Author's Introduction: There are currently 20+ NCAA men’s college basketball programs that are on pause due to COVID-19 protocols. This means that each team will likely be on pause for at least 10 days. I sincerely hope all of these programs return to playing basketball and that everyone stays safe. As a bettor, however, my mind immediately shifts toward “I should fade these teams in their first game back.” This isn’t something I advocate blindly backing, but it’s one angle of attack worth looking at when handicapping college basketball teams in the near future and for the duration of the 2021 regular season/postseason.
The lack of practices and further lack of conditioning required to compete in a 40-minute game can really have an impact these teams/players when they're back on the court. Now some of these teams are only on pause for 10 days, while others can have longer stints of absence. I’m not sure the bookmakers are putting in the work to account for these pauses, and as bettors, we have to take advantage accordingly.
February Update: There are now currently 23 men’s basketball programs that are on COVID-19 pause or have just returned to practice due to COVID-19 protocols. Again, this isn’t something I advocate blindly backing, but it’s one angle of attack that I'm looking at when handicapping college basketball. Teams listed below have gone at least 10 days between their last game and their next scheduled game.
How did teams returning from COVID perform in their first game back last week?
- Georgetown (1/30 VS Providence) - Georgetown won 73-72 and covered +3.5
- UMBC (1/30 @ NJIT) - NJIT won 69-65 and covered +3
Please Note: many games from last week were pushed out to new dates due to continued concerns with COVID-19, so be aware that these dates listed below are fluid and subject to change on a daily basis:
- Albany (2/6 @ Hartford)
- Boston College (2/6 VS NC St.)
- Boston University (2/6 @ Colgate)
- Charleston (2/6 VS Towson)
- Cincinnati (2/4 VS Temple)
- Davidson (2/6 @ Fordham)
- George Washington (2/9 @ Richmond)
- Hampton (2/4 @ Longwood)
- Howard (2/7 VS Morgan St.)
- Iona (2/10 VS St. Peter’s)
- Maine (2/6 @ UMASS Lowell)
- Michigan (2/3 @ Northwestern)
- Nebraska (2/6 @ Michigan St.)
- NIU (2/6 VS Central Michigan)
- Old Dominion (2/5 VS Marshall)
- Oregon (2/4 VS Washington St.)
- Richmond (2/5 @ Dayton)
- St. Mary’s (2/8 @ San Diego)
- San Francisco (2/4 @ Pacific)
- Santa Clara (2/6 @ Gonzaga)
- South Florida (2/10 VS Houston)
- Texas (Rio Grand Valley) (2/5 VS Grand Canyon)
- UMASS Lowell (2/6 VS Maine)