The No. 1 Oklahoma Sooners have been a pretty balanced team in both the SU and ATS college football picks. The same goes for other top-10 teams like Xavier and Texas &M, who’ve also been paying NCAAB betting fans quite well on both the straight up and point spread lines. However, there have been some teams that have been predominantly good on the SU lines, but shaky in covering the spread. In the bid to guide your wagers on such teams, we list them below, detailing their performances so far and reasons why you should concentrate more in their SU lines rather than their wobbly ATS NCAAB odds.
— Maryland Basketball (@TerrapinHoops) February 4, 2016
Top-10 Ranked NCAAB Teams You Should Only Pick Straight-Up
No. 5 Iowa Hawkeyes (17-4 SU, 12-8 ATS)
To be fair, the Hawkeyes have been showing some decent consistency in the recent ATS lines, going 4-1 SU and 3-2 ATS in their last five games. However, for a #5 ranked team with just 4 straight up losses, you’d expect them to do better than already having 8 ATS losses so far. After all, we are just entering the heart of conference play where things will be getting tougher. And going by their struggles in the covering the spread, it doesn’t look like they Hawkeyes will be doing any better in the ATS lines. So rather than struggle with the Hawkeyes on their can-be hit-or-miss ATS lines, just bank on them in the SU lines, where they are known to be steady.
No. 7 Kansas Jayhawks (17-4 SU, 11-8 ATS)
After kick-starting their season with a stellar SU run of 14-1, including wins over Oklahoma, Baylor, Texas Tech, Vandy, UCLA, SD State and Oregon State; the Jayhawks have been quite shaky in recent games, going 3-3 SU in their last 6 games. To note is that all the three recent losses came by a double-digit margin, and they were trailing at home in the second half of two of the three wins. In essence, that’s the reason the Jayhawks currently spot a skewed ATS mark. But then again, the Big 12 has not been the easiest of places to play in; all teams there—including the nation-leading Oklahoma Sooners (18-2)—have lost at least twice and a total of 5 teams in the conference (OU, WVU, Baylor, Kansas and Iowa State) are all ranked in the top-25 this week. Essentially, this shows that the competition in the conference is really stiff. So, the fact that the Jayhawks have just four losses to their name and are ranked in the top-10 (with solid wins to their name) should be enough to convince you that Kansas is a trustworthy team when it comes to giving good value in the SU lines, even if their ATS mark isn’t as good.
No. 10 Michigan State at (19-4 SU, 12-9 ATS)
The Spartans have quietly seen their stakes rise in the college basketball futures odds, thanks to the collective hard-balling efforts of Michigan State on both ends of the floor, which has seen the team pick just four losses so far. The fact that Sparty has been dispatching its opponents authoritatively in both conference and non-conference play underscores the solid SU potential of this surging team, led by the do-all services of National Player of the Year Candidate Denzel Valentine and his trusted sidekick Deyonta Davis. If Davis and Valentine can continue to shower us with love this February, and the team continues to get better in the bench, I don’t see why things shouldn’t be rosy for the Spartans all the way into the Tourney.
No. 3 Maryland Terrapins (19-3 SU, 11-10-1 ATS)
Melo Trimble is a special talent and the Terps are a really good team, a paydirt combination particularly when playing at home where they are flawlessly 14-0 SU on the season. But looking at the ATS records, you can’t help but feel scared of trusting them to pay you bountifully or consistently. For example, in spite of their stellar 14-0 SU home record, the Terps are just 7-7 ATS in those home games. In conference play, they are 8-2 SU, but with a 6-4 ATS mark, and for the whole season, they are impressively 19-3 SU, but with a concerning 11-10-1 ATS record. The ATS marks are a far outcry of their covering-the-spread struggles. Owing to their strong play in the SU lines, but with a questionable reputation on the ATS side, sticking to Trimble and the Terps on the SU lines sounds like the most prudent thing to do, particularly in the games that they play at home.
No. 2 North Carolina Tar Heels (19-3 SU, 8-12-2 ATS)
Though the Tar Heels were out-thought and out-classed by the Louisville Cardinals on Monday, there are probably very few teams in the nation right now you’d better trust to win a game than North Carolina. Yes, they tend to slow down their tempo and go it easy when playing mid-level or low teams, which has repeatedly hurt their numbers in the ATS lines, but in the end, the Tar Heels often emerge on the victorious side of the SU lines. And after Louisville proved that nothing can be taken for granted, you can be sure that UNC will be out to stamp its authority as the strongest team and win as many games as possible in the bid to avoid giving the Cardinals a chance of snatching away the ACC title. With that, the Tar Heels should be good for a long winning streak down the stretch of the season, possibly with the chance of topping all their next opponents (at Notre Dame, at Boston College, vs. Pitt, vs. Duke, vs. Miami) to clinch a No. 1 seed slot in the Tournament.
Honorable Mentions: No. 3 Villanova (18-3 SU, 10-10 ATS), No. 9 Virginia Cavaliers (17-4 SU, 8-11 ATS)