It has been a while since Def Pen Betting’s Top-30 Against the Spread Rankings. Three weeks to be exact. In that time, teams have caught up on games that may have been postponed and more conferences started their official seasons as the New Year came. This is the first of our rankings that are a true representation of the ATS outlook. Pretty much every team has over a ten-game sample size as March approaches. Of course, the Drake Bulldogs ATS record keeps them sitting at #1 for the 8th week in a row. They did drop their first game ATS of the season during the rankings hiatus. In back to back matchups hosting Southern Illinois, the Bulldogs found themselves 18.5 point favorites. In the first game this last Sunday they dropped the spread, but ultimately won 78-76. They followed that up with a 95-60 win the next day.
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Since there was such a gap in our rankings there are a lot of new names and a lot of teams that fell out of the rankings. The 10th ATS win seems to be difficult for many teams to get. One of my early season favorites, the VCU Rams, has fumbled the spread since December. They fall out for the first time all season along with conference rival Rhode Island. Toledo is still the second-best value in the Top-30 and a few teams have been on some wild win streaks.
- Drake (14-1) 3-1 Since Last Ranking (SLR).
- Toledo (15-4) 4-2SLR
- Morehead State (13-4) Unranked Previously. Seven Game ATS Win Streak.
- Loyola-Chicago (12-3-1) Unranked Previously.
- Baylor (12-4) 3-1SLR
- Houston (12-4) 5-0SLR Six Game ATS Win Streak.
- Utah State (12-5) 4-2SLR
- Radford (12-5) Unranked Previously
- Nevada (12-5) 3-2SLR
- Cleveland State (12-5) 4-2SLR
- Prairie View A&M (10-1) Unranked Previously. Seven Game ATS Win Streak.
- Grand Canyon (10-2) 3-1SLR
- Michigan (11-3) 3-1SLR
- Houston Baptist (10-3) 2-1SLR
- Oklahoma (11-4-1) Unranked Previously. Seven Game ATS Win Streak.
- Belmont (11-6-1) 3-2-1SLR
- Alabama (11-6-1) Unranked Previously.
- Northeastern (10-4) Unranked Previously.
- Boise State (10-4-1) Unranked Previously.
- Liberty (10-6) 1-3SLR
- Iowa (10-6) 2-1SLR
- Indiana (10-6) 1-2SLR
- Colorado (11-7) 3-3SLR
- North Dakota State (11-7) 3-3SLR
- UNC Asheville (11-7) Unranked Previously.
- Seton Hall (10-7) 1-2SLR
- Arkansas (10-7) 2-4SLR
- Hartford (10-7) 2-2SLR
- Illinois (10-6) 2-1SLR
- Virginia Tech (10-6) 3-2SLR
Falling Out of the Top-30: Rhode Island, UCLA, VCU, Tennessee, Bryant, Eastern Kentucky, UMBC, Winthrop, Xavier, Rhode Island
The new teams that have joined the rankings this week are Morehead State, Loyola-Chicago, Radford, Prairie View A&M, Northeastern, Boise State, Alabama, and UNC Ashville. These teams have all battled this season and their W-L records vary dramatically, however, they all cover the spread more times than not. Morehead State and Loyola-Chicago snuck right up into the top-5. Both teams have just been covering regardless of the outcome of the game. Alabama is destroying the SEC in wins and losses right now, but they haven’t been great covering the spread. It will be interesting if they keep rising or if they will come back down again.
This week I like Drake of course in their games against Valparaiso on February 6 and 7. Those will be at Valpo. Houston is a team that is very well-coached and now in conference play, they look head and shoulders above the competition. I will look to play on their next game against East Carolina. The Cougars find themselves ranked 5th in the nation in the AP. Stay tuned for next week’s rankings and play responsibly!