Super Bowl 50 is a week away and that means we are looking down the barrel to the Madness of March.
With that being written, it’s time to take a look at the best and worst teams to bet on this March Madness season. The rule is simple: the teams have to be guaranteed a spot in the NCAA Tournament. If they aren’t guaranteed to make it to the NCAA Tournament, how can they be a good or bad team to back ATS?
Best Against The Spread College Basketball Teams to Bet On
All records as of Jan. 29, 2016
- St. Mary’s, 17-2, 12-4 ATS – Gonzaga was supposed to run away with the West Coast Conference. The Zags were ranked in the Top 10 to start the season. But as of right now, Gonzaga sits on a 16 and 5 record in second place in the WCC while St. Mary’s is in first place with a 17 and 2 straight up record and an awesome 12 and 4 ATS record. The Gaels are ranked first in field goal percentage at 53.7%. They are ranked second in points allowed per game at 59.3. This team is for real. They should have a great March because odds makers and bettors still won’t give them the respect that they deserve.
- USC, 16-5, 13-7-1 ATS – The surprise team from the Pac 12 this season figures to continue to face spreads that aren’t nearly as tough as the spreads that Arizona, UCLA and Oregon face in the Pac. USC is a good enough team to make a huge run in both the Pac 12 Tournament, where they’ll likely be underdogs in most of their games, and in the NCAA Tournament, where the Selection Committee, no doubt, is going to make them a higher seed than they should be. Expect more than fair betting lines on Trojan games come March.
- Providence, 17-4, 12-8 ATS – The Friars might be the best team in the Big East. But the conference is so deep that Providence could face advantageous against the spread lines come March. Xavier, Butler, Georgetown, Providence and Villanova should all make the NCAA Tournament. Providence could get lost in that shuffle even though they have, arguably, the best point guard in the nation in Kris Dunn, and one of the best big men in the nation playing for them in Ben Bentil.
Worst Against The Spread College Basketball Teams to Bet On
All records as of Jan. 29, 2016
- Gonzaga, 16-5, 6-12-1 ATS – Gonzaga’s thunder is gone. St. Mary’s stole the Zags’ thunder a long time ago. But, odds makers continue to give the Zags the benefit of the doubt. How else to explain the horrible ATS record? Gonzaga is usually a play against the spread in March as it is. This March, they might be a blind play against in March.
- Virginia, 16-4, 7-11 ATS – Virginia’s biggiest issue with covering spreads this season is that odds makers don’t know what to make of their new style of play. The Cavaliers have gone from being a defensive first team to a more offensively based squad. They aren’t scoring 80 points a game, but they will if they can. That has led the odds makers to, even now, have issues with setting a correct betting line on Virginia. The confusion with the line should remain intact come March.
- Maryland, 18-3, 10-11 ATS – Maryland is one of the best teams in the nation. They have one of the top back courts, they have a great big man, and they’ve been winning games straight up. The Terps have a shot at the National Championship. But, as far as ATS wagering goes, it’s impossible to make money off of Maryland. The reason is simple. With success comes scrutiny. The more eyes, the more bets on the team, the worse the spreads. Oklahoma and North Carolina could have both shown up in this spot. In fact, it’s a good idea to stay away from every single possible number one NCAA Tournament Seed in the sports book come March, unless the Selecton Committee winds up giving a 1 to St. Mary’s.