CAA Basketball Tournament Betting Preview, Bracket & Odds: 2 Potential Winners Being Undervalued?
Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images. Pictured: Xavier Bell (Drexel)
Finally, the time has come. It is March, and while college hoops fans around the nation are anxiously awaiting the start of March Madness, there are still plenty of tickets that need to be punched.
One of those tickets will belong to the winner of the CAA Tournament. The conference possesses multiple programs capable of busting brackets, but they have to make it to the Big Dance first.
Oddsmakers seemingly have this tournament as a foregone conclusion. However, when you take a closer look, you will see just how competitive the CAA can be.
CAA Tournament Bracket & Schedule
2022 CAA Tournament Odds
The Tigers come into this tournament with seemingly everything in their favor. They’ll enter their opening quarterfinal matchup on a seven-game winning streak that propelled them to a share of the regular-season conference title and the No. 1 seed.
It has been quite a long time since we have seen Towson have these types of expectations, as the program’s only NCAA Tournament bids came in 1990 and 1991.
So, if you need a reminder of how old you are, that is 31 years since the Tigers have won the CAA and received an auto-bid.
In 2022, the Tigers are heavy favorites to win this event, and deservedly so. They handed losses to every other team in the CAA, and have become a very respected squad nationally (65th in KenPom).
It certainly helps your chances to be the best when you have the cream of the conference crop on your roster. Cameron Holden, Charles Thompson and Nicolas Timberlake make up three of the top five players in the league, according to KenPom.
With the Tigers having the talent, confidence and momentum on their side, they will undoubtedly be tough to knock off. However, other teams in the tournament know it is not impossible.
The Pride had a solid season, as they finished third in the conference standings.
Like Towson, Hofstra will also head to D.C. on a hot streak, as it finished the season winning eight of its last nine.
Aaron Estrada is the leader of the Pride. The junior transfer from Oregon does it all for this team, as he averages 18.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and five assists per game.
Conference opponents know just how deadly he can be, as Estrada led his team to victories over every program but Towson this season. However, against the Tigers, he dropped 29 points. That means he will likely make his presence felt if they happen to meet again.
Despite being the third-best team in the CAA, BartTorvik has the Pride winning this tournament almost 21% of the time.
Best of the Rest
The fastest team in the country proved it wasn’t too big of a task for its inter-conference opponents. The Cougars’ 8-10 record consists of many occasions where they were beaten at their own game.
Surprisingly, their offense led to their downfall in most of the track meets, as the Cougars were sixth in the conference in adjusted offensive efficiency.
They also could not get out of their own way, as they were last in non-steal turnovers.
Their pace may be entertaining to watch, but it is nothing new to their CAA opponents, and it would be surprising to see them get past the first round.
The Dragons had a very mediocre year, as they seemingly traded wins and losses throughout the season. Unfortunately, their conference record was consistent with that trend, as well.
However, Drexel’s performance against conference opponents was not half bad for all its ups and downs. The Dragons were first in the conference in 3-point percentage and third in adjusted defensive efficiency.
Drexel cannot be slept on in this tournament, as it played tight games with every team in the conference and holds a win over Towson. Therefore, it will not be surprising if the Dragons become unleashed.
Being one of the only two colleges to have a female gender mascot is not the only thing impressive about the Delaware Blue Hens. Their offense was electric this season.
The Blue Hens were first in effective field goal percentage and third in adjusted offensive efficiency in conference play.
However, the story was much different in the other facets of the game.
Delaware was near last in both offensive and defensive rebounding rates. The Blue Hens also finished seventh in adjusted defensive efficiency.
That was enough to earn 10 conference wins.
At first glance, this was an automatic bet, as the Seahawks are being massively undervalued here. Having the sixth-best odds after finishing tied for the best record in the conference — and holding a victory over Towson — just does not add up.
During conference play, the Seahawks were No. 2 in adjusted offensive efficiency and fifth in adjusted defensive efficiency.
It is not often that you will get a two seed with these kind of odds. If the Seahawks get past Elon, they’ll likely be facing Hofstra. UNCW beat the Pride once, and then lost by two in the second meeting.
UNCW will provide an excellent hedge opportunity if it makes it to the finals, as it will likely be facing Towson.
There’s not much to say about Elon, Northeastern and William & Mary.
William & Mary will match up with Northeastern in the play in-game of the tournament.
That winner gets the one seed and will likely be dispatched. But if they can pull off the upset, that will help our futures tremendously.
CAA Tournament Futures: UNCW +1100 | Drexel +1000 | Hofstra +350
CAA Quarterfinal Matchup Breakdowns
No. 5 Delaware vs. No. 4 Drexel
This will be the rubber match between these two programs, as they split the season series.
Delaware and Drexel match up well, as they have both displayed how potent they can be on the offensive end.
However, the difference in this one will be on the other end of the court. The defensive edge lies with the Dragons, and for that reason, I think they should be able to squeak by the Blue Hens.
Back them up to -2 or better.
No. 7 Elon vs. No. 2 UNC Wilmington
I already dove into how disrespected the Seahawks are in this tournament as a whole, and I believe that their march to the finals begins here.
UNCW will have a significant edge when it has possession, and should do enough to contain a mediocre Elon offense.
Take the Seahawks up to -4.
No. 6 Charleston vs. No. 3 Hofstra
This game will be as fun to watch as any game involving the Cougars. However, this matchup will be a repeat of the two that these teams had during the regular season.
Hofstra may not be the better offense per se, but it is the more efficient one.
The Pride will also have a big edge on the defensive end of the floor, as they were second in the conference in adjusted defensive efficiency and have the confidence of handling this Charleston tempo before.
Take Hofstra -3 or better.