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It was a topsy-turvy week in college hoops, especially over the weekend. The last two remaining unbeaten teams (Duke, Michigan) suffered their first losses. A few things remaining relatively unchanged, however, especially if you have been following this column with some regularity.
The Appalachian State Mountaineers (6-8 SU, 9-0 ATS) were a pick 'em or small home dog to the visiting Elon Phoenix (8-7 SU, 6-4 ATS) over the weekend. A huge surge in the first half looked to be the end of App State's dominance against the number, but they stormed back to tie it at halftime, and then the Mountaineers dominated in the second half for yet another cover. They're the only unbeaten team against the spread in major college hoops (minimum five games ATS). We were bit by the Marshall Thundering Herd (8-9 SU, 1-10-1 ATS) early in the week, as they mashed the Tulsa Golden Hurricane (10-7 SU, 7-6 ATS) for their first cover of the season. However, the Thundering Herd was back to form with a road loss against the UTEP Miners (8-6 SU, 7-6 ATS) Saturday night.
Northern Colorado (3-11 SU, 1-11 ATS): The Bears of NCU have been terrible straight-up and against the number. They are also just 2-3 straight-up at home with wins against bad North Dakota and Northern Arizona teams. They have failed to cover five straight games, including all three of their games against the spread at home. Portland State is 5-8 straight-up this season, but an impressive 7-4 ATS. Remember that Thursday when perusing the schedule. Eastern Washington is a pretty terrible team, and it might be a good idea to shy away with two bad teams facing each other.
This week: Portland State, Thursday; Eastern Washington, Saturday
Richmond (11-6 SU, 3-11 ATS): The Spiders are a pretty good overall, but they have been terrible against the number. The Spiders have failed to cover their past two games, six of the past seven, and 11 of the past 13. They've been especially bad on the road, failing to cover four straight. Remember that when they play a good Bulldogs team, although they might be without G Rotnei Clarke (neck). He was hospitalized Saturday in Dayton after leaving on a stretcher following a hard foul. Then, the Spiders face a red-hot Charlotte team at home. It could be an ugly week both in the win-loss column and against the spread.
This week: at Butler, Wednesday; Charlotte, Saturday
Sacramento State (8-6 SU, 2-7-1 ATS): Sac State has been a decent team overall, winning eight of their 14 games straight-up. But they have been woeful against the number, especially of late. While they were road dogs at Eastern Washington Saturday, they won outright to stop the bleeding. But they are still 1-7-1 ATS over their past nine. At first glance, Idaho State is terrible overall, going 3-11 straight-up. But they are 7-6 ATS, so it might be another failed cover for Sac State. Weber State is a good team at 10-3 overall, and they are so-so (5-5) against the number. Check out the trends in that one over the weekend before investing against the Hornets.
This week: at Idaho State, Thursday; at Weber State, Saturday
The Citadel (3-11 SU, 1-7 ATS): The Bulldogs have been terrible straight-up and against the number. They'll take on their cross-town rivals Monday. The Cougars of Charleston are 5-0 straight-up on the road, and 5-2 ATS in their past seven meetings at The Citadel. More importantly, the Bulldogs have failed to cover in seven straight and five SoCon games in a row. Look for the week to get off to a terrible start, which is music to the ears of bettors. Davidson has alternated covers and losses in each of their past six. Look for bettors to continue loading up against The Citadel this week.
This week: Charleston, Monday; at Davidson, Thursday; at Georgia Southern, Saturday
Western Illinois (14-3 SU, 10-3 ATS): The Leathernecks of WIU are 14-3 overall this season, but they are particularly impressive at home. The 'Necks are 9-0 straight-up at home, and that's good news with two more home games coming this week. They have rattled off 11 consecutive victories, and they have covered seven of their past eight. The only failed cover was Jan. 5 against IUPUI, a team which we talked about last week. They, too, have been hot against the spread. The Leathernecks were 5-0 ATS at home until that overtime win against the Jaguars of IUPUI. The South Dakota State team is pretty stout, but they have failed to cover two of their past three. Beware of betting big against North Dakota, however, as they have covered five straight road games, and seven of their past eight.
This week: South Dakota State, Thursday; North Dakota, Saturday