Exposing the Top 25: Where the polls went wrong
Each week throughout the college basketball season, Covers Expert Jesse Schule will dissect the new Top 25 rankings, looking for betting value. He'll showcase the most overrated team, along with the most underrated ranked team, and an unranked squad that he feels should be in the Top 25.
Most Underrated Top 25 Team - Arizona Wildcats (12-0, 7-3-0 ATS)
The Wildcats remained undefeated, with a win by the narrowest of margins on Christmas Day, defeating San Diego State by a score of 68-67. The victory marked the second time this season the Wildcats have beaten a ranked opponent. They knocked off Florida earlier this month in another close game, winning 65-64. Arizona failed to cover the spread against the Aztecs, but they have been very profitable so far this year, covering the points 70 percent of the time with an ATS record of 7-3.
The Wildcats will host the 9-2 Colorado Buffaloes on January 3, and the Buffaloes already have a victory over a ranked opponent under their belts, defeating Baylor 60-58 on November 16. Arizona doesn't have an easy schedule, with plenty of games coming up against quality opponents, but they don't play another ranked team for the remainder of the season.
Most Overrated Top 25 Team - Michigan State Spartans (11-2, 3-7 ATS)
The Spartans have won six straight since losing to the Miami Hurricanes in Miami on November 11. While they have a record of 11-2 SU, the Spartans have burned their backers, failing to cover the spread 70 percent of the time this season with an ATS record of 3-7.
When they take on the Golden Gophers in Minnesota on New Years Eve, it will be their third game against a ranked opponent. They are 1-1 in such games so far, losing their season opener to UConn and then defeating the Kansas Jayhawks just four days later by a score of 67-64.
Michigan State has a tough road ahead in the second half of the season, with eight of their final 15 games coming against ranked opponents.
Unranked Team That Should Be Ranked - UConn Huskies (9-2, 2-7 ATS)
The Huskies have won three straight games since their loss to N.C. State at the beginning of the month. They failed to cover the points in each of those three victories, despite the fact none of those games were close, including an 88-73 win over Fordham, winning by 15 as a 15.5-point favorite.
UConn will host the other Huskies of Washington this Saturday, and then travel to Milwaukee to take on the Marquette Golden Eagles on Tuesday. While neither of those matchups are easy, back-to-back wins against unranked teams could put Connecticut back in the rankings.