Eli’s Conference Tournament Futures: Betting Mid-Majors, Including ASUN

Written By Eli Hershkovich on March 3, 2022
Conference Tournament Odds

March’s arrival means conference tournament odds have too. Here’s my running list of futures for the week of Feb. 28, and I’ll be updating it throughout.

Click on the odds below to place a bet, and continue the discussion in our Discord betting community, as we dissect the biggest games of the day. Stay up-to-date on the top-68 programs with my college basketball power rankings.

  • All of Eli’s College Basketball Bets

Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament Odds

Game
(Eastern Time)
(EST)
Liberty
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+130
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+115
Jacksonville State
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+170
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+170
Bellarmine
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+1000
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+850
Jacksonville
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+600
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+1000
Florida Gulf Coast
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+2500
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+1600
Kennesaw St.
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+2500
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+3000
Lipscomb
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+6000
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+8000
Eastern Kentucky
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+3500
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+8000
North Florida
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+6000
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+11000
Stetson
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+10000
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+13000
Central Arkansas
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+10000
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+15000
North Alabama
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+10000
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+25000

Breaking Down The Favorites

The higher seeded teams in this event will have home-court advantage, and the winner will receive an automatic bid to the 2022 NCAA Tournament.

Liberty is the odds on favorite to win the ASUN tournament after claiming it the last three seasons. Ritchie McKay’s bunch is led by one the premier mid-major point guards in Darius McGhee, boasting the highest possession rate in the country.

The Flames’ path to the title game is an arduous one, facing Lipscomb or North Florida in the quarterfinals before getting the winner of Bellarmine versus Florida Golf Coast or North Alabama. McKay’s pack-line defense has slipped up a bit this season — particularly against pick-and-roll-oriented offenses.

On the other side of the bracket is one-seed Jacksonville State, which boasts the second-shortest odds and represents one of the most experienced mid-major programs. Similar to the Flames, though, the Gamecocks’ perimeter shooting (39.3%) is expected to regress. The two teams are actually tied for the third-highest 3-point clip across Division I.

Where’s The Tournament Value?

Enter Jacksonville, boasting a top-10 perimeter defense (28.9%) and a size advantage over both Liberty and Jacksonville State, respectively. It boasts the ASUN’s top-rated Adjusted Defensive Efficiency (AdjD) overall.

  • Adjusted Efficiency accounts for the estimate efficiency (points scored or allowed per 100 possessions) a team would accrue or allow against the average Division I opponent.

The Dolphins’ length, along with their prowess on the glass, allows them to play at the fourth-slowest tempo in college basketball — led by 6-foot-2 point guard Kevion Nolan in a pick-and-roll-driven scheme.

Jacksonville would square off versus the Gamecocks in the semifinals if both units advance that far. Despite Jacksonville State narrowly earning the victory in their lone regular season meeting, Jordan Mincy’s crew has won eight of its last 10 games, playing like the league’s best team of late.

The Dolphins opened at +1200 odds, and I’d still bet them at their current price of +1000. They wouldn’t match up against the Flames until the title game, making this number more attractive.

West Coast Conference Tournament Odds

2022 WCC Tournament Futures

Game
(Eastern Time)
(EST)
Gonzaga
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-400
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-390
St. Mary's CA
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+400
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+500
Santa Clara
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+1500
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+1400
San Francisco
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+2500
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+3000
BYU
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+3000
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+3500
Loyola Marymount
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+30000
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+25000
Portland
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+30000
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+25000
San Diego
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+50000
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+50000
Pepperdine
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+50000
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+50000
Pacific
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+50000
Bet now
+50000

Gonzaga A Heavy Favorite

As expected, sportsbooks are forcing bettors to pay a hefty tax if they’re looking to invest in Gonzaga. After falling to Saint Mary’s in the their regular season finale, it’ll be highly motivated to bounce back before the big dance.

Mark Few’s unit generates the second-most efficient transition offense in all of college basketball (via ShotQuality), as the 7-foot freshman Chet Holmgren can lead a fast break on his own. It even boasts an elite half-court defense, forcing opponents to operate from behind the arc.

But don’t ignore what occurred in Morgana, Calif. The Bulldogs were forced into isolation half-court sets, resulting in 0.80 points per possession (PPP), as the Gaels surrender the lowest assist rate in the nation. Saint Mary’s frontcourt — led by the 6-foot-10 Matthias Tass — also outplayed Holmgren and fellow big Drew Timme, who combined for just 12 points on 5-of-17 shooting.

Is There Any Long-Shot Value?

As much as the Gaels disrupted Few’s motion offense, their futures are still overpriced. Enter San Francisco, whose path to a WCC tournament title would likely be against BYU, Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s.

Even though the Dons dropped each of their regular season matchups versus the Bulldogs, their half-court pressure defense lets up the 28th-lowest assist rate. In the most recent tilt, Gonzaga shot the lights out from distance in the first half while San Francisco failed to capitalize on looks right around the rim.

Moreover, the Dons’ attack — guided by their backcourt of Jamaree Bouyea and Khalil Shabazz — revolves around 3-point shooting and took advantage of Bulldogs’ leaky perimeter defense in both affairs. They’ll have plenty of motivation as well, attempting to lock up a NCAA tournament berth against BYU before aiming to avenge their losses to Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s, respectively.

I threw a small, small dart at the Dons at +3000, which is the best price you’ll find at any legal sportsbook. I’ve been high on them all season, and they’re as low as +1500 elsewhere.

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Eli Hershkovich Avatar
Written by
Eli Hershkovich

Eli Hershkovich is a lead sports betting writer with TheLines and Catena Media, formerly with Audacy and The Action Network. His goal is to provide you with data and information to lead you to winning bets. Eli is an avid college basketball gambler — among many other sports — and still hasn't forgiven Virginia for ruining his 2018-2019 Texas Tech futures.

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