16-15 overall, 8-8 conference, 4th Horizon
Against the spread
14-15 (5-7 home, 7-6 away)
15-14 (6-6 home, 8-5 away)
2005 Season Summary
The Illinois Chicago Flames were coming off another nothing season of mediocrity in which they went 15-14 straight up and 12-14 against the college basketball betting lines, “flaming out” with just five covers in their final twelve games of the season.
Potential major bargain or liability
Teams such as Illinois Chicago, who often struggle for an identity both on the court and on the board, can often enjoy or suffer massive value fluctuations throughout the season. This makes such teams both a potential major bargain or liability, depending on the immediate circumstances.
Mid Major teams from leagues such as the Horizon can often offer incredible value, if you catch them at the right time. The key is recognizing the proper circumstances and board value as to when to oppose or support such teams. A good guide is the college basketball gambling public. As soon as there is a reputation, good or bad, out on a team you should simply seriously consider bucking against that reputation and “street line” as that will likely be where the value is.
Illinois Chicago began the 2005-06 season with a 69-64 win over Montana State as 2.5-point neutral court chalks. That was followed by a 66-63 win at San Diego State as 5.5-point dogs.
Illinois Chicago suffered their first loss both on the court and on the board in their next game, which was a 48-52 overtime loss to Denver as 2.5-point neutral court dogs. That was followed by a discouraging unlined home loss to St. Xavier Cougars.
Back on the board at Georgia Tech, the Flames scored an impressive 73-51 win and cover as 12-point dogs. That was followed, however, by a disappointing 69-89 loss at Georgia Southern as 3-point dogs and then another unlined home loss, this time to Chicago State, 74-75.
Back on the board against Mississippi as a 4-point chalk, the Flames scored an 87-75 overtime win and cover and followed that up with a 71-62 win at Northwestern as 5.5-point dogs for a solid start of 5-2 against the spread to begin the year.
Illinois Chicago next scored a 55-54 home win over Northern Illinois as 3-point chalks as their problems began against the board. That was followed by a 61-75 loss at Syracuse as 12.5-point dogs. The bleeding was stopped temporarily with a 76-67 home win over Davidson as 1-point chalks.
Gushing red ink
Illinois Chicago resumed their problems on the board however starting with an 85-84 overtime win over Youngstown State as 12.5-point overlay chalks. That was followed by a 56-75 blowout loss at Butler as 9-point dogs as the Flames began gushing red ink.
Next was a 45-68 loss to UW Milwaukee as 3-point dogs followed by an 84-90 overtime loss at UW Green Bay as 2.5-point chalks. The despair continued with a 61-75 loss at Loyola-Chicago as 4.5-point dogs. Next was an 83-87 loss to Cleveland State as 9-point chalks followed by a 65-76 loss at Detroit as 6-point dogs for a seventh straight failure against the board and ninth in ten games.
There are few things in gambling more unappealing to the masses than a mid major team that cannot cover the spread, which was what the state of affairs was with Illinois Chicago, which caused to transform them into unwanted bargains.
The Flames completed the regular season with seven payoffs in their final eight games against the college basketball betting lines, providing a classic lesson on how quickly values on the court and board can change with mid major teams. In the Horizon League tourney, the Flames went 1-1 both SU & ATS.