2024 NEC Tournament Betting Odds: Will Merrimack Earn First March Madness Bid?

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Written By Eli Hershkovich | Last Updated
NEC Tournament Odds

The 2024 NEC men’s basketball tournament tips off on Wednesday. This postseason event includes eight programs, and the winner will earn the conference’s lone bid for March Madness odds. Let’s assess NEC tournament odds, with Merrimack favored to win consecutive titles as of this publishing.

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2024 NEC Tournament Odds

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NEC betting tips

Despite winning the conference tournament last season, Merrimack wasn’t eligible for March Madness because of the NCAA’s policy on reclassifying programs. For reference, the program shifted over from the Division II level ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.

Hence, after losing in the title game, Fairleigh Dickinson still earned a trip to the Big Dance.

Consider it fate, as the Knights became the second No. 16 seed ever to win an NCAA tournament game. They upset Purdue as 23.5-point underdogs. Boilermakers center Zach Edey, who’s heavily favored to win his second straight Wooden Award, was held scoreless in the final nine minutes of action.

FDU retained some of the same personnel, including 6-foot-7 forward Ansley Almonor. The junior, tasked with defending Edey, averages a team-high 16.7 points per game. Almonor and the Knights are +4000 (via BetMGM Sportsbook) to return to the NCAA tournament.

However, those odds are equivalent to a mere 2.4% implied probability. That is partly credited to Merrimack and Central Connecticut, the NEC tournament betting favorites, sweeping Fairleigh Dickinson in the regular season. The aforementioned Warriors own the league’s top-rated defense, forcing the fifth-highest turnover rate nationally.

Before losing to Sacred Heart in the regular season finale, Merrimack reeled 10 consecutive victories. One of those came versus the Blue Devils. The Warriors tally just 0.97 points per possession (PPP), making them difficult to trust, but I’d have a hard time betting against their stout ball pressure.

Although didn’t wager on NEC tournament futures odds, sign up for TheLines.com’s free sports betting Discord to receive an immediate alert whenever I make any conference tournament picks. I’ve already wagered on Missouri Valley longshot odds.

NEC Tournament Path

Unlike Atlantic Sun tournament odds, there’s no reseeding when the semifinals come along. Considering the NEC tournament involves the fewest number of participants across Division I, every team will play in the first round. Sift through the official bracket below.

NEC Tournament Schedule

  • Quarterfinals: Wednesday, March 8
  • Semifinals: Saturday, March 9
  • Championship: Sunday, March 10

How To Watch NEC tournament

The first two rounds will be available on the ESPN+ streaming platform. ESPN2 will broadcast the NEC title game, tipping off on March 12 at 7 p.m. EST.

Outside Shots, TheLines.com’s college basketball podcast, handicaps this week’s mid-major conference tournaments. Subscribe to the show on Apple, Spotify, or watch on our YouTube channel below.

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