This Tuesday kicks off one of the most exciting weeks of the men’s college basketball season with tournament action in all the major conferences. While teams such as Kentucky in the SEC and Wisconsin in the Big Ten should open as favorites to win their respective conference tournaments during Championship Week, Doc’s Sports is searching for the top five teams to wager on this week when it comes to covering against the spread.
West Virginia Mountaineers
West Virginia will open play in the Big 12 Tournament as the fifth seed after finishing the regular season with a straight up record of 11-7 in conference play. The Mountaineers dropped two of their last three games SU, including a 78-66 loss to Baylor on Feb. 28 as five-point road underdogs, but they come into this tournament with a profitable 5-1 record against the spread in their last six games.
The Mountaineers are now 23-8 SU on the year with an 18-12 record ATS. West Virginia will faces Baylor again this Thursday afternoon, and assuming it opens as a slight underdog, it has covered in six of 10 games this season when not favored. The Mountaineers also went 4-2 ATS in six previous neutral-site games this season.
Duke Blue Devils
The Blue Devils finished a game behind Virginia in the ACC this season at 15-3, but they have already beaten the Cavaliers 69-63 as 5.5-point road underdogs on Jan. 31. Duke closed out its regular season on a high note with an 84-77 victory against North Carolina as a 1.5-point road favorite. This extended its SU winning streak to 11 games while going a profitable 4-1 ATS in its last five outings.
Heading into this week’s action, the Blue Devils are 3-1 ATS in four previous games played at a neutral site, and they are 17-13-1 ATS overall. The total has gone “over” in five of their last seven games.
Arizona locked up the Pac-12 regular season title with a SU record of 16-2 that included a two-game season sweep (SU and ATS) over each of the next two seeds (Oregon and Utah). The Wildcats were a bettor’s favorite down the stretch with a 12-2 record ATS in their last 14 games. They have now won their last eight games SU while going 7-1 ATS.
The Wildcats are 28-3 SU on the year with a 20-11 record ATS. They closed as favorites in 30 of those games while covering 19 times. The only hiccup in this record is a 1-2 mark ATS in three previous neutral-site games.
The Boilermakers stumbled a bit down the stretch with SU losses to Ohio State and Michigan State on the road, but they still managed to cover the spread in both of those losses. Purdue went 12-6 SU in conference play to capture the No. 4 seed for this week’s tournament, and it covered ATS in 14 of those 18 games.
The “under” on the total line has also been a profitable bet for the Boilermakers with the total staying under in 13 of 18 conference games. They have also been rock-solid as an underdog this season with a record of 9-2 ATS.
It was a one-man show in the Big East this season with Villanova winning the regular-season title by four games behind a SU record of 16-2 in conference play. The Wildcats come into the postseason riding a SU winning streak of 12 games while covering ATS as favorites in 11 of those contests. They put an exclamation point on the regular season by crushing St. John’s 105-68 as 11.5-point home favorites in this past Saturday’s finale.
The Wildcats are 29-2 SU this season with a highly-profitable 22-9 record ATS. They posted a 3-1 ATS record in four previous neutral-site games this season and the total has now gone over in six of their last eight outings.
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