NCAA teams bettors can trust at end of college basketball season

NCAA teams bettors can trust at end of college basketball season

LAS VEGAS — Do the top college basketball teams in the country tend to play their best down the stretch? The best teams in the NFL typically play well in December. Shouldn’t it be the same for college hoops — especially with so many league titles yet to be determined and the seeding for postseason tournaments not sorted out?

Power-conference teams have a ton to play for in the final two weeks of the regular season. And with so much on the line, the handicapping strategy should change a bit. Oddsmakers often will sway their lines slightly to reflect teams’ must-win mentality in key spots. Alternatively, they may shade teams that are playing out the string, already looking forward to the offseason.

The point spread is the great equalizer for bookmakers, and with so much known about teams by now, bettors looking to cash tickets in the final two weeks should be aware of some extra trends and systems that have produced strong results in recent years. Part of that should include late-season performance, especially when coaching situations remain consistent.

I will break down the results of the final two weeks of the regular season for the power conferences over the past five years, looking for spots in which we might be able to profit (records are through Tuesday). Last year, the three top teams I uncovered — Oregon, Villanova and Virginia — combined to go 10-1 straight up and 9-2 against the spread down the stretch, while the bottom teams — DePaul, Georgetown, Rutgers and TCU — went 3-12 SU and 6-8-1 ATS.

You’ll see some definitive angles to use over the next 10 days.

Top Teams

A “top 10” of power-conference teams have won 70 percent or more of their games in the final two weeks of the regular season over the past five years. They have combined to go 110-73-5 against the spread (60.1 percent) as well. They are:

Kansas: 16-4 SU, 9-11 ATS

Kentucky: 17-3 SU, 10-9-1 ATS

Michigan State: 14-5 SU, 13-6 ATS

Oregon: 17-1 SU, 14-3-1 ATS

Purdue: 14-5 SU, 9-9-1 ATS

Seton Hall: 13-5 SU, 12-5-1 ATS

Utah: 12-4 SU, 9-6-1 ATS

Villanova: 14-4 SU, 10-8 ATS

Virginia: 17-3 SU, 12-8 ATS

West Virginia: 14-6 SU, 12-8 ATS

Bottom Teams

Eleven power-conference teams have won 30 percent or fewer of their games in the final two weeks of the regular season over the past five years, and their combined ATS record is an ugly 82-118-5 (41 percent). Those teams are:

Alabama: 5-15 SU, 6-14 ATS

Boston College: 5-15 SU, 9-9-2 ATS

DePaul: 5-14 SU, 9-10 ATS

Georgetown: 5-13 SU, 7-11 ATS

Missouri: 6-14 SU, 9-11 ATS

Nebraska: 4-13 SU, 5-11-1 ATS

Pittsburgh: 3-16 SU, 5-14 ATS

Rutgers: 4-13 SU, 7-9-1 ATS

St. John’s: 5-13 SU, 5-12-1 ATS

TCU: 5-15 SU, 9-10-1 ATS

Washington St.: 5-13 SU, 11-7 ATS

Best Home Teams

Six teams have gone undefeated at home in the final two weeks of the past five seasons. They have combined to go 34-20-1 against the spread (63 percent) as well. They are:

Kansas: 10-0 SU, 3-7 ATS

Kentucky: 10-0 SU, 7-3 ATS

Oklahoma: 10-0 SU, 7-3 ATS

Oregon: 6-0 SU, 5-1 ATS

Purdue: 9-0 SU, 4-4-1 ATS

West Virginia: 10-0 SU, 8-2 ATS

Worst Home Teams

Most of the teams on the bottom list have enjoyed little to no home-court advantage late in the season. Their combined ATS record is a miserable 18-36-1 (33 percent).

Alabama: 3-7 SU, 2-8 ATS

Georgetown: 3-6 SU, 2-7 ATS

Oregon State: 3-5 SU, 2-6 ATS

Pittsburgh: 3-6 SU, 3-6 ATS

Rutgers: 3-6 SU, 4-4-1 ATS

TCU: 3-7 SU, 5-5 ATS

Best Road Teams

The ability to win on the road late in the season is typically a strong trait for the best teams across all sports. The same goes for college basketball. Four power-conference teams have won at least 70 percent of their road games in this time span:

Kentucky: 7-3 SU, 3-6-1 ATS

North Carolina: 8-3 SU, 6-4-1 ATS

Oregon: 11-1 SU, 9-2 ATS

Virginia: 7-2 SU, 6-3 ATS

Worst Road Teams

Ten teams have won one or no games on the road, combining for an ATS record of 26-63-2 (29.2 percent).

Boston College: 1-9 SU, 4-4-2 ATS

DePaul: 1-8 SU, 3-6 ATS

Mississippi St.: 1-9 SU, 4-5 ATS

Nebraska: 0-9 SU, 1-8 ATS

Northwestern: 1-8 SU, 2-7 ATS

Oklahoma: 1-8 SU, 2-7 ATS

Pittsburgh: 0-10 SU, 2-8 ATS

Rutgers: 1-7 SU, 3-5 ATS

St. John’s: 1-9 SU, 2-8 ATS

Stanford: 1-7 SU, 3-5 ATS

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