play. South Dakota (+2.9 ppg vs. ATS) handed South Dakota State it only Summit Conference loss, 87-68 at Home on Jan. 24, covering easily as 3½-point Home Favorites (U, 161½). The five ATS Cats this week are a combined 86-31-4 ATS (73.5%).

1—La Salle 7-19-0 ATS (Last Week: Not ranked)

After losing its 6th straight game ATS and 12th in 13 to the betting number, Atlantic 10 Coast Conference school La Salle leap onto the dubious list and straight to the #1 spot as the Explorers lost at Home to St. Bonaventure, 79-68 last Tuesday night in a Pick ‘Em situation and then falling at Home to George Mason, 69-62, losing outright as robust 9½-point Home Favorites in a third consecutive Under after 7 straight Overs.

Fourteenth-year Head Coach John Giannini and La Salle will welcome upstart Rhode Island to Tom Gola Arena in Philadelphia on Tuesday night in a game which sees the 18th-ranked Rams as 7-point Road Favorites and a good spot to pick on these newfound Rats with a capital “R.” Rhode Island won by 12 and covered in January and even with this one in the city of Brotherly Love and NFL Champions, backing the Rams again seems wise with a look at the 1st Half spread an idea. La Salle will be at Fordham on Saturday in a meeting of A-10 Point Spread squirrels who have gone a not-profitable combined 14-33-1 ATS heading into Week 16 play.

2—Vanderbilt 7-17-0 ATS (Last Week: #2)

SEC side Vanderbilt stays in our #2 spot after yet another 1-1 ATS week which saw the Commodores host Mississippi State and beat them by 1, 81-80, failing to cover ATS as 2-point Home Favorites on Wednesday at Home at Memorial Gymnasium In Nashville and then get the money as 3-point Home Underdogs against Florida in a 71-68 semi-upset on Saturday in SEC play. Vanderbilt will be at LSU on Tuesday night in a game which presently sees the Commodores as 4½-point Road Underdogs in Baton Rouge followed by a return Home to Opryland and Memorial Gymnasium on Saturday where Vanderbilt will be hosting Texas A&M in two meetings the Commodores covered ATS the last time around.

3—Charlotte 6-16-0 ATS (Last Week: #3)

Conference USA school Charlotte are 10 games below .500 ATS and 15 games below .500 ATS and deserve to stay smack-dab-in-the-middle of our rats List after a 1-1 ATS and 0-2 SU week in Week 15 which saw the 49ers lose two C-USA Home games at Dale F. Halton Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina, the first on Thursday to UTEP, 87-86 where the covered ATS by a mere ½, getting 1½ points on Thursday followed by a 97-89 loss in OT to UTSA on Saturday, failing to cover ATS as 4-point Home Dogs in a SU and ATS decision determined in the 5 minutes of OT.

Next up for Charlotte, two tough Sun Belt Road games against Western Kentucky in Bowling Green on Thursday followed by a date with Marshall in Huntington, WV on Saturday (Feb. 24). The 49ers have played 4 Overs in their L5 games with their L3 contests at Home at Dale F. Halton Arena in Charlotte all going Over the closing posted Totals.

4—Oklahoma 8-18-0 ATS (Last week: Not ranked)

Trae Young and unranked Oklahoma have been humbled of late, with the Sooners L6 straight SU after getting trucked by #8 Kansas, 104-74 on Monday night at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas in Big 12 Conference play, failing to cover ATS as solid 8½-point Road Underdogs in a place where Oklahoma hadn’t won in its first visit since 1993 as DeVonte’ Graham and the Jayhawks raced out to an imposing 20-4 lead after 7 minutes of play in the nationally televised. The highly touted Young and the Sooners have now L8 straight ATS and 11 of 12 ATS to vault onto the ATS Rats List and the #4 spot.

Seventh-year Head Coach Lon Kruger, Khadeem Lattin, Christian James and Oklahoma will welcome Kansas State to the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman in front of the Boom Squad on Saturday before heading to Waco, Texas to battle Baylor in the Sooners last Regular Season Road tilt of the 2017/18 Regular Season next Tuesday in what should be a tough test against the Bears.

5—Pepperdine 9-18-0 ATS (Last Week: #1)

After going 2-0 ATS in Week 15, West Coast Conference school Pepperdine falls to the #5 spot by covering ATS as 10½-point Home Underdogs to BYU last Thursday in a 75-70 OT loss followed by another ATS cover as huge 24½-point Road Underdogs in Seattle against then #9 now tied for #6 Gonzaga on Saturday, 81-67 as the Waves fell to 1-15 in WCC play and 0-13 SU away in conference play.

This coming week of play will see Colbey Ross, Trae Berhow, Kameron Edwards, Harrison Meads and the Waves wrapping up WCC Regular Season play at #22 St. Mary’s on Thursday evening in a rematch of a game they lost by 24 in the last meeting Jan. 13th in California followed by a date with Portland on Saturday at Home at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu in the last game of the Waves Regular Season. The 2018 WCC Tournament will tip off here in Las Vegas at the Orleans Arena on Friday, March 2. The five ranked Rats who made the cut are a woeful 37-88-0 ATS into NCAA Basketball action on Tuesday.

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