Exposing the Top 25: Where the polls went wrong

Dec 18, 2012 |
Exposing the Top 25: Where the polls went wrong
North Carolina can score but has burned backers with its poor defense.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
North Carolina can score but has burned backers with its poor defense.
Photo By - USA Today Sports
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 (10-1, 5-4 ATS)

The Irish have won eight straight games since suffering their only loss in overtime to St. Josephs and each of those games have been decided by double digits. They have also been a good bet during that run, going 5-2 ATS. They are 8-0 at home so far and with their next three games all at home against unranked opponents, they look to extend that run.

Notre Dame doesn't face a ranked opponent until they meet the Cincinnati Bearcats at a neutral location on January 7. Notre Dame ranks just behind the Bearcats, who are tied with Syracuse for first in the Big East, with both teams at 10-0.

Most Overrated Top 25 Team - North Carolina Tar Heels (8-2, 5-3 ATS)

The Tar Heels are the highest-scoring team in the country, averaging 84.4 points per game. Unfortunately, they haven't enjoyed much success against ranked opponents, losing to Butler on Nov 20 and then getting blown out by the Hoosiers one week later.

North Carolina has struggled defensively and, after leading by 16 points at the half against East Carolina Saturday, they allowed the Pirates to score 61 points in the second half and just barely held on to win 93-89.

With their next game on the road against a Texas team that has won three of the last four against the Tar Heels and a meeting with UNLV at the end of the month, North Carolina has a tough road ahead.

Unranked Team That Should Be Ranked – North Carolina State Wolfpack (7-2, 4-3 ATS)

Last week, I had the Wolfpack as the unranked team that should be ranked. They have only played once since then and it was a blowout win over Norfolk State, winning by a score of 84-62 at home.

They host Stanford Tuesday and the Cardinal have really struggled offensively, ranking last in the Pac-12, shooting just 39 percent. The Wolfpack lead the nation in field goal percentage, shooting 52.7 percent, and they have two of the top five shooters in the country with T.J. Warren ranking first and Richard Howell fourth.

If they can get by Stanford, they will have an easy schedule for the rest of the month with three more home games against unranked teams.

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