2023 Atlantic 10 Tournament Betting Preview, Bracket & Odds

2023 Atlantic 10 Tournament Betting Preview, Bracket & Odds article feature image

Photo by Erica Denhoff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Malachi Smith (Dayton)

If you would have told me prior to the season that three of the top four seeds in the A-10 Tournament would be VCU, Dayton and Saint Louis, I wouldn’t have blinked.

However, the manner in which each of those teams has earned a top-four seed and a double bye has been less than stellar.

The A-10 was expected to challenge the Mountain West as the best non-power conference and possibly earn a few at-large selections in addition to its automatic qualifier.

Unfortunately, bad losses have outweighed quality wins for the class of the A-10. Barring something truly shocking from the selection committee, winning the A-10 Tournament at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn is the only option for one of the A-10’s 15 teams to earn their way into the NCAA tournament field.

Games will begin before Noon ET on Tuesday, March 7 and the championship game will take place on Sunday, March 12 — just before the NCAA tournament bracket is finalized.

Let’s dive in to see which team is most likely to earn the A-10’s automatic bid, as well as who may surprise and present a formidable challenge.

2023 Atlantic 10 Tournament Bracket

2023 Atlantic 10 Tournament Odds

Odds (Via FanDuel)
Saint Louis+470
George Mason+3500
St. Bonaventure+5500
George Washington+7500
Saint Joseph's+10000
Loyola Chicago+20000
Rhode Island+20000
La Salle+20000

Atlantic 10 Betting Favorites

All three of the presumed favorites struggled — albeit to various degrees — throughout the year, particularly in the non-conference.

VCU undoubtedly emerged as the most consistent team throughout A-10 play. The Rams, at 15-3, were able to win the A-10 regular-season title by a full three games.

Not often is a team that won its conference by three games not listed as the tournament favorite, but such is the case for VCU.

KenPom lists Dayton as the 72nd-ranked team in the country, while VCU sits at 75th. Both matchups between the Flyers and Rams came down to the final few possessions. A third matchup between those two in the A-10 final would be a true rubber match.

Both Dayton and Saint Louis entered the season with high expectations. On paper, their respective rosters were as loaded as each school has seen in the past 20 years.

However, given the results of the season, each fan base is now questioning the capability of their head coach. Dayton’s Anthony Grant and Saint Louis’ Travis Ford have an opportunity to earn a bit of grace from their school’s respective supporters by earning an NCAA bid in the last way possible.

Atlantic 10 Dark Horses & Potential Challengers

In a league without a true dominant force, it's natural to think sprinkling a few of the long shots would be a decent strategy.

I would argue the double-bye format makes the prospect of a lower seed manufacturing a title run even less likely than one might think.

With 15 teams, the No. 5 through No. 9 seeds will need to win four games. Even less likely would be a title run by a 10-to-15 seed, as those teams will need five wins in a six-day span.

Meanwhile, VCU, Dayton, Fordham and Saint Louis earn the right to claim the A-10 Tournament title by defeating just three opponents in four days.

History shows it's incredibly difficult for a team to overcome the inherent disadvantage of needing to play additional games to clinch a conference title.

With the understanding that a “Cinderella” run is extremely unlikely, I will still do my best to outline a few long shots to consider.

The Richmond Spiders are the defending champions of this event, though the odds are stacked against them repeating. Their coach, Chris Mooney, is at home recovering from a recent surgery to remove an aneurysm in his aorta.

And, as the No. 12 seed, the Spiders will need to win five games.

If Richmond is to make an improbable run, it will do so on the shoulders of senior forward Tyler Burton. Named a preseason first-team All-Atlantic member, Burton’s play has lived up to those expectations despite Richmond’s struggles.

He's a special player, potentially capable of helping Richmond cash for those who take a stab at its 50:1 price.

UMass has just wrapped up its first regular season under Frank Martin’s leadership. The Minutemen’s 15-15 record includes an even more disappointing 6-12 mark in league play, which ultimately resulted in a 13th-place finish in the A-10.

Still, Martin has led many teams to improbable runs in the past.

His most notable run as an underdog was with South Carolina to the 2017 Final Four. His personality is seemingly a great fit for UMass and if any coach could potentially spur a run from nowhere, maybe it's Martin at 90:1.

Richmond was able to make a run last year as the No. 6 seed. Ironically, my last potential dark horse is also the sixth-seeded team. Duquesne beat VCU at home and hung close with Saint Louis on the road in a narrow loss.

The Dukes are coming off one of their worst performances of the year in their final regular season game at Fordham. I believe their results this year prove they are just about on par with the league’s top four seeds, and they could be worth a smaller ticket at their 7:1 price.

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Seeding Implications for Potential Champions

If VCU, Dayton or Saint Louis is able to emerge as the A-10 champion, it’d likely slot in as a No. 12 seed in the NCAA tournament bracket.

Fordham, George Mason, Duquesne, Davidson and Richmond may be only one seed line lower.

A-10 Betting Recommendations

Ultimately, I think the double-bye will be too much of an advantage for lower seeds to overcome.

If you want to get behind a lower seed like UMass or Richmond, I would recommend simply taking their moneyline price from game-to-game. The odds of one of the lower seeds turning it on at just the right time to win five consecutive games is frankly too far-fetched for me to endorse.

The team with the most attractive price to me is Duquesne at 7:1. The higher seeds will have a lot of weight to bear upon their shoulders, feeling as though they must rectify a poor regular season with a tournament win.

Duquesne will not feel that same pressure.

My strongest inclination is also the most boring. There's a reason oddsmakers list Dayton as the favorite. If Malachi Smith can play at the level of his proven capability, the Flyers are the best team in this conference.

I would recommend taking Dayton at a plus-money price. Be sure to shop around, as I have seen Dayton listed as high as +180.

Finally, if you must, take a flier on Saint Louis. Travis Ford has continually disappointed in big spots during his tenure with the Billikens. The 7:1 price reflects that the Billikens' head coach may be more of a hindrance than a help, but talent can occasionally overcome poor coaching.

For a smaller wager than Dayton, I could understand backing the Billikens at 7:1.

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