Heading into the final week of college basketball games in November, holiday tournaments for Thanksgiving fill the betting board at online sportsbooks. Attractive venues such as the Bahamas, Las Vegas, and New York City feature matchups between teams that rarely ever play one another. The rest of the schedule over the next several days offers a number of games between Top 25 teams and much smaller programs from the ranks of the Mid Majors.

While the marquee programs from the major conferences tend to attract all the attention from bettors in the early part of the season, there are a handful of Mid-Major programs that also belong on your shortlist as teams to go with based on early results. They become even more attractive as heavy underdogs when facing a national power.

Betting Early Season College Basketball Trends

Playing out of the Atlantic 10, the Dayton Flyers are off to a fast 5-0 straight-up start while going 4-1 against the spread. Heading into Wednesday night’s huge matchup against the Big 12’s Kansas Jayhawks, they are listed, four-point underdogs. While they could struggle to cover in that game, down the road this could be an attractive play against St. Mary’s (2-4 ATS), out of the West Coast Conference or against the Pac-12’s Colorado Buffaloes (2-2-1 ATS) later in December.

The Atlantic Sun is one of the smaller Mid-Majors but the North Texas Ospreys have made some early noise at 5-1 ATS in six games with a closing betting line. They have already covered against Florida, Iowa, and Creighton in early play. The Ospreys will have a chance to continue this hot streak against Florida State and Syracuse in the middle of next month.

Is Michigan State a Lock to Win the Big Ten Championship?

Two hot betting teams in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) are the Delaware Blue Hens at 6-0 SU and 5-0 ATS along with the William & Mary Tribe with a SU 5-2 start while going 6-1 ATS. The Blue Hens will step up in class on Dec. 14 against Villanova. The Big East’s Wildcats are 4-2 SU through six games with a 3-2-1 record ATS. The Tribe faces Old Dominion in a rivalry showdown on Dec. 3 and they will also take on the Atlantic 10’s Saint Joseph’s Hawks on Dec. 19.

Coppin State, out of the Mid-Eastern Conference (MEAC) has already played eight games this season. While the Eagles have lost five of those games SU, they have been able to cover in seven of those contests. Upcoming games against Davidson (2-3 ATS) in the A-10 and the ACC’s Miami Hurricanes (3-4 ATS) could be interesting matchups.

NCAA Basketball Player of the Year Predictions

Turning to the Missouri Valley Conference, the Northern Iowa Panthers are attracting some attention at 6-1 SU with a 5-1 record ATS in games with a closing betting line. They just covered against West Virginia in a 60-55 loss as six-point underdogs in their only SU loss of the year. The Panthers face South Carolina on Wednesday night as slight one-point underdogs. The time to strike could be on Dec. 10 against Colorado.

The top betting team in the Sun Belt Conference so far has been Georgia State at 5-0 ATS. Those Panthers gave Duke a battle in a 74-63 loss as 28.5-point underdogs. They also covered against Georgetown as 11-point underdogs in a 91-83 loss. Georgia State will be pitted against Mid-Majors over the rest of its nonconference schedule starting with Dartmouth and Mercer early next month. 

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