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Under the Radar
Under the Radar
Under the Radar
By Joe Williams
Some of the trends we had been following earlier in the season were working out well. However, all of a sudden Illinois-Chicago and St. Peter's, for example, are no longer teams to depend upon after routinely covering the spread early on. Old Dominion and Texas-Arlington were among those teams who had routinely been failing to cover, but suddenly they are bucking that trend and costing bettors money.
IUPUI (6-13 SU, 4-11 ATS) is another one of those teams we had been picking on earlier in the season. In fact, they were 0-10 ATS to start the season. However, over their past five games, they are actually 4-1 ATS and a team which has suddenly become a bargain as they get into conference play in the Summit League. Louisiana Tech (12-3 SU, 8-3-1 ATS) is another of those teams sorta flying under the radar. While yes, they failed to cover, or pushed, depending on your book, over the weekend at Texas-Arlington, a bad team, the Bulldogs have been money at home. In fact, they are 7-0 on their home floor with a 5-1 ATS mark. Rememeber that when they come home Jan. 17 against Idaho, and Jan. 19 against Seattle.
Appalachian State (4-8 SU, 7-0 ATS): The Appalachian State Mountaineers haven't been a great team so far this season, and they're likely not on track for any postseason play. However, bettors like them very much, as they are a perfect 7-0 against the spread this season. And that isn't against a lot of slouches, either. They have covered in road trips to South Carolina, Missouri, Virginia Tech and East Carolina, among others. The Mountaineers have won three of their past four games straight-up against lesser opponents, and will get into the meat of their conference schedule this week with a pair games. They lost their initian SoCon game to Western Carolina earlier in the year, but, of course, they covered. It will be interesting to see if App State's success against the number continues, because Wofford and Elon are both above .500 against the spread this season.
This week: at Wofford, Tuesday; Elon, Saturday
Drexel (5-9 SU, 3-10 ATS): We've discussed Drexel before, and they're not as bad as their overall record and ATS number indicates. In fact, Drexel has cover three of their past six games, so you have to pick and choose your spots. This week they face two quality opponents with ATS records above .500. If Drexel's recent success keeps them as light underdogs, especially Tuesday against the first-place team in the Colonial Athletic Association, it will be wise to go against them. James Madison had their five-game cover streak snapped Saturday at Georgia State, but they have been tremendous against the number lately, too. Drexel looks to have another long week ahead.
This week: Northeastern, Tuesday; at James Madison, Saturday
Marshall (7-8 SU, 0-9-1 ATS): Marshall has been a hard team to figure out this season. They've won a handful of games, mostly at home, especially against decent Nevada and Morehead State teams. They also held their own for a while against Cincinnati and West Virginia in neutral-site battles before falling by the wayside. However, they're also on a three-game losing streak, which includes an inexplicable home loss to Delaware State of the MEAC. While it has been hard to figure straight-up wins and losses for the Thundering Herd, it hasn't been hard to figure them against the number. They're the only team in Division I hoops with at least five games ATS without at least one cover. Dartmouth (2-10 SU, 0-4 ATS) is the only other team with at least four games ATS without at least one cover.
This week: Tulsa, Wednesday; at Texas-El Paso, Saturday
Massachusetts (10-3 SU, 3-10 ATS): We've picked on the Minutemen before, too. They're a pretty good team overall, too, winning 10 of their 13 games straight-up. But they have been woeful against the spread, especially on the road. UMass is 1-3 ATS on the road, and 0-2 on a neutral-site court, so far this season. They've actually covered two of their past three at home. The good news is that they hit the road for a pair of A-10 games this week. St. Louis started out 2-6 ATS, but they have covered four straight. Remember that Thursday. And, Fordham is 8-4 ATS this season, although they have failed to cover their past two.
This week: at St. Louis, Thursday; at Fordham, Saturday
North Dakota State (13-3 SU, 11-3 ATS): North Dakota State is a little bit of an underrated team, both straight-up and against the spread. They have rattled off five consecutive victories, including three on the road, and the Bison has covered eight of their past nine and 11 of 14 this season. What's nice about No Dak State, too, is that they don't take you to the sweat shop. In their past four covers, it hasn't really been close to the number. They are 4-1 ATS at home, failing to cover last time out against a good South Dakota State team. However, with IUFW and Oakland visiting this week, they should be able to get back on track.
This week: Indiana U.-Fort Wayne, Thursday; Oakland, Saturday