A-10 Betting Notes
March 10, 2014
By Marc Lawrence
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ATLANTIC 10 CONFERENCE
March 11-16 -- All games at Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
PROJECTED FINAL FOUR: SAINT LOUIS, VCU, MASSACHUSETTS, ST. JOSEPH’S
THE WAY WE SEE IT:
Amazing, but true. After the passing of head coach Rick Majerus in early December 2012, the Billikens of SAINT LOUIS have been on a 50-9 SU winning tear under replacement coach Jim Crews. In fact, the former Indiana guard enters this tourney 17-1 SU and 14-4 ATS in conference games with the Billikens against opponents off a win. Unless things change dramatically, Louie Louie looks to be the ‘Kingsmen’ of the conference for the 2nd year in a row as the Majerus memorial march continues.
VCU fell to St. Louis in the title game last season and would appear to be a ‘smart’ choice this go-round. The Rams were a preseason Top 20 squad for the first time in school history this year and bring an “it’s havoc you fear” approach to the game under head coach Shaka Smart. Color them dangerous.
After opening the season with wins in 16 of its first 17 games, MASSACHUSETTS proved its worth with a sterling 10-0 SU and 9-1 ATS mark in games versus .750 or greater opposition this campaign (check Sunday season-ender versus Saint Louis). The Minutemen return 4 starters from a 21-win unit that made it to the semifinals of this tourney last year. The problem is they are just 3-21 SU and 4-19-1 as small dogs (+3 or less) under head coach Derek Kellogg.
If it seems like Phil Martelli has been around forever at ST. JOSEPH’S, it’s because he has, now in his 20th year with the Hawks. Here’s all you need to know about Joe’s in this event: under Martelli, the Hawks are 20-3 SU and 17-5-1 ATS versus .620 or less opponents; 3-15 SU and 6-11-1 ATS against all else. Phil’s kids are also 12-3 SU and 12-2-1 ATS when taking on #5 or lowers seeds in conference tourney games.
THE SLEEPER: GEORGE WASHINGTON
The Colonials returned 5 starters from a 13-win squad last year, four of whom were freshmen. Along with Indiana transfer Maurice Creek, the team’s leading scorer this season, ol’ wooden tooth topped the 20-win plateau this season and is a team no one in the tourney is anxious to meet. They proved their worth against top-notch opposition this season (3-1 SU and 4-0 ATS versus .800 or greater foes) and will be anxious to erase the stain of three straight one-and-out performances in this tourney the last three years. Remember, they are 20-9 ATS the last twenty-nine games in this event.
KEY TOURNAMENT BEST BET: PLAY ON VCU WITH REVENGE
Our old standby – Temple in Game One of this event – has gone by the wayside with opening round losses the last two years. Instead, we turn to the Rams and head coach Shaka Smart who has excelled in revenge during his tenure with VCU, going 24-4 SU and 20-8 ATS. With UMass, St. Joe’s and St. Louis each lined up at press time (check season-ending Richmond and St. Bonaventure results as well) as potential payback victims, we look no further than this ‘Smart’ box.
EXTRA TOURNEY TRENDS & NOTES
DAYTON: 5-1 ATS as DD favs, 10-3-1 ATS in 1st game, 1-12 ATS dogs < 8 pts, 1-6 w/revenge vs opp off BB SU wins, 1-4 ATS off DD ATS win
DUQUESNE: 0-4 SUATS L4, 0-3 vs #1 seeds, 2-9 ATS vs opp off SUATS loss, 1-5 ATS vs opp off DD SU loss, 1-4 ATS w/same-season double revenge, 1-4 ATS vs #7-8 seeds, 2-6 ATS as DD dogs, 2-8 ATS off SU win, 4-11 as #4-6 seeds
FORDHAM: 0-7 ATS L7 dogs > 3 pts, 0-4 L4 ATS games, 0-4 ATS vs opp off SUATS loss, 1-5 ATS as #5 seeds, 1-4 ATS off SUATS loss, 1-3 ATS as DD dogs
GEORGE MASON: 7-1 ATS as #3 seed, 13-3 ATS vs opp off DD SU win, 0-4 ATS vs #10-11 seeds, 1-5 ATS vs opp off SU loss, 1-4 ATS off SU dog win
GEORGE WASHINGTON: 6-1 ATS favs vs opp off BB SU wins, 13-2 ATS off DD SU win (7-0 ATS as favs), 5-1 ATS vs #3 seeds, 10-4 ATS w/revenge, 2-10 ATS dogs 2 to 9 pts
LA SALLE: 8-3 ATS vs #5 seed or lower, 2-10-2 ATS vs #1-5 seeds, 1-5 SUATS as #5-6 seed, 2-8-2 ATS dogs 5 > points, 2-7 ATS dogs off SU win, 2-6 ATS off SU dog win
MASSACHUSETTS: 4-0 ATS vs #1 seeds, 4-0 ATS dogs off DD SU win, 4-0 ATS vs #1 seed, 3-0 ATS as DD dogs, 7-2 ATS w/revenge vs opp off SU win, 9-3 ATS favs vs opp off BB SU wins, 8-3 ATS dogs 4 > pts
RHODE ISLAND: 6-1 SUATS vs #4-5 seeds, 1-8 ATS dogs off SU dog win, 1-6 ATS off BB SUATS wins, 2-8 ATS vs #6 seed or lower
RICHMOND: 4-0-1 ATS off SU dog win, 7-2 ATS as favs, 3-1 ATS vs opp off SU loss, 1-6 ATS dogs > 4 pts
ST. BONAVENTURE: 5-0 ATS favs off SU loss, 6-1 ATS off DD SU loss, 4-1 ATS vs opp off DD SU loss, 1-5 ATS dogs vs opp off SU dog win
ST. JOSEPH’S: 6-0 ATS vs opp off SU fav loss, 9-1 ATS vs #9 seed or lower, 7-1 ATS vs opp off BB SU losses, 6-2 ATS L8, 5-1 ATS vs opp off SU dog win, 14-3-1 ATS favs 3 > pts, 12-3 ATS vs opp off SUATS loss, 2-8 ATS dogs vs opp off DD SU win
ST. LOUIS: 3-0 ATS off DD SU win, 0-3 ATS vs opp off SU loss, 0-3 ATS off SU dog win, 1-5 ATS dogs 5 < pts... VCU: 1-7 ATS off BB SUATS wins, 1-5 ATS off DD ATS win, 2-9 ATS as dogs, 2-8 ATS as DD favs.
-- Favorites w/3+ days of rest are 13-2 ATS vs opp off BB SUATS losses
-- Favorites w/3+ days of rest are 10-3 ATS off BB SU losses
-- DD favorites are 2-5 ATS off a DD ATS win
-- Underdogs are 12-30-2 ATS vs opp w/revenge
-- Underdogs are 19-36-1 ATS off a SU dog win
-- #1 seeds are 0-4 ATS as dogs
-- #2 seeds are 10-1 ATS vs opp off SU dog win
-- #4 seeds are 13-2 ATS L15 as favorites
-- #5 seeds are 0-6 ATS as dogs off SUATS loss
-- #7 seeds are 5-0 ATS w/same-season double revenge, 4-0 ATS off DD SU loss and 6-1 dogs vs opp off SUATS loss
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