NCAAB betting: Top 3 'under' candidates
A handful of high-profile NCAA teams are going to find themselves playing plenty of low scoring games this season.
Whether the result of a stifling defense or a struggling offense - or even a combination of the two - these teams should make for some healthy "under" profits - at least, until oddsmakers have a better grasp of how to assess them.
Here are three teams that are good bets to go "under":
Iowa State Cyclones (2012-13 O/U: 21-5-0)
No Division I team provided better value to "over" bettors last season than the Fred Hoiberg-coached Cyclones, who boasted one of the top scoring attacks in the nation en route to a 23-12 record and a second-round appearance in the NCAA Tournament. But the good times may be over - at least temporarily - as Iowa State finds itself down four of its top six scorers from a season ago. Add in standout forward Melvin Ejim expected to miss 4-to-6 weeks with a hyperextended knee and Hoiberg's insistence on playing relentless defense, and the Cyclones may be the best "under" bet in the nation.
Indiana Hoosiers (15-17-1)
Few high-profile teams face a tougher road than the Hoosiers, who lost all but two players from their roster who averaged at least 10 minutes last season. That list includes No. 2 NBA draft pick Victor Oladipo and fellow lottery choice Cody Zeller, along with Jordan Hulls and Christian Watford. The quartet combined to lead the Hoosiers to the third-highest points-per-game average in the nation (80). This is expected to be a transition season for Indiana, making it the perfect choice for some strong "under" play is it figures out just what it has on the roster.
Gonzaga Bulldogs (9-20-2)
The Bulldogs were a strong "under" play for most of last season, and should continue that trend after losing superstar center Kelly Olynyk and Elias Harris. The dynamic duo combined to average better than 32 points per game for Gonzaga and, while returning point guard Kevin Pangos and Providence transfer Gerard Coleman should make up some of the deficit, it will be difficult for the Bulldogs to match their 2012-13 output. Gonzaga is still a defensive power and should roll through the West Coast Conference with ease, but expect the scores to be lower than they were last season.