23-8 overall, 12-2 conference, 1st Sun Belt East
Against the spread
14-15 (8-5 home, 4-8 away)
16-11-2 (7-6 home, 6-5-1 away)
2005 Season Summary
The Western Kentucky Hilltoppers finished the 2004-05 season with a record of 22-9 straight up, including a Sun Belt Conference mark of 9-5, which was good for a second place finish in the East Division.
The Hilltoppers were a break even 14-14-1 against the college basketball gambling lines, but really faded badly down the stretch of the regular season as they got the cash in just three of their final sixteen games, gushing red ink to the finish line.
Western Kentucky did rebound in the post season, however, as they went 2-2 straight up and 3-1 against the spread, finishing in the second round of the NIT where they were eliminated by Wichita State 81-84 as 7.5-point road dogs.
The Hilltoppers finishing as a NIT team would serve to put them in the minds of college basketball gamblers as one of the better mid-major teams on the board, with the potential affect of harming their board value as a result of this name recognition.
Western Kentucky opened the 2005-06 season with an 83-54 home win over Austin Peay as 10.5-point chalks. That was then followed by an unlined home win over Indiana-Purdue 89-75. Back on the board at home against Georgia, the Hilltoppers scored a 65-69 home loss as 8-point chalks in a mild upset.
The Hilltoppers didn't waste time rebounding, however, starting with a 92-76 win at Alabama-Birmingham as 9.5-point dogs. That was then followed by a 97-89 win at Easter Kentucky as 3-point chalks for a profitable start of 3-1 against the spread.
Western Kentucky next scored an 84-77 home win over Evansville as 14-point overlays as they began falling down in board value. They next lost at home to the Pacific Tigers 75-91 as 9-point overlays. After a 76-78 loss at Bradley, the Hilltoppers scored a 73-68 neutral court win over Central Florida as 9-point chalks for a third failure against the pointspread in four games.
Back in black
Western Kentucky next had a tough road assignment at perennial national power Arizona and scored an 81-86 overtime loss/cover as 15.5-point dogs to get back in black against the board. After a 72-70 win at Arkansas State in which they failed to cover as 5.5-point chalks, the Hilltoppers got back on track with an 80-48 home win over Middle Tennessee State as 8.5-point chalks.
Western Kentucky proved to be of no value in a 74-70 home win over Arkansas-Little Rock as 13-point chalks but then got back into the profit margin with an 87-63 home win over Arkansas State as 13.5-point home favorites.
After that 4-2 run against the spread, however, the Hilltoppers became a depleted value on the board starting with an ugly 49-76 loss at Troy as 5.5-point road chalks. That was followed by a 74-73 win at South Alabama as 1.5-point road favorites. After a 94-81 home win over Louisiana-Lafayette, the Hilltoppers went back into the tank with a 72-57 home win over New Orleans as 15.5-point home overlays.
The red ink continued to run for Western Kentucky as they won at Florida-International 66-61 as 7.5-point overlays, which was followed by a 71-70 win at Denver as 1.5-point chalks.
Board value was restored
Western Kentucky's 1-5 ATS run chased off much of the public, as their board value was restored beginning with a 97-71 home win over North Texas as 11.5-point chalks. They ended the regular season 3-1 SU and 2-2 ATS. In the post season the Hilltoppers went 2-2 both SU&ATS finishing with a first round loss in the NIT at South Carolina by a scored of 55-74 as 8-point dogs.