February's best and worst college basketball bets
February is a make-or-break month for college basketball teams. Some coaches are trying to get their squads to peak just in time for the postseason while others are scrambling for a quick fix in the final weeks of the schedule.
We look back over the past five seasons (2007-08 to 2011-12) to find out which college hoops programs rise to the occasion and which ones crumble under the pressure in February.
Records from February games only from 2007-08 to 2011-12.
Indiana State Sycamores (28-11-1 ATS, 23-17 SU)
Just like their most famous alum, Larry Bird, the Sycamores come up big for bettors in the crunch. Indiana State has gone 6-2 ATS in February in each of the past four seasons and is off to a 1-1 SU and ATS start this month, heading into Saturday’s date with Southern Illinois.
Auburn Tigers (26-10-1 ATS, 14-23 SU)
Auburn isn’t a perennial power in the SEC but it has been the conference's most consistent winning bet during the month of February. Since 2008, the Tigers have covered in 70 percent of their February games despite posting a losing record. They went 6-2 ATS last year and are 2-0 ATS to start this month.
Princeton Tigers (26-19 ATS, 27-18 SU)
Got nothing better to do on a cold Friday night in February? Try betting on the Tigers. Princeton, a permanent contender in the Ivy League, has turned up the intensity on the second month of the year. The Tigers went 7-2 ATS in February 2010 and posted a 6-2 ATS mark last February. This year, Princeton is 1-1 ATS going into Friday’s game with Brown.
Notables: Bradley (25-15 ATS), BYU (25-10 ATS), Old Dominion (25-15 ATS), St. Louis (25-12-1 ATS), Texas A&M (25-12 ATS).
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (9-26-2 ATS, 7-30 SU)
Things fall apart for the Jackets in February. Georgia Tech used to be in the mix in the ACC but has fallen on hard times in recent seasons. The Yellow Jackets went 2-6 SU and ATS in February last season and don’t appear to be climbing out of the ACC basement anytime soon, at 2-7 SU and 3-6 ATS in conference play this year.
Air Force Falcons (11-23-1 ATS, 7-28 SU)
Life is tough in the Mountain West Conference. The so-called “mid major” could send as many as five teams to the Big Dance this year and has been on the upswing for past few seasons. So it’s understandable why the Falcons would suck so much in February. The Fly Boys have been getting better, going 6-7-1 ATS in the past two Februarys and owning a 1-1 ATS mark this month.
Providence Friars (11-24-1 ATS, 8-28 SU)
Similar to Air Force’s woes, the Friars face wave after wave of NCAA-bound talent in conference play, eventually hitting a breaking point in February. Providence has long been the Big East whipping boy but actually came through for bettors last year with a 5-3 ATS mark in February. The Friars are getting the job done once again this month, starting with a 2-0 SU and ATS mark.
Notables: Wright State (11-25-5 ATS), East Carolina (12-25-1 ATS), South Carolina (12-25-1 ATS), Tulane (12-23-2 ATS), Villanova (12-27-1 ATS).