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2016-17 College Basketball Betting Predictions

Before we enter into the new college basketball season, I took it upon myself to dig into the numbers and make a prediction about who will be the best and worst bets of the upcoming year. All of these teams fall on the more obscure side, but since they see less national exposure, they should have some juicy lines.

So without further ado, here are my predictions for the best and worst bets of the 2016-17 college basketball season. 

Top ATS Team: Rice Owls

Rice was not an especially good team last season, as they had an average scoring margin of -6.1 points. However, they tended to clean up points in garbage time, as the averaged 41 points in the second compared to 34.2 in the first.

Aside from being able to make games appear closer than they likely were thanks to some garbage time stats, Rice returns basically its entire roster. That includes stud Marcus Evans, who averaged 21.4 points per game on 47 percent shooting last season as a freshman.

In all likelihood, the Owls are going to be spotted a few too many points once conference play begins, especially since they have dates with Texas Tech and Stephen F. Austin in non-conference play. Rice plus the points should be making money for bettors this season.

Worst ATS Team: East Tennessee State Buccaneers

Steve Forbes took over as coach of the East Tennessee State Buccaneers last season and turned them from a .500 team to one that contended for the conference title. There is certainly reason for fans to be optimistic for the team this season, but bettors should be wary.

E. Tenn State outscored opponents by a mere 0.8 points per game last season and they will be without Ge’Lawn Guyn, who paced the team in points last season. The team went 23-10 SU last season, but just 7-17-1 ATS in games with a listed spread. Now they will be playing with heightened expectations without last season’s best player.

The Buccaneers will be exciting and could easily find themselves in the NIT this season if all goes well, but the odds of them sitting as decent-size favorites and covering seems hard for me to believe.

Best OVER Team: Charlotte 49ers

Charlotte goes relatively unnoticed in the C-USA, but the 49ers were money for bettors last season as they had the seventh-best OVER percentage in the country. The high-scoring backcourt trio of Braxton Ogbueze, Andrien White and Jon Davis all return for another year and should continue to scorch opposing defenses.

Ogbueze, White and Davis combined for 36.9 points per game last season, but it will be vital that one of them grows into more of a facilitator, as Joseph Uchebo – the lone true point guard – graduated.

Aside from a high-scoring backcourt, the frontcourt is pretty bare bones. Anthony Vanhook will continue to be serviceable at the three, but the defense could struggle as 7’0” Benas Griciunas didn’t look exceptional last season after transferring from Auburn.

Best UNDER Team: Denver Pioneers

Denver scored just 65.2 points per game last season, which had them ranked 326th in the nation. It’s not that they were terrible offensively, as the team shot a respectable 47.6 percent from the field and 38.3 percent from beyond the arc.

The lack of scoring has a lot to do with the team’s style of play under then first-year head coach Rodney Billups. Billups emphasized a clock control-based game that saw the Pioneers average the second-fewest possessions per game in the nation. The team also struggled to find a competent presence in the paint, as they had terrible rebound control.

Despite possessing some decent size in the frontcourt, Denver will likely struggle to rebound again this season, which means Billups will emphasize a measured approach to offense.

You can check out the best and worst bets of last season here.

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