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College Basketball Handicapping: Bettors gear up for mid-major conference tournaments

02.28.2017     07:07 AM     Printer Friendly

SportsMemo.com blog entry.
Conference tournaments are officially underway which means plenty of betting opportunities including those in the futures market. Let's take a look at a few conferences and their odds to earn a berth in the Big Dance.  
 
Bucknell plays in the "non-boarded" Patriot League and is nearly a -200 favorite to cut down the nets. Note that Bison rank 80th according to Ken Pom; a spot below Monmouth and four spots ahead of Belmont -- two very well regarded mid-majors. Don't sleep on second seed Lehigh (+280) who swept Bucknell by 11 and 8 points during the regular season.  
 
Winthrop (-120) is a short favorite over UNC Asheville (+125) to win the Big South. The two teams split during the regular season with both games decided by three points. Note that after the first round, all games will be played at Winthrop.  
 
Belmont (-170) is yet again the favorite to win the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament which is played in the Bruins' hometown of Nashville. Belmont finished first in the OVC in both offensive and defensive efficiency and lost only one regular season game. Of their 15 league wins, only four were decided by single digits.  
 
The Northeast Conference is another "non-boarded" league with Mount St. Mary's currently even money to win. The Mountaineers opened the season 1-11 but finished league play 14-4. The higher seed hosts each game. 
 
Vermont is a heavy favorite (-320) to win the America East. The Catamounts are a well respected 69th in Ken Pom's ratings; ahead of the likes of BYU, Iowa, and the aforementioned Belmont. Vermont hasn't lost a game since Dec. 21 (81-69 at Butler). Despite a strong pedigree, the Catamounts were bounced by Stony Brook (+550) each of the last two tournaments. The higher seed hosts each game. 
 
Wichita State (-420) is a significant favorite to win the Missouri Valley. Oddsmakers don't give much of a shot to anyone outside of Illinois State (+350). Loyola-Chicago is 12-1 followed by Missouri State and Northern Iowa at 20-1. The entire tournament takes place in St. Louis.  
 
Tags: College Basketball




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