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Each week throughout the college basketball season, Covers Expert Jesse Schule will dissect the new Top 25 rankings, looking for betting value. He'll showcase the most overrated team, along with the most underrated ranked team, and an unranked squad that he feels should be in the Top 25.
Most Underrated Top 25 Team – North Carolina State Wolfpack (12-2 SU, 6-6 ATS)
The Wolfpack are the top shooting team in the country hitting over 53 percent of their shots from the field, and only recently have they climbed back into the rankings. They have won eight straight since losing to Michigan and they remain undefeated at home. They are dominating opponents in their own building, winning by an average margin of 18 points.
After failing to cover the spread in three straight games, N.C. State is just a 10-point favorite at home against Georgia Tech Wednesday. The Wolfpack shouldn't have any trouble with the Yellow Jackets and the line in that game appears to be a little low. They might get caught looking ahead though, as they have a date with Duke Saturday.
Most Overrated Top 25 Team - Cincinnati Bearcats (13-3 SU, 6-6 ATS)
The Bearcats came storming out of the gates winning 12 in a row to start the season, but all of those victories came against unranked opponents. The schedule has gotten a little tougher for Cincy and it has now lost three of its last four. Poor shooting has been an issue for the Bearcats. They shot just 31.3 percent from the field in their first loss of the season, losing to New Mexico by a score of 55-54 at home.
Cincinnati ranks among the worst in the country in field goal percentage, shooting just 43 percent. Until recently, it has been able to overcome poor shooting with great defense. But after losing to New Mexico, the Bearcats went on to lose their next two home games to St. Johns and Notre Dame. The schedule isn't going to get any easier for them, with upcoming games against Rutgers, Marquette and Syracuse over the next two weeks.
Unranked Team That Should Be Ranked - Maryland Terrapins (13-1 SU, 5-2 ATS)
The Terrapins are flying under the radar, not getting a lot of attention for a team with a 13-1 record. They have only played one ranked team this season and that was a 72-69 loss to Kentucky in their opening game. They have since gone on to win 13 straight games in very impressive fashion. Granted they haven't had a tough schedule, but they aren't just winning - they are mopping the floor with their opponents.
Maryland was an underdog in its only true road game so far this season, getting five points against Northwestern. The Terps went on the blow out the Wildcats by a 20-point margin, winning 77-57. They host Florida State at home in their next game but things start to get a lot more difficult after that, with upcoming road games at Miami and North Carolina, as well as hosting N.C. State next week.
Maryland's loss to Florida St last night could have put the Terps' top 25 hopes on hold for awhile, but even their original record could have given them at worst a lower echelon debut.
Look for Oklahoma St out of the Big 12 to possibly crack the top 25. A 63-45 win over TCU last night improved the Cowboys to 11-3 overall. Their next matchup will prove a lot of bad blood playing their interstate rivals.
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