2019 Southern Conference Tournament Betting Odds, Preview: Can Anyone Stop Wofford?
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Wofford guard Nathan Hoover (10) and forward Keve Aluma (24)
- The Southern conference tournament will tip off in Asheville, N.C. on Saturday with two first round matchups on ESPN+.
- Wofford went 18-0 in league play and enters as the tournament betting favorite (+105), but we see more value in another team in the futures market.
This has been a banner year for the Southern Conference, highlighted by the success of nationally ranked Wofford. The Terriers will look to cap off a historic year by winning the Southern Conference Tournament — the NCAA’s first ever, which began back in 1922 (won by UNC).
Despite the storied history, a SoCon team has never received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. That could change this year if Wofford gets knocked out of the conference tourney early.
Buckle your seat belts for one of the most entertaining mid-major tournaments of 2019. The top four seeds combined to win 99 games this season — a record in the almost 100-year history of this tourney.
Let’s break down the bracket and determine which team, if any, is worth betting to cut down the nets in Asheville.
2019 Southern Conference Tournament Odds, Format
- Who: All 10 Southern teams
- Format: Top 6 seeds get first-round bye
- When: March 8-11
- Where: Asheville, N.C.
- How to Watch: ESPN+/ESPN
- Defending Champion: UNC Greensboro
Who Should Win?
In each of the past four seasons, the regular season champion has also won the SoCon tournament. That includes 2017 champ East Tennessee State, which finished in a three-way tie for the regular season title.
That bodes well for Wofford (+105) — the clear favorite that should make the NCAA Tournament even if it doesn’t get the automatic bid. The Terriers dominated the league all season en route to a perfect 18-0 record and the program’s first ever top 25 ranking.
Their offense is particularly deadly. Sharpshooting senior guard Fletcher Magee (20.7 ppg, 42.8% 3P) is the runaway winner for Southern Conference Player of the Year, and senior forward Cam Jackson is the anchor down low.
The Terriers rank first in the conference in adjusted offensive efficiency, effective field goal percentage, turnover percentage and 3P accuracy. This is one of the country’s 10 most efficient offenses and one that is particularly deadly from behind the arc.
Wofford shot 41.7% from deep on the season (third-best nationally) and a spectacular 43.5% during conference play. Its three top guards Magee, Nathan Hoover and Storm Murphy all shoot at least 42.8% from three and 84.6% from the line.
While Wofford is the clear favorite, its odds are less than enticing at +105. Especially since three other teams have a realistic change of winning the Southern Conference Tournament. I see much better value backing either UNC Greensboro, Furman or preseason favorite East Tennessee State. Let’s take a look.