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Buy or Sell on Texas A&M?


The Texas A&M Aggies have yet to lose a basketball game this season. Their chances of beating the NCAAB odds look pretty good Tuesday against the Arizona Wildcats.

Now that the college football regular season is behind us, let’s take a moment to step away from the gridiron and hit the hardcourt. College basketball is still in its early days of non-conference play, but after seven games or so we’ve got enough results in to take a look at the numbers and see if we can find some value on the NCAAB odds board.

Would you believe the Texas A&M Aggies (7-0 SU, 4-2 ATS) are the best team in Division I? That’s debatable, of course; the Aggies are No. 9 in the AP rankings and seventh overall (No. 16 offense, No. 4 defense) on Ken Pomeroy’s efficiency charts, but they are No. 1 on the old Relative Power Index. Any way you slice it, that’s pretty good for a team that was available at +15000 this summer on the March Madness futures market at Bovada.

Rawle for All
But is Texas A&M still a viable college basketball pick at +2800? Almost certainly, given their performance level thus far – and the relative lack of coverage they’ve gotten compared to the Duke Blue Devils (No. 6 Pomeroy) and the Michigan State Spartans (No. 3), who are +400 co-favorites as we go to press. The Aggies have already beaten the West Virginia Mountaineers (–6.5) 88-65 at the Armed Forces Classic in Germany, and the USC Trojans 75-59 as 4-point road dogs. That’s two ranked teams blown out by double digits.

The Arizona Wildcats (5-3 SU, 2-5-1 ATS) aren’t in the rankings anymore, but they were No. 3 in the AP preseason poll and they’re going to have a hard time dealing with Texas A&M on Tuesday (9 p.m. ET, ESPN2) when they meet at the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix. The ‘Cats have won back-to-back contests since dropping all three of their games SU and ATS at the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas; however, they needed overtime to beat the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels 91-88 as 4.5-point road faves.

The advanced stats don’t look good for ‘Zona: At press time, they’re No. 18 on the Pomeroy charts and No. 181 (!) in RPI. This is why we don’t really pay much attention to RPI these days. But it’s still a wake-up call for Tuesday’s game. The Wildcats aren’t quite the same team without guard Rawle Alkins (+8.5 BPM last year), who broke his right foot in September and isn’t expected back in time for Tuesday. Between that and the early results from Texas A&M, we’d be inclined to pound the Aggies in this matchup – and as always, may the sphere be with you.

Jason Lake

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