Breakdowns in the final minutes of college basketball are a frequent part of the game. Teams can go on a cold drought when the spread was well in hand and instead push the moneyline bettors on the brink of a loss. Coaches also can harm a point spread by protecting a lead the wrong way. Offensively they may get too conservative which plays into the hand of the other team. Conservative effort on offense by dribbling the air out of the ball often leads to lackluster effort defensively.

The top dagger though will always be free throw shooting. Coaches across America have practiced to foul early to prolong a game. Sometimes the opposing team is not in the double bonus yet, and can be set for three to four one and one situations. Once the free throws start to miss it’s a snowball effect for the entire team.

It’s hard to predict the exact scenarios that those instances will happen, but betting college basketball you need to realize you’ll be on the good side and bad side of at least five to seven of those instances. Knowing which teams are likely going to suffer from the free throw line in late situations, can help you decide to pass on a game ATS.

Here are current top 25 teams that you should be leery on in late game situations.

Utah has been winning games with better offense than expected. Defensively they can shut down an opposing team for stretches to surge past a spread. Lately though they’ve been favored by steep lines, which can be troublesome because of their team woes at the free throw line. The Pac-12 is a bit down this year but still has plenty of scorers. In a game where Utah may end up shooting between 15-25 free throws, there could be an ATS loss suffered because of their struggles.

This should be no secret at Arizona being one of the worst in the top 25 at free throw shooting. The athletes and mold of Sean Miller’s teams have never fit the bill for solid free throw shooting. There will be some heart breakers for backers of Arizona because they have not lit up the scoreboard offensively and are still being heavily favored in games.

West Virginia—Rank–259–.657
West Virginia is a bit shocking because of their solid guard/forward heavy contributions. They shoot the ball well from the perimeter and can keep pace offensively with any team in the country. Sometimes when offense is the main catalyst as it is for West Virginia it can lead to a lack of concentration at the free throw line. I’d expect their free throw shooting to rise and get better as more emphasis is put on it.

Louisville has been a bit of a conundrum with their on court performances lately. They’ve had big leads in plenty of games but have had mental lapses that have cost ATS wins for them. Free throw shooting I wouldn’t say has been the main detriment in those letdowns, but it has been a slight contributor. This is another team that’s free throw shooting percentage should rise with increased emphasis by Rick Pitino. Out of all the teams on this list I would have the most confidence in Louisville at the stripe in late game situations.

VCU will not be a team that improves at the free throw line as the season stretches. Key players such as Briante Weber, Treveon Graham, and others all have their struggles at the line. I’ve seen plenty of games last year in-conference where their free throw shooting cost point spreads in the final minute. Be very cautious as a VCU backer in-conference as point spreads in their games will likely be -6 or higher throughout conference play.


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