Mid-Major College Basketball Betting Tips for February 19-21

Updated: February 18, 2021

Sometimes the best college basketball betting value doesn’t come from backing the best teams but by fading the biggest underachievers.

The current NCAA hoops season has been a great example of that, with programs like Duke and Michigan State consistently failing to cover the spread. 

But the bigger programs aren’t the only ones to consider betting against, with some of the smaller schools also ripe for the picking. We focus on one of those sad-sack squads with our mid-major betting tips for college basketball games from February 19-21.

ATS team to watch: Tennessee State Tigers (3-16 SU, 4-14 ATS)

Upcoming: Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles – Thursday, February 18, 9 p.m. ET. Jacksonville State Gamecocks – Saturday, February 20, 5 p.m. ET. 

Tennessee State has been arguably the worst team in the Ohio Valley Conference and is currently on a six-game losing streak, going 0-6 ATS over that span. What might be most interesting for bettors is that despite their brutal 3-16 record, the Tigers have been getting generous lines from oddsmakers. 

In their last four games, they were slim favorites against SIU Edwardsville, 2-point underdogs against Eastern Illinois, and were spotted 6.5 and 7.5 points against Eastern Kentucky and Morehead State. They lost each of those games by at least 13 points. 

We’re not betting against the Tigers on Thursday when they host the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles, who might be the only team in the OVC worse than they are. However, we have our eyes firmly set on their weekend date against the Jacksonville State Gamecocks.

The Gamecocks are 14-7 SU this season and are on a four-game winning streak, with each of those victories coming by at least 12 points. They also eked out a come-from-behind victory against the Tigers earlier this year, so you know they won’t underestimate them.

The Eagles rank second-last in the OVC in both scoring (65.2 points per game) and field goal percentage (40.6) during conference play. They will struggle to hit their shots against a tough Jacksonville State program that holds conference foes to 41.3 percent shooting. Look to fade Tennessee State on Saturday. 

More NCAA basketball betting news

Team to beware of: Prairie View A&M Panthers (7-4 SU, 10-1 ATS)

Upcoming: Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils – Sunday, February 21, time TBA.

You might not be familiar with Prairie View A&M but the Panthers have been the best bet in the country this season, covering the spread in seven straight games and going 10-1 ATS.

The Panthers are atop the Southwestern Athletic standings with a 7-4 record and have gone 6-0 in conference play. They are dominating on both ends of the floor in SWAC play, leading the conference in scoring with 74.7 points per game, while allowing a conference low 54 ppg. 

Next up for the Panthers are the Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils, who sit at the bottom of the SWAC table with a 1-17 SU record. The Panthers were originally scheduled to play the Delta Devils this Saturday, but due to the inclement weather in Texas, the game has been pushed to Sunday.

So why are we telling you to be wary of backing Prairie View A&M against such a terrible opponent? Well, for one thing they haven’t played since February 1, so rust could play a factor, especially with practice this week looking iffy due to power outages on campus.

The second thing to keep in mind is that Prairie View annihilated MVSU 77-31 on the road last month. That should make the Delta Devils even bigger underdogs than the 20 points they were spotted in that first matchup. That could make them perfectly suited for a late-game garbage time cover against the Panthers. 

Over/Under team: Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers (8-9 SU, 4-12 O/U)

Upcoming: Fairleigh Dickinson Knights – Saturday, February 20, 7 p.m. ET. Sunday, February 21, 2 p.m. ET. 

The Mountaineers have been crushing Unders since December, going 11-2 to the Under in their last 13 games.

It seems like oddsmakers can’t set totals low enough for the Mountaineers, if back-to-back games against Wagner earlier this week are any indication. Mount St. Mary’s and Wagner combined for 100 and 112 points in those contests, easily going below the O/U numbers of 124.5 and 123. 

Mount St. Mary’s is among the worst offensive teams in the country, scoring just 61.5 points per game. However, the Mountaineers are among the best teams when it comes to scoring defense, holding foes to 61.2 ppg. They also play at a glacial pace, ranking 343rd out of 347 schools in the nation when it comes to possessions per game. 

Add all those ingredients together and you get the perfect recipe for Under success. The Mountaineers travel to New Jersey to face Fairleigh Dickinson this weekend. While the Knights play at a faster tempo and are brutal on the defensive end of the floor, that might actually work out for Under bettors with oddsmakers likely to be reluctant to set the Over/Under too low.

The Knights have seen an average total of 156 ppg scored in their games this season, while Mountaineers contests have seen about 123 ppg. Split the difference with any total of approximately 139 or higher and I’m betting the Under. 

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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