We're down to 10 undefeated college basketball teams this season. In the traditional standings, that is. There are also three teams without a win.
But in the betting standings, we're down to one team in each category. Only a single team is perfect against the spread. And only one team, one of the premier programs in the sport, hasn't covered the spread even once this season.
Take a bow, Kent State. You are the 1976 Hoosiers of the betting world (at least through a month). And if you've tried to bet on Louisville basketball this season, you know they're the winless team.
It's hard to go on a long winning or losing streak against the spread. Oddsmakers adjust to great or horrible teams. You end up covering a spread in an odd way. Nobody comes close to running the table, good or bad.
To get this far into the season with a zero on either side of the ledger is notable.
Kent State off to a good start
Let's start with the good news. Kent State is a team you might want to keep in mind for March, if they make the NCAA tournament.
Kent State was picked to win the Mid-American Conference in the preseason poll, getting six of 12 first-place votes. The Golden Flashes have been pretty impressive, and very profitable for bettors. They're 8-0 against the spread according to Covers.com.
Kent State is 6-3 overall but with a five-point loss to Houston and a seven-point loss to Gonzaga that was closer than the score would indicate. Those are two of the best teams in the sport this season. Kent State also had a two-point road loss at Charleston.
Kent State won 14 in a row last season before losing in the title game of the MAC tournament. They brought back an experienced team that doesn't have a lot of size but plays good defense.
UConn deserves a mention too. They're undefeated but not perfect. The Huskies are 9-0-1 against the spread according to Covers.com and have put themselves on the radar as a national title contender. They're a big surprise early this season and they're 16-to-1 at BetMGM to win the championship.
It's a good place to be early in December.
Louisville is off to a historically bad start
Louisville is shockingly bad. The three-time* national champions are a proud program that was expected to perhaps have a transition season under new coach Kenny Payne. Nobody figured on them being one of the worst teams in college basketball.
The Cardinals are 0-8 straight up and 0-8 against the spread too. They started the season with three one-point losses in a row. Then they stopped being competitive. At the Maui Invitational, Louisville lost by 26, 32 and 19 points. Cal is also winless straight up — Cal and Louisville are the first major conference teams to start a season at least 0-7 — but they've managed to cover the spread three times during an 0-10 straight up start. Louisville is ranked 360 of 363 Division I teams in the NCAA's NET rankings.
Louisville gets Florida State next (the bad starts from Louisville and Cal have overshadowed Florida State's 1-9 start to the season), then Western Kentucky and on Dec. 17 the Cardinals meet Florida A&M, which is ranked 359th in the nation in KenPom's rankings. Maybe they'll cover in one of those games.
Louisville won't go winless against the spread. But it has already been a long season for the Cardinals.