16-15 overall, 7-8 conference, 2nd Sun Belt West
Against the spread
13-13-1 (8-1-1 home, 3-9 away)
14-13 (7-3 home, 5-7 away)
2005 Season Summary
The Denver Pioneers, somewhat misplaced in the Sun Belt conference with its predominately southeastern flavor, ended up as West Division champions in 2004-05 with a record of 20-11 straight up, which included a conference record of 12-3.
The Pioneers were just as effective against the college basketball gambling lines as they finished with just nine losses in twenty-eight games against the board. Denver faded ever so slightly down the stretch, however, once the "word" was out on them in the college basketball gambling community and as their on court opponents began to take them more seriously as they went 7-5-1 ATS to end the season, which included a first round NIT loss at San Francisco 67-69 as 3.5-point dogs.
Denver had taken their on court opponents, college basketball gamblers, and the oddsmakers all by surprise and it would prove to be questionable at best as to whether or not they could maintain such a high level of success both on the court and at the sportsbook.
A familiar look
Denver opened the 2005-06 season with an 80-66 neutral court win over Kennesaw State as ridiculous 24.5-point overlays. The Pioneers got right back on track, however, with a 44-30 neutral court win over Southern Mississippi as 5.5-point dogs. The Pioneers then scored a 52-48 neutral court overtime win over Illinois-Chicago as 2.5-point chalks to start off with a familiar look of a winner at 3-0 straight up and 2-1 against the college basketball gambling lines.
The Pioneers then had an intra-state rivalry showdown on a neutral court against Colorado State and scored a 58-64 loss as 2-point chalks. They did rebound, however, with a 78-63 home win over Northern Arizona as 10-point chalks and a fourth payoff in six games.
Value was shot
Denver's solid start coupled with their strong season of 2004-05 caused their overall board value to be depleted, as evidenced by their 69-66 home win over Montana State as 9.5-point overlays. The Pioneers then went off the board for a pair of road games starting with a 78-81 overtime loss at South Dakota State followed by a 66-79 loss at North Dakota State.
Back on the board at Stanford, Denver's value was shot as they were blown off the court 49-71 as 10-point dogs. That was followed by a 76-84 overtime loss at Montana State as 3.5-point dogs and then a 65-79 loss at Sacramento State as 3-point dogs for a fourth consecutive loss against the board.
Denver did not stay down however, as they began a nice rebound against the board with a 69-64 home win over Wyoming as 4.5-point chalks. That was followed by a 67-48 home win over New Orleans as 7.5-point chalks and then a 75-63 home win over Louisiana-Lafayette as 2-point home favorites for a third consecutive cover.
After an unlined 79-73 win at Northern Colorado, the Pioneers resumed the payoffs with an 80-55 home win over Florida International as 11.5-point chalks and followed that up with a 70-72 loss/cover at North Texas as 2.5-point dogs.
Out of steam
Denver was unable to sustain success, however, starting with a 61-72 loss at Arkansas State as 1-point dogs. That was then followed by a 52-62 loss at Arkansas-Little Rock as 3.5-point dogs as the Pioneers were out of steam.
After a brief rebound of SU&ATS home wins over South Alabama and Troy, the Pioneers lost SU&ATS at New Orleans and at Louisiana-Lafayette.
Denver then ended the regular season 3-3 SU and 2-2-1 ATS before going 1-1 SU&ATS in the Sun Belt Conference tourney, as they got the cash in just three of their final nine games.