OVC Tournament Odds: Just How Vulnerable Is Morehead State?

Written By Eli Hershkovich on March 1, 2023
OVC Tournament Odds

The Ohio Valley Conference men’s basketball tournament tips off on Wednesday, and one of eight participants will earn a ticket to the Big Dance. We’ll take a look at all of the pertinent 2023 OVC Tournament odds (courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook), schedule, and how you can watch. It all begins on March 1, yet Morehead State — the favorite to win the tournament — won’t take the court until Friday.

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OVC Tournament Odds

(Eastern Time)
Morehead State
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Tennessee Tech
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UT Martin
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Tennessee State
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SIU Edwardsville
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Southeast Missouri State
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Southern Indiana
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Tournament Notes

As noted above, Morehead State is a +140 favorite to advance to March Madness for the second time in the last three seasons. That’s equivalent to a 41.67% implied probability. The Eagles experienced plenty of turnover in 2022-23, though.

Despite head coach Preston Spradlin remaining on the sidelines, they lost their top five scorers, including current Auburn center Johni Broome. But with Belmont and Murray State departing the conference, Morehead State found itself with atop the OVC standings while ranking No. 269 in adjusted offensive efficiency (AdjO) and No. 210 in adjusted defensive efficiency (AdjD), respectively, per KenPom.

The silver lining is two-time transfer Mark Freeman, who provides the Eagles with a bonafide mid-major scorer, averaging 14.8 points per game. He’s also generating the 85th-highest assist rate nationally.

However, they received quite a bit of positive variance, ranking No. 1 in KenPom’s “luck” factor. This category represents the deviation in winning percentage, regarding their actual record and their expected record. It incorporates the correlated gaussian method.

What sticks out about Morehead State’s 21-10 mark? Well, seven of those wins came by two possessions or less, which is an indication of good fortune.

Couple that with a weak OVC, and the notion that a dark horse will claim the tournament title is certainly justified. Even with a double-bye, alongside with Tennessee Tech, there may be value further down the odds board.

Although Southern Indiana showcases an attractive number (+1300), along with the conference’s top-rated offense, the Screaming Eagles leave lots to be desired at the other end. Therefore, UT Martin (+650) or SIU Edwardsville (+900) are more intriguing, especially considering the latter unit’s defensive cohesion.

The Cougars are led by the do-it-all Ray’sean Taylor, who’s producing 15.7 points, 4.5 boards, and 3.0 assists per contest. The sophomore guard and his teammate struggle with shooting efficiency, but he exhibits the potential to carry them on a deep run.

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OVC Tournament Schedule

  • First Round: Wednesday, March 1
  • Quarterfinals: Thursday, March 2
  • Semifinals: Friday, March 3
  • OVC Championship: Saturday, March 4

How To Watch

The first two rounds are available for viewing on the ESPN+ streaming platform. On March 3, viewers can catch the OVC tournament semifinals on ESPNU. On Saturday, the title game tips off at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2. Here is the rest of the conference tournament schedule.

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Eli Hershkovich

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