Mid-Major Betting Tips: Small Programs Making Noise

Feb 25, 2021 |
Mid-Major Betting Tips: Small Programs Making Noise
Coryon Mason and the Abilene Christian Wildcats are a perfect 11-0 ATS at home this season and are 19-3 SU, sitting first place in the Southland Conference.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports
Coryon Mason and the Abilene Christian Wildcats are a perfect 11-0 ATS at home this season and are 19-3 SU, sitting first place in the Southland Conference.
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

As we get closer to the end of the NCAA basketball regular season, oddsmakers seem to have figured out most of the best college basketball betting trends of the year.

That's not necessarily true in the smaller conferences, though, where teams like the Santa Barbara Gauchos and Abilene Christian Wildcats are still flying under the radar. 

We focus on those spectacular small-school teams with our mid-major betting tips for college basketball games from February 26-28.

ATS team to watch: UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (16-3 SU, 11-6 ATS)

Upcoming: UC Riverside Highlanders - Friday, February 26 at 11 p.m. ET, and Saturday, February 27 at 10 p.m. ET. 

UC Santa Barbara received two votes in the latest AP Top 25 poll and sits atop the Big West Conference with a 16-3 record. The Gauchos not only have a great nickname but have also reeled off 12 wins in a row while going 8-2 ATS in their previous 10 contests. 

The Gauchos are strong offensively, putting up 77.8 points per game on 49.4 percent shooting. They're also tough on the defensive end of the floor, limiting foes to 62.2 ppg on 40.7 percent shooting.

They will take their show on the road this weekend against UC Riverside. The Highlanders are coming off an overtime loss to UC San Diego (is anybody else getting confused about all these UC teams?) and are 0-3 ATS in their last three games. 

Another angle to consider might be the Under, with UC Riverside holding opponents to 63.3 ppg on 39.2 percent shooting. 

Team to beware of: Abilene Christian Wildcats (19-3 SU, 13-5 ATS)

Upcoming: Central Arkansas Bears - Saturday, February 27 at 6 p.m. ET

One of the best and worst teams in the Southland Conference meet up on Saturday when the Central Arkansas Bears host the Abilene Christian Wildcats, but don't be too quick to lay the points with the 19-3 Wildcats. 

While the Wildcats have gone a perfect 11-0 ATS at home and on neutral sites, they are just 2-5 ATS on the road this season.

Although the Wildcats absolutely shredded the Bears 93-58 last month, that was at home where they have a whopping scoring margin of plus-24.9 points per game. Abilene Christian has a more moderate scoring margin of plus-5.5 ppg on the road.

The Bears are just 3-17 SU this season and are coming off a 88-63 beatdown against New Orleans, but that should spot them even more points in this upcoming matchup. I would be very wary about touching what should be a massive line. 

Over/Under team: Ball State Cardinals (8-11 SU, 15-4 O/U)

Upcoming: Central Michigan Chippewas - Saturday, February 27 at 1 p.m. ET

The Cardinals are back to crushing Overs. After going 12-1 O/U to begin the season, Ball State went Under the total in three of its next four contests. 

With leading scorer K.J. Walton back in the lineup, however, they are a dream for Over bettors once again. They went 22.5 points above the total against Akron last week and went 16 points above the O/U in an upset win versus Kent State on Wednesday.

The Cardinals are solid on the offensive end of the floor but it's their fast pace and sloppy defense that have been responsible for their Over success. Thankfully for Cardinals fans, their next game is against the Central Michigan Chippewas who are even worse at defending. 

CMU is outside the Top-300 schools in the country in scoring defense by surrendering 78.7 ppg and the Chippewas also rank 29th in adjusted tempo, according to KenPom. The Over is looking like a strong bet again. 

Where can I bet on college basketball?

You can bet on college basketball odds at every online and casino sportsbook, including NCAA moneylines, spreads, Over/Under totals, and a ton of prop odds. Head over to our best-suggested sportsbooks for the top spots to bet on college basketball odds in your area.

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