We wrap up looking at the four key elements of betting sides and totals, reviewing the finest Under bets to make at this time in college basketball. In the interest of full disclosure, New Hampshire (15-4 Under) and Army (16-5) could have made our list, but not every sportsbook and bookie carries every game from some of the smaller conferences, thus we did not include them.
Next week, the best home teams to back this season.
In 2014, they made a remake of the movie "The Gambler" from the original version of 1974. As expected it was not as good, but in the first flick, James Caan (famous actor at the time) was listening to scores on the radio (yes, people used to do that) and he bet against Brown and bellowed, "Brown, Brown ain't crap" (using the similar word that starts with 's'). For our purposes today, the Brown Bears are terrific for totals. The Bears allow 67.7 PPG, which is good defensively but is not remarkable and their offense scores 74.6 PPG, which is not bad, thus, it just appears oddsmakers have not had a good read on them for this many Under's. Sort of like James Caan did not.
About the last thing you would expect from club averaging 87.0 PPG is to have an Under record like this, yet that is exactly what Duke has. The Blue Devils defense has been the catalyst for this to happen, holding opponents to just 65.2 PPG. Another aspect is those setting the line feeding into the public perception of Duke being a high scoring team, the public preferring Over's and not paying attention to how good the Blue Devils can play defense. The wagering masses need to pay closer attention to the Dukies totals.
In spite of a 13-9 record, Akron connects on just over 41 percent of shot attempts. This has made the focus of the Zips to take quality shots (though errant) and defend hard to stay in games. Akron is doing that on the defensive end of the floor in limiting all foes to 62.3 PPG. At the current pace, the Zips could end up as the best Under bet in college hoops, with a 12-2 mark since December. No reason Akron does not keep posting low scores.
It was not that many years ago Manhattan was scoring 80-85 point a game and was one an exciting team to watch and a continual threat to win the Metro Atlantic (MAAC). But coaching changes and poor recruiting has changed everything for the Jaspers who play slow and shoot so poorly, they only average 56.6 PPG, the second-lowest lowest figure in college basketball at the D-1 level. If you thought the Super Bowl was bad, it was one game, imagine having season tickets to Manhattan games. No wonder the Under keeps winning for the Jaspers.
With Portland State is scoring almost 78 PPG, with their typical contest reaching 152 total points, it seems unusual the Vikings would be involved in so many Under's. Maybe bettors are fooled by some of the sites that dive deeper into numbers and show Portland State averages over 64 shots a game, which is well above normal. Nonetheless, the Vikings are not efficient on offense, only make 28.8 percent of three's and are under 70 percent from the charity stripe which all leads to lower than anticipated scores.
The last few years UTAR had a few good clubs that played well together and were consistently competitive. That ended this season, where they are 10-12 putting up just 67.7 PPG on the scoreboard. This has lead to a plethora of Under's. This has been especially so as underdogs, where 11-4 Under and 9-3 Under as away underdogs. Watch for this in future contests.