USA Today Sports

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 - Notre Dame Fighting Irish (21-6 SU, 12-12 ATS)

The Irish barely remained in the Top 25 this week, occupying the No. 25 spot. Some have called them soft, overrated and undeserving of a place in the rankings. The Irish came into Monday's game at Pittsburgh as an astounding double-digit dog and they went on to win outright by a score of 51-42. They have now won four of five versus ranked opponents this season.

While the Irish have proved they can play with the nation's best teams, they have also shown that they can lose to lesser ones, as they demonstrated by getting blown out on the road at St. John’s and Providence. Don't fool yourself though. This Notre Dame team is capable of making some noise this March. It hosts unranked Cincinnati Sunday and then they have three more games early in March. Two of those three are on the road against ranked teams.

Most Overrated Top 25 Team - Wisconsin Badgers (18-8 SU, 9-14-1 ATS)

The Badgers have the lowest winning percentage of any of the ranked teams, yet they find themselves ranked No. 17 overall. Wisconsin has been a losing bet this year, with a terrible 9-14-1 ATS record. The Badgers are only averaging 67 points per game and they are just shooting 42.6 percent from the field.

Despite their offensive shortcomings, the Badgers have managed to upset Indiana and Michigan. They haven't been so good on the road though, with a record of 3-5. Three of their final five games are away from Madison.

Unranked Team That Should Be Ranked – Saint Louis Billikens (19-5 SU, 13-9 ATS)

The Billikens have won eight straight and that includes an upset win over Butler at home by a score of 75-58. They are also a profitable 8-0 ATS during their winning streak.  Saint Louis has faced four Top-25 teams this season, winning three of those games.

The Billikens picked up win No. 8 with a victory over No. 24 VCU Tuesday, and they have a rematch at Butler Friday. Chances are, with the win over the Rams, they will be in the Top 25 next week.

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Posted by Jesse__Schule
4 years ago

One more thing Badger Boy ... I would like to hear your argument as to how a team with a losing record ATS is not overrated? It's gonna be a tough sell.. don't ya think?

Posted by Jesse__Schule
4 years ago

Sounds like we have one seriously pissed off Wisky fan? Oh yeah .. I will take the Irish over your Badgers.

Posted by DW12
4 years ago

First off, you lost all credibility when you pointed out the Badgers victory at home against Indiana. Ummm, that was at Assembly Hall! I would say a road victory against a team like Indiana is one of the more impressive of any team in the nation this year. I also love how you point out Wisconsin's low OPPG (184th) to try and prove your point but completly disregard their opponents PPG of 56.2 (11th). Add to that the fact they're T2 in turnovers per game and they're a tough W for anyone. I'm wondering what teams you think deserve to be ranked ahead of the Badgers? Notre Dame? VCU? Oregon? No way.
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Top Response

Posted by Jesse__Schule
4 years ago

"One more thing Badger Boy ... I would like to hear your argument as to how a team with a losing record ATS is not overrated? It's gonna be a tough sell.. don't ya think? "