By Ron Jumper
Now that the college football season is over, it is time to turn our full attention to the hardwood. Not the NBA so much right now, as the NBA playoffs are when there is the most money to be made. I’m talking about college basketball, from the big boys down to the low majors. This is the time of year when lines are ripe for the picking. I’m going to go over a new system I’ve developed and give out some teams to keep on an eye on that the books may not be properly valuing.
As with all handicappers, developing systems can often sound quirky and even crazy but there is usually a method to the madness. With that in mind, here goes:
Zig-Zag Contrarian System
Most have heard of the Zig-Zag NBA playoff betting system and you’ve probably also heard of contrarian betting. If you haven’t, zig-zag theory is basically betting the rhythm of the NBA playoffs from game to game instead of the matchup so that, if Team A wins game 1, you take Team B in game 2. Contrarian betting is simply going against the majority on the simple premise the public generally loses so why not just do the opposite.
For my theory, I combine those two into a system that only requires two steps. Step one, pick teams that are traditionally “public” teams but also typically have a losing ATS record or are drastically overvalued this season due to results from the previous season. Michigan State was the first team that came to mind, as they finished 15-21 ATS last season despite typically being a popular/good team. As for teams who I think are simply overvalued, I’m going with Pitt and Syracuse. Part of the lack of value is also due to their style of play and lack of 3-point shooting, as they tend to not blow out teams as bad as they should this season (Pitt has historically won games ugly under Jamie Dixon). So now I have my three teams who have a combined 15-24 ATS record this season thus far.
For step two, simply fade these three teams after an ATS win in their next game. If you had done that all season long, you would be 12-3 ATS. That is a rock solid 80% clip. Basically, that means these three teams have only won back-to-back times against the spread three times all season long. For example, back on 11/12 Michigan State covered 20-point spread against Eastern Michigan but failed to cover the 17-point spread in their next outing against South Carolina. Simply wait patiently until one of these three teams cover and bet the other way their next game. Can’t get much simpler than that…
Here is a list of teams to keep an eye on, as they have performed admirably thus far this season:
Purdue (10-3 ATS)
The Boilermakers have yet to get that much national attention, so cash in while you can. JaJuan Johnson is becoming a consistent force to be reckoned with inside and E’Twaun Moore is a big scorer on the perimeter.
Cincinnati (7-4 ATS)
The Bearcats have been a pleasant surprise to most, but I always HATED Lance Stephenson’s game. With Yancy Gates inside and Dion Dixon outside, plus a nice assortment of role players (7 guys average between 5.9 and 12.6 points), Mick Cronin has a nice squad trying to gain respect in the Big East.
Dayton (8-3 ATS)
Staying in Ohio, the Flyers are quietly putting together a very good season. After a bad loss early to Cincy, they have responded. Christ Wright and Chris Johnson form one of the nations best duos no one has heard of.
Tulane (6-0 ATS)
Probably the best kept secret in all of college basketball. New head coach Ed Conroy has installed his version of the Princeton offense and has a great mix of interchangeable parts to properly utilize the system (4 of top 5 scorers are between 6’5 and 6’7).
Temple (10-4 ATS)
The Owls continue to win under head coach Fran Dunphy, who has this squad playing great defense (held opponents under 60 points in 9 of 14 games).
Drexel (9-3 ATS)
The Dragons are playing great and deserve our attention, but so does the CAA as a whole. Who would have thought this was a RPI Top 10 conference?
Mississippi State (1-10 ATS)
It has been a total mess since the end of last season…
Saint Louis (2-9 ATS)
Get well soon, Rick Majerus.
San Diego (2-12 ATS)
Same town as Aztecs, not quite the same results…
Arizona State (2-11 ATS)
Basically either they don’t win or they win UGLY!
Texas Tech (2-9 ATS)
Over/Under at 6.5 for calls Pat makes weekly crying for Daddy (Bob Knight) to come back.
Oklahoma (2-7 ATS)
Put this bunch in a UAPB jersey and no one could tell…