College Basketball Odds & Picks For Friday’s Atlantic 10 & ASUN Conference Tournaments
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images. Pictured: The Liberty Flames logo at Vines Center in Lynchburg, VA.
- Friday is upon us, so of course, conference tournaments lasting all day remain a key part of our daily lives.
- Our staff broke down bets for every active tournament, including games from the Atlantic 10 and ASUN, for those who want a sweat before the work day even ends.
- Check out both picks complete with a breakdown below.
College basketball conference tournament season is in full swing for many of the nation’s low- and mid-major conferences, and it has already delivered precisely the kind of madness we yearn for in March. The UTEP Miners nearly knocked off the Kansas Jayhawks in late-season non-conference play, UMass dropped 59 points on Saint Joseph’s in the fist half alone, Duquesne knocked the Richmond Spiders out of A10 contention (and likely out of NCAA Tournament contention) via a first-round upset … and all of that was just Thursday!
In order help cut through all the noisy rescheduling and COVID-19 news for the 31 conferences in postseason action from now until Selection Sunday on March 14, we’ll be providing you our top picks for (nearly) every conference tournament every single day.
Today’s top conference tournament bets have been broken up into separate articles by tipoff window, beginning with the two best games to bet early Friday morning. Kyle Remillard and Jim Root cover the Atlantic 10 and ASUN tournaments, respectively, and recommend two betting spots at 11 a.m. ET and 2 p.m. ET to get your Friday card started off right.
College Basketball Odds & Picks
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Note: All photos below are via Getty Images.
Atlantic 10 Championship: Quarterfinals
No. 9 Duquesne vs. No. 1 St. Bonaventure
Duquesne made a late run against Richmond on Thursday in order to earn a date with destiny against the No. 1-seed St. Bonaventure Bonnies early this afternoon.
The 3-point shot could be the difference maker in this game: Duquesne ranks 311th in the country in 3-point shooting percentage (30.1%, per KenPom). Meanwhile, St. Bonaventure converted on 37.1% of their long-range attempts throughout the season. Not only does the Bonnies’ mark best the Dukes’ by 7.0%, but it also ranks first among all Atlantic 10 teams. St. Bonaventure won each of the first two meetings with Duquesne by 4 and 14 points, respectively, despite hitting a combined 5-of-29 on 3-point attempts in those matchups.
St. Bonaventure owns the most efficient offense and defense in the A-10 and holds opponents to just 60.6 points per game. This is a tough matchup for the Dukes, who don’t shoot the ball well and won’t be able to effectively penetrate the lane due to the Bonnies’ size and matchup zone.
The Bonnies feature five players who average 10 or more points per game and are led by point guard Kyle Lofton. He has averaged 14.5 points, 4.5 assists, and 3.0 rebounds this season while scoring a combined 45 points in the first two meetings with the Dukes. Lofton should have another big game against Duquesne on Friday, leading the Bonnies to another double-digit win and sending Duquesne home.
Atlantic Sun Tournament: Semifinals
No. 7 Stetson vs. No. 1 Liberty
By Jim Root
After a disjointed first half, ASUN favorite Liberty was able to knock off pesky young Kennesaw State on Thursday, while the surprising Stetson Hatters took down Division-I debutante Bellarmine in a dramatic late finish.
Liberty seemed to feel the weight of being a heavy conference tournament favorite. Although the Flames extended their lead in the second half, their performance was far from dominant. The slower, tension-packed postseason setting may hamper the spectacular shot-making of which Liberty is capable.
The first two meetings between Liberty and Stetson had 68 and 61 possessions, respectively. Considering that this is a crucial semifinal game and a back-to-back for both teams, that 61 number – also coming in the second leg of a back-to-back – feels more predictive of the kind of pace we’ll see here.
Stetson managed to split those two matchups (and battled in the loss), and that was without monstrous Malian big man Mahamadou Diawara. With Diawara back in the lineup, the Hatters now have some real rim protection for Round 3 vs. the Flames, which further emboldens their perimeter defenders to extend and challenge Liberty’s dazzling guards.
Between the spot, the historical matchup indicators, and the addition of Diawara to the festivities, the under should have value down to 135.