Teddy_Covers's Blog

Posted Monday, February 25, 2013 07:42 AM

Vegas Wiseguy Report: 'Fade the Dead'

It’s late February, and there’s still two more full weeks of regular season action in college hoops before the madness truly begins.  It’s too early to write about conference tournament betting strategies – I’ll save that for next week.  But it’s not too late to write about the bevy of ‘dead’ teams that are populating the college hoops landscape right now; teams that are lethargically playing out the string of the regular season.  Sometimes, the sharp move is to lay big points fading sorry teams.

Even bad teams have hope in November – the season is fresh and new; teammates aren’t sick and tired of each other or their coaches, and the nagging injuries haven’t started to pile up.  And teams that get smacked around in non-conference play for two months get an opportunity to regroup against comparable competition when conference play begins in January. 

But when things go south in conference play, it’s not easy for many of these squads to continue competing at the same level they were earlier in the season.  By late February, the final few weeks of the regular season are a meat grinder for struggling squads, particularly those who have suffered from injuries and attrition, leaving them banged up and shorthanded down the stretch.  I call these squads ‘dead’ teams, and look to bet against them at every reasonable opportunity.

No... [More]

Posted Monday, February 18, 2013 03:42 AM

Vegas Wiseguy Report: NCAA Morphers

I’ve done my last two columns breaking down aggregate season long stats, examining the very best and very worst pointspread teams in all of college basketball. Next week, the focus shifts towards conference tournaments and the Big Dance.  In between?  This little doozy about how to make money betting NCAA hoops in the always tricky month of February!

The key to late regular season college hoops for me has always been about ‘morphing’ teams – squads whose long term numbers don’t match their short term momentum – either positive or negative.  There are quite literally dozens of such teams right now, all of whom are at least moderately mispriced in the betting markets these days, offering savvy bettors solid opportunities on a near daily basis.

Who are some of these teams?  Why are they morphing now?  Read on to find out!

I’ll start with a handful of teams moving in the right direction – from mediocre to good, or from good to great.  Georgetown certainly stands out on this list; a perfect 7-0 straight up and against the spread in their last seven contests.  The Hoyas were never a bad team, but a 2-3 SU start in Big East play left them somewhat undervalued at the same time that NBA lottery bound small forward Otto Porter really stepped up into his ‘go-to-guy’ role during crunchtime. 

But more... [More]

Posted Monday, February 11, 2013 12:33 AM

Vegas Wiseguy Report: NCAA ATS Disasters

Last week, I took a look at the best pointspread teams in all of college basketball, with the goal of assessing which teams were most likely to continue their ATS success down the stretch.  This week, I’m taking the opposite approach; examining the very worst pointspread teams in college basketball.  Why are they so bad against the spread?  Will they continue to be overvalued as February rolls into March?  Let’s find out!

The single worst pointspread team in all of college basketball this year has been IUPUI (Indiana-Purdue, Indianapolis); the type of team that only wiseguys bet on or against on a regular basis.  At 5-17 ATS, no team in all of college basketball has suffered more pointspread defeats than the Jaguars this year.  The Jaguars play in the Summit League, on the added board in college hoops – exclusive territory for sharps.

IUPUI has virtually no homecourt edge, covering just a single pointspread at home all year.  They’ve been besieged with injuries and attrition; leaving them with a rotation that goes only seven deep these days.  Statistically, their two biggest weaknesses really stand out: rebounding (-5 per game) and defense (49% shooting and 77 points per game allowed).

But the real question is why a team like IUPUI is at the very bottom of the ATS standings.  Todd Howard’s squad wasn’t particu... [More]

Posted Monday, February 04, 2013 12:55 PM

Vegas Wiseguy Report: NCAA ATS Juggernauts

The Super Bowl is in the rear view mirror after Sunday’s wild Ravens victory, which can only mean one thing – college hoops is on center stage for the next eight weeks.  I’ve been writing game previews for ESPN.com/Insider for the last month, but I’ve yet to write a true ‘college basketball overview’ column for any publication so far this season.  That streak ends here.

I’m going take a look at the very best pointspread ‘regular board’ teams in the country in this week’s column.  The list of ATS juggernauts is likely to surprise many people due to it’s diversity.  Elite level teams aren’t necessarily pointspread winners, and bottom feeders can cash ticket after ticket if the betting markets set numbers that allow them to hang within the number as big underdogs.  Look no further than the single best ATS team in the nation so far this season. 

I’ll wager that less than a dozen people in the country knew that Fordham is the #1 ATS team in all of D-1 basketball this year; 14-5 against the number.  The Rams are 6-16 SU, just 2-5 in Atlantic-10 play.  This is nothing new or different – the Rams went a combined 17-40 SU in head coach Tom Pecora’s first two years on the job.  They’re a bad offensive team, hitting less than 41% from the floor for the season while missing more than one out of three free throw attempts.  They’re a mediocre def... [More]