The Manhattan Jaspers have covered seven of their last eight contests.
Punxsutawney Phil's forecast calls for six more weeks of winter, though spring generally arrives from a sports perspective when one hears those four magical words, "Pitchers and catchers report."
From a sports betting perspective, however, spring is already here with college basketball in full bloom. We're seeing more and more conference rematches plus a settling of offensive and defensive statistics with some of the elite facing much tougher opponents within their leagues.
But whether it has been conference play or out of conference, some teams have been steady winners against the NCAA odds, while others have been unable to beat the spreads. Seventeen teams with at least 10 games appearing on college basketball betting boards are covering numbers at a 65 percent clip or better, led by the Manhattan Jaspers of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
Manhattan currently clocks in with a 16-5 record against the spread, that 76.2 percent conversion translating to 10.5 units of profit for bettors. The Jaspers are also winning on the court, 16-7 overall and 9-2 in the MAAC standings. Backers have gone to the pay window following seven of Manhattan's last eight games, the team's signature win to date coming Jan. 12 at Iona where the Jaspers pulled off the 75-72 outright upset as 13-point underdogs.
Another team bringing home the bacon for gamblers as well as providing wins for their fans is Nevada. The Wolf Pack take a 15-game win streak into their Feb. 2 home contest against Utah State, and stand 18-3 overall with an unbeaten 7-0 mark in WAC action. Nevada's 13-4 ATS mark remains one of the best though it has taken a couple of hits to the losing side in the Pack's last four lined games.
California is the only squad from the Big 6 conferences to cover spreads at a 65 percent rate or better. The Golden Bears are 13-7 ATS, but have split their last 10 vs. the number.
La Salle (12-4-1 ATS) and St. Joseph's (13-6 ATS) are the top two cover teams from the Atlantic 10, and the two Philadelphia schools will collide this Saturday (Feb. 4) on the Hawks' floor for the only regular season meeting between the rivals. The Explorers have covered their last three and presently sit atop the A-10 with a 6-2 conference record. St. Joe's got off to an incredible start vs. the odds by covering 10 of its first 12 games with spreads, but the Hawks have since fallen off that pace with a 3-4 ATS mark over the last seven contests.
Creighton (13-6 ATS) has seen its spreads inflated recently, but the Bluejays continue to beat the number with a 5-2 ATS run to go with an 11-game straight-up win streak.
The remaining teams that had covered 65 percent of their games or better through Feb. 1 are South Dakota State (11-3-1), Middle Tennessee State (15-5-1), North Texas (12-4), New Mexico (14-5), Arkansas-Little Rock (14-5), Bowling Green (13-5), Dartmouth (7-3-1), Pennsylvania (11-5), Pacific (11-5), Appalachian State (10-5) and Drexel (14-7).
Last Year's Finalists Lead List Of Teams Worth Fading
They were the last two teams standing a season ago, but the 2011-12 campaign has been anything but kind to the Butler Bulldogs and Connecticut Huskies, or their backers.
Butler tops all teams that have failed to cover at least a third of their lined games. The Bulldogs entered their Feb. 2 game vs. Wright State just 12-11 overall – 6-5 in Horizon League games – and owning a 4-14-2 ATS mark. Butler has just two covers and a 'push' to show for the last 10 contests.
Defending champ UConn has really done an about face since the Big East schedule arrived. The Huskies dropped their fourth consecutive game (SU & ATS) at Georgetown on Wednesday, never coming close to covering the +2½-point spread in a 58-44 setback. The defeat left Connecticut 4-5 in league play, and a money-burning 2-8-1 ATS over the course of the last 11 tilts.
The Huskies aren't alone in the Big East when it comes to the fade list. Villanova is also suffering through a down season, with the Wildcats 10-12 overall, 3-7 in conference and 5-13-1 ATS.
Three more Big 6 schools experiencing forgettable seasons all around are Clemson (11-10 SU, 5-11 ATS), Arizona State (7-14 SU, 6-15 ATS) and Texas Tech (7-14 SU, 4-12-1 ATS).
The fade list (less than 33% covers) also includes Western Carolina (6-13 ATS), Cal-Davis (5-13-1 ATS), George Washington (6-13-1 ATS), Santa Clara (5-13 ATS) and Northern Arizona (4-13-1 ATS).