Mid-major report: Small schools have big value on the road

Mid-major report: Small schools have big value on the road

Mid-major report: Small schools have big value on the road
By Ben Burns

Home-court advantage means less when betting on teams from mid-major conferences. Smaller venues and smaller crowds make for less intimidating atmospheres.

In addition, the talent differential from the top teams in conferences like the Ohio Valley and Big West is far greater than in power leagues like the Big East and ACC.

The result is an advantageous situation for bettors, who are not afraid to play road teams.


•Austin Peay (12-7 SU, 8-6 ATS) Heading into Tuesday’s Ohio Valley contest at Eastern Kentucky, Austin Peay was 7-2 against the spread on the road; yet, the first-place Governors were just 1-4 ATS at home.

Remaining road games: at Eastern Kentucky (Tuesday), at Murray State (Saturday), at Tennessee Tech (Feb. 9), at Jacksonville State (Feb. 17).

•Utah State (19-1 SU, 7-6-1 ATS): The first-place Aggies are the class of the WAC and they demonstrate it on the road. Heading into Thursday’s home game against Nevada, Utah State is 5-1 ATS on the road, but only 1-5 ATS at home.

Remaining road games: at Fresno State (Saturday), at Idaho (Feb. 12), at Boise State (Feb. 14), at Nevada (Feb. 28).

•UC-Davis (9-11 SU, 11-5 ATS): Coach Gary Stewart’s Aggies out of the Big West aren’t nearly as good as Austin Peay or Utah State, but they are exceptional at keeping games close, especially on the road. UC-Davis is 7-1 ATS on the road, but only 3-4 ATS at home.

Remaining road games: at Long Beach State (Feb. 5), at UC-Riverside (Feb. 7), at Cal-Poly (Feb. 18), at Pacific (Feb. 25) at UC-Santa Barbara (Feb. 28).

•Miami (OH) (10-7, 9-6 ATS): The Red Hawks have managed to hang tough, despite missing their starting point guard and second-leading scorer Kenny Hayes for the past eight games. Miami is 7-2 ATS on the road.

Remaining road games: at Eastern Michigan (Saturday), at Toledo (Feb. 7), at Central Michigan (Feb. 10), at Akron (Feb. 18), at Ohio (Feb. 26), at Buffalo (March 8).


There are significantly more mid-major teams with better ATS marks on the road than at home. But there are always a few exceptions.

•Memphis (16-3 SU, 11-7 ATS): It seems ridiculous to call the Tigers a mid-major. But any conference that is likely to receive just one NCAA bid qualifies.

John Calipari’s bunch isn’t garnering as much respect as it did last season. But Memphis is still been a reliable play at home. The Tigers are 9-2 ATS at home, but only 1-3 away.

Remaining home games: vs. Houston (Saturday), vs. Tulsa (Feb. 11), vs. Souther Miss (Feb. 28), vs. Tulane (March 7)

•Houston (12-5 SU, 8-5-1 ATS): The Cougars should be the biggest test for Memphis, especially when the Tigers visit Houston in early March. Tom Penders’ Cougars are 5-1 ATS at home, but just 2-3 on the road.

Remaining home games: vs. UTEP (Wednesday), vs. Rice (Feb. 7), vs. Tulane (Feb. 14), vs. Central Florida (Feb. 21), vs. Memphis (March 4), vs. SMU (March 7).

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