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Vegas Ranks the Atlantic 11

Vegas also votes Georgetown No. 1 (Jonathan Newton - TWP).

Throughout the college football season, I regularly published the football rankings of Las Vegas Sports Consultants, an outfit that offers consulting to a majority of Nevada sports books. The point of that exercise was that, in an imperfect sport where humans choose the final two teams, we might as well turn to those humans whose livelihood depends on accurately ranking college football teams.

In college basketball, it's perhaps less important to accurately rank the top 25 teams, because they all get to play each other in March to see who's best. On the other hand, five dozen of you attempt to rank the top 27 teams in this area every week, an exercise that has no particular point but that causes great disagreements. For example, Virginia Tech or Maryland?

So today, I'm proud to present Las Vegas Sports Consultants's take on the Atlantic 11. The most striking results? UMBC, a mainstay of the Top 5 in recent weeks and currently No. 3, rates only eighth on Vegas's list. Meantime, Liberty, which has never cracked the Atlantic 11, is tied for 10th and ranked ahead of Morgan State. In fact, Vegas seems high on the entire Big South, and low on the entire MEAC.

Remember that these would be used to set opening lines on neutral courts. The full LVSC report, with Atlantic 11 rankings in parentheses, are after the jump.

1. Georgetown (1)
2. Virginia Tech (5)
3. Maryland (4)
4. Virginia (10)
5. VCU (2)
6. George Mason (6)
7. Old Dominion (9)
8. UMBC (3)
9. American (7)
10t. Loyola (11)
10t. Liberty (--)
12. Richmond (12)
13t. William & Mary (15t)
13t. VMI (--)
13t. Morgan State (8)
16t. George Washington (15t)
16t. Mount St. Mary's (19t)
16t. Navy (18)
19. James Madison (19t)
20. Towson (--)
21. Hampton (13)
22. Radford (--)
23. Norfolk State (19t)
24. Longwood (19t)
25. Coppin State (14)
26. Howard (19t)
27. Md.-Eastern Shore (17)

By Dan Steinberg  |  February 27, 2008; 9:01 AM ET
Categories:  College Basketball  
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I'd bet that if NC State, Boston College, and Georgia Tech were local teams they'd be 5-6-7.

And I hope you didn't ask them to be poll voters...

Posted by: Reader Glenn | February 27, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse


I typically don't pay any attention to point spreads for college hoops games but during the college football season I participate in a pool with 20 other guys across the country and we each pick a Division I FBS team as our "home" team and then we pick any other five games and make picks against the spread. We then finish up the season with the bowls. After doing this for two years IMHO setting point spreads is done by mathematically inclined geeks who think meteorology is too subjective, and they're about as accurate as weather predictors (my apologies to your new colleagues over at the Capital Weather blog).

The same model that has UMBC #8, UVA #4 and Morgan State tied for #13 with six other teams probably had my homie UCLA Bruins going into Utah better than two touchdown favorites early last September and that didn't work out anything like that.

Posted by: Dave Richardson | February 27, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

wow, i wish we could arrange VCU/Virginia and Richmond/Liberty games just so i could bet on them.

Posted by: jamie | February 27, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

you need to understand what vegas does before you understand and criticize their spreads. They're not trying to predict whether UMBC would beat UVA. They leave that up to the dummies out in the world who think they know basketball. That's how they make their money. Vegas is just trying to get an equal amount of money on both sides of the spread so they can make profits off the juice and the losing side.

Posted by: ralph | February 27, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

ralph, i understand Vegas's position. i just think that even for purposes of getting even money on both sides, they have Liberty ranked ridiculously high considering they just lost to Longwood. Virginia's placement is more understandable, though i think they should be an underdog to VCU at this point. the rest of it seems pretty reasonable, though i think that Morgan St. is being dragged down too far by the rest of the morass that is the MEAC.

Posted by: jamie | February 28, 2008 12:51 AM | Report abuse

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