21-11 overall, 12-2 conference, 1st Big West
Against the spread
13-13 (5-6 home, 6-5 away)
13-13 (7-4 home, 6-5 away)
2005 Season Summary
The Northern Arizona Lumberjacks began the 2005-06 campaign against the Air Force Falcons as 9.5-point neutral court dogs and were defeated both straight up and against the spread 49-62. That was immediately followed by a 59-68 loss to Texas-Arlington as 2-point neutral court dogs as the Lumberjacks failed to get the cash in their first two games of the new season.
Teams such as Northern Arizona in conferences such as the Big Sky Conference attract very little attention from the mainstream gambling public in the first place, let alone when they are losing and, thus, can often bring value with the more losing that they do, as ironic as that may sound.
Northern Arizona stopped the bleeding, at least temporarily, with a 71-51 neutral court win and cover over Morgan State as 12.5-point chalks. That was followed by a pair of unlined home wins starting with a 78-50 slaughter of UC-Davis which was followed by a 97-47 blowout of Cal Maritime.
Northern Arizona was still lacking value, however, as they returned to the college basketball betting boards with a 63-78 loss at Denver as 10-point dogs. After another unlined win, (88-78 at Northern Colorado), the Lumberjacks returned to the betting boards with yet another loss, 58-63 to Tulsa as 5.5-point home chalks. At this point the Lumberjacks were 1-4 against the spread and even more anonymous with college basketball bettors than was normally the case.
Northern Arizona next traveled to Arizona to play one of college basketball's ultimate “name brand” teams in the Wildcats as whopping 24.5-point dogs and got the cash in a 66-75 loss to begin a strong resurgence as bargain values. After a 63-52 unlined home win over Northern Colorado, the Lumberjacks got the cash for the second consecutive lined game with a 70-66 win over San Francisco as 1.5-point dogs. This was followed by a 55-72 loss at Arizona State as 10-point dogs. Northern Arizona then returned home for a pair of unlined home wins over Pacific Lutheran, (96-59), and Johnson&Wales, (100-52).
The bargains resumed starting with a 105-95 conference opening win over Eastern Washington as 5-point home chalks. This was followed by a 86-77 win over Portland State as 6.5-point home chalks. A road trip didn't halt the Lumberjacks from getting the cash as they won at Weber State 88-82 in a pick'em affair and then beat Idaho State 85-81 as 1-point chalks. Northern Arizona came home and beat Montana 83-80 in another pick'em game for their fifth straight payoff and seventh in eight games.
Increased attention meant decreased value
All of a sudden, Northern Arizona was not so anonymous with college basketball gamblers as they bolted to the top of the Big Sky Conference standings while getting the cash on a consistent basis. One of the best lessons that a gambler can know in this information age is that there are few if any secrets in gambling and that gamblers are far better informed than they used to be before the internet age with its easy and immediate access to information. Even teams in the Big Sky conference are now easy to spot and identify and the increased attention meant decreased value for Northern Arizona in the heart of conference play.
Their problems against the betting boards began with a 78-72 loss to Montana State as 7.5-point home overlays. They next beat Sacramento State 89-83 as 4.5-point home chalks and then won at Portland State 65-63 as 1-point dogs before the correction fully took affect.
Northern Arizona lost at Eastern Washington 61-73 as a 3.5-point dog. That was followed by an 88-80 win over Idaho State as 8.5-point overlays and then a 77-69 win over Weber State, again, as 8.5-point overlays. The bleeding briefly stopped with an 82-73 win at Montana State as 3-point dogs but resumed with a bat 58-79 loss at Western Kentucky as 11.5-point dogs. Northern Arizona then won and covered at Sacramento State before losing both SU&ATS at Montana to finish a 4-6 ATS string as they entered post season. The Lumberjacks split their two conference tourney games before losing 53-58 to Delaware State as 9-point NIT home chalks.