We’ve reached the middle of January. The college football season is over and college basketball is now center stage for college fans. Of course the NFL playoffs are going to get a lot of attention as well, but through the week a lot of focus will be on college basketball. March Madness is only two months away.
Let’s take a look at 5 of the worst teams ATS so far this year. Is there value here? Keep in mind that betting on these worst teams ATS in the middle and late portion of the season has usually been profitable. About the time most bettors give up on a team there can be value. Do any of these teams stand out?
Tulsa Golden Hurricane (1-14 ATS)
Tulsa has a new coach in Eric Konkol. Konkol was previously at Louisiana Tech, and he did a good job there. I’m not ready to call his term a failure this quick. He was put in a tough spot here. Frank Haith did quite a bit of damage to the program in recent years, and this roster isn’t very talented now. They are one of the shortest teams in the country. I don’t want to back them consistently across the board, but I do think there will be some spots especially as home underdogs where backing them could be valuable.
Loyola Chicago Ramblers (3-13 ATS)
The first year in the Atlantic 10 isn’t going well at all for the Ramblers. This is clearly a step up in competition, and Loyola has the least experience they have had in several years. A 24.6% turnover rate on offense is crushing them on a game to game basis. The point guard play just hasn’t been good enough. Their defense which has usually been very strong is giving up 1.22 points per possession in league play.
Kentucky Wildcats (4-11-1 ATS) Kentucky is the first of some big names on this list. I truthfully can’t believe the Wildcats have been this bad. Their last game was a home loss to a weak South Carolina team. John Calipari has a lot of heat on him right now to get this turned around. Jacob Toppin missed that game, and his status should be monitored closely. This team is too talented to be terrible consistently. I will look for spots to back them in the near future.
Gonzaga Wildcats (4-11-1 ATS) Yet another basketball power who has been burning money this year. Gonzaga is 14-3 and they are still a good team, but they are clearly down a couple notches. Their offense which has been best in the land in three of the last five years is now 7th in effective field goal percentage offense. The defense is 207th! I still don’t want to lay the big numbers with the current Zags squad.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (3-14 ATS)
Notre Dame makes very little sense. The Fighting Irish beat Michigan State by 18 earlier this year. They have lost to St. Bonaventure, Florida State, and Boston College. Last year the Fighting Irish surprised many people, but they were all the way up at 69th in defensive efficiency. They have slid down to 221st this season. A very tough team to get a read on. I’ll pass here because of the inconsistency issues.