College basketball teams will back down and disappear for the rest of the season

It’s a good time of year for college basketball bettors. The holiday break is over and many teams appear to be returning from COVID breaks.

We should start to see a little more normality in the calendar. Additionally, there are more data points available due to sample size and at the micro level with recent head-to-head matchups in conference games.

Coaches may not be fully prepared for non-conference games, but the stakes are much higher against familiar foes. These games will determine conference tournament seeding or qualification in leagues that do not take all teams.

With more information at our disposal, isolating Teams to Fade and Teams to Support becomes a little easier. Here are a few that fall into each category.

Teams to support

Dartmouth

I don’t think Dartmouth is very good. That being said, we are looking for ATS teams to consider and the Big Green fits the bill. They are 1-6 in close games, so their 4-9 record could definitely be better. They have also played nine of their 13 road games. They are basically a .500 ATS team, but I think they could be a good bet in the Ivy League game.

The program is in the midst of its worst 2-point percentage and defensive rebounding season in the David McLaughlin era. I expect improvements in these areas. McLaughlin knows his team is in trouble offensively, so they’re playing at a slower pace. Every team at the Ivy has flaws, but Dartmouth’s record and bland style of play may leave it a bit undervalued.

Brendan Barry of Dartmouth
PA

Charleston

Each time a new trainer arrives, it may take some time. Charleston has a very good one in Pat Kelsey, who has long been a solid coach at Winthrop. Charleston is playing at the fastest adjusted pace in the nation, and there are positive signs moving forward.

The Cougars are a top-40 team in offensive and defensive rebounding, similar to Kelsey’s Winthrop teams in his past two seasons. While trying to figure out what he has to work with, Kelsey spread out the minutes. As the season progresses, he will have a better handle on lineups and replacement rotations.

It’s about the time of year when you want to take stock of teams with first-year head coaches, and Charleston should be one on the rise.

team to fade

Northern Kentucky

The Horizon League has a new schedule format that can be tricky. It offers long car journeys or numerous bus journeys for teams who decide to return home between games. The Norse have a four-game road streak in nine days starting Thursday. They will have another five-game trip from February 9-20.

Northern Kentucky is shooting a ton of 3s this season. The Norse took 42 against Milwaukee and scored just 55 points with 0.885 points per possession. Darrin Horn’s team style of play demands a high success rate from deep. The Norse rebounded well in attack, but also gave up plenty of second chances and threw plenty of possessions with a turnover rate of 20.8%. They are also a poor free throw shooting team but won’t get to the line much with all the jumpers they take.

I tend to avoid jump shooting teams on the road because of the different shooting settings and less familiarity. It could also be a very bad team.

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