A closer look at the AAC & Big 12
LAS VEGAS, NV (The Spread) - Thanks to realignment, college basketball has been shaken up in a good way.
There is a brand new league call the American Athletic Conference, mainly formed of teams from Conference USA and the Big East. Those moves had a trickle-down effect involving conferences like the Atlantic Ten, Conference USA and Big East, trying to keep their leagues alive by poaching teams from mid-major conferences.
New teams in new leagues tends to have adjustment periods as they get used to different rivalries and unique gyms. Tracking these teams in the early days of conference play can be instrumental to success, especially if you are a trends player.
Let's take a look at the newest league in college basketball- the American Athletic Conference (AAC). One of the early trends found in this league is that teams that are single digit road dogs are 5-3 against the spread in conference play. That's only after five or six games of conference play, depending on the team. Cincinnati, a former Big East member, has played a similar style for many years, whether it's Bob Huggins coaching them or Mick Cronin. The Bearcats play a fairly deliberate style and that's paved the way to a 1-12 Under record in their lined games. That's pretty astonishing but not unusual to see defensive minded teams with great records (Cincinnati is 17-2) and they are usually a good under play.
In the Big 12, single digit road dogs are 6-3 and double digit dogs are 1-4-1 against the spread in conference play. If you are looking for a sleeper, Kansas State is one of those teams that is 11-5-1 against the spread overall. This is a very good league which could feature six or seven teams in the NCAA Tournament. Baylor appears to be on the early bubble right now and the are 13-5 straight up, but just 4-7-1 against the spread as the oddsmakers tend to overvalue them some.
The Pac-12, like the Big 12, has been untouched by realignment this year. One of the most interesting trends in this league is that double digits dogs are 4-8 against the spread. Arizona ranks first in the nation and should run away with the league but a sleeper is California. They are already 5-0 in conference play and 6-0 against the spread in their last six games.