There are only 43 college football games left at the FBS level this season. That means a lot of bettors will be gravitating toward college basketball if they haven’t already taken the plunge. Many are playing catch-up with the hoops season or will start doing so soon, as late December and early January are when interest starts to perk up the most.
One mistake that casual CBB fans and bettors always make is to assume the big names — the blue-blood programs that get the high-profile freshmen and dominate the headlines — are good. That can be a very dangerous assumption and one that costs you money. It is hard to cite the 2020-21 season in any capacity because of all the hardships and interruptions that COVID-19 caused, but Duke went 13-11. Kentucky was 9-16. Marquette and Indiana had losing seasons. Big names don’t always have big seasons.
Similarly, the teams that were good in the mid-major and low-major conferences are far from guaranteed to be good again. Usually a star player or a major transfer can have so much of an impact in a one-bid league that it can skew the results and skew the perceptions of teams.
Basically, you cannot take anything for granted in college basketball. If you are coming late to the party, evaluate teams for what they are now. Consider their current statistical profile and roster makeup, not what they’ve been in the past. As we know, coaching changes and roster turnover is rampant in college hoops. Don’t just assume the name on the front will be as good as it was. Think about the names on the back and how they’re performing.
One thing you can do, though, is look and see why those prominent programs are struggling. Let’s check out a few of those before getting into this week’s Teams to Back and Teams to Fade.
The Seminoles are just 5-4 and lost their ACC opener 63-60 to Syracuse. Florida State also just lost to a pretty mediocre South Carolina team in Rock Hill. For a team that has been in the top 50 in both offensive and defensive efficiency each of the last five seasons, the Seminoles just aren’t making enough shots this year. They’re shooting 32.3 percent on 3s and are trending toward their worst season at the free throw line since the 2017-18 campaign.