College Basketball Odds, Picks, Futures: 2022-23 ASUN Betting Preview
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images. Pictured: Darius McGhee (Liberty)
The ASUN has been all about Liberty, but can anyone “break up” the Flames and earn you some cash via a futures bet?
Let’s dive in below for a full preview of the 2022-23 ASUN college basketball season.
2022-23 ASUN Regular Season Futures Odds
The Liberty Flames have dominated the ASUN the past four seasons, achieving a conference record of 50-11 and earning the league’s auto-bid three times during that span.
Liberty has also notched the fourth-most wins in the country over that timeframe, trailing only Gonzaga, Houston and Kansas.
Head coach Ritchie McKay, a Tony Bennett-inspired lead man, consistently puts a winning product on the floor led by a disciplined defense.
Point guard Darius McGhee will be one of the nation’s best players this season, coming off of a year in which he ranked second nationally in scoring. He’ll end his career as a member of the illustrious 2,000-point club.
At plus-money in most markets, Liberty is the smartest futures bet in the ASUN.
The Jacksonvilles (Unrelated)
Though not from the same geographical location (Jacksonville State resides in Alabama), these similarly-named teams are Liberty’s greatest threats to an ASUN title.
The Dolphins came out of nowhere last season under first-year head coach Jordan Mincy. JU notched its highest win total since 1986 and were a few possessions shy of punching a bid to the Big Dance.
Mincy brings nearly everyone back from last season, and his bruising “Big Ten” brand of basketball ensures opposing teams are in for a war every time they step on the floor.
Jacksonville State Gamecocks
The defending ASUN regular-season champs enter the 2022-23 season with a brand-new roster. But that doesn’t mean we should count out the Gamecocks.
Head coach Ray Harper is among the best in the country at using the transfer portal and integrating a bunch of new pieces into one cohesive unit.
Per usual, his team is extremely talented and also features arguably the best freshman in the conference in Travis Roberts.
At +1100, the Gamecocks are the best value on the board and far underpriced.
The ASUN is as deep as it’s ever been, with several teams capable of making a surprise run to a top three league finish.
Florida Gulf Coast Eagles
The program formally known as Dunk City hired former Penn State head coach Pat Chambers this offseason despite Michael Fly leading the squad to a 22-12 (10-6) record in 2021-22.
The Eagles bring back several key pieces from that team and welcome three impact transfers to the fold.
Purdue transfer Isaiah Thompson will take over at point, and intra-conference transfer Chase Johnston (Stetson) has already proven he’s an All-ASUN talent.
North Florida Ospreys
UNF has consistently been a contender in the ASUN under Matthew Driscoll, the longest-tenured coach in the ASUN.
But the Ospreys have struggled the past two seasons, thanks in large part to a myriad of poor injury luck.
Now fully healthy, UNF looks to be a real threat to finish near the top of the league.
Seven of Driscoll’s top eight players return from last season.
Once a staple at the top of the ASUN under current Belmont head coach Casey Alexander, Lipscomb has yet to truly break through under the leadership of Lennie Acuff, considered by fellow coaches to be one of the best X’s and O’s gurus in the country.
Injuries and inexperience have taken their toll on the Bisons, but this season should be Acuff’s best opportunity to bring his team to the top of the ASUN.
Lipscomb is led by center Ahsan Asadullah. At season’s end, he will likely finish with over 2,000 points, 1,110 rebounds and 400 assists for his career. Only three players have accomplished that feat in the past 30 years.
Kennesaw State Owls
Perhaps the biggest sleeper of them all, Kennesaw State finally looks to put its conference doormat status behind it and ascend the standings.
Fourth-year head coach Amir Abdur-Rahim chose to build the program from the ground up with high school talent instead of taking the quick-fix route of the transfer portal.
While that approach resulted in some tough years, it paid dividends in 2021-22, as Kennesaw enjoyed its best season ever in Division I.
Now the once-inexperienced Owls will be among the oldest teams in the country. Abdur-Rahim’s projected top nine rotation players are all upperclassmen.
Due to the archaic NCAA transition rule, Bellarmine was unable to participate in last year’s NCAA Tournament despite winning the ASUN Tournament. The Knights will enter their third season of the four-year transition period essentially looking to add more pride points to the cupboard.
In its two seasons in Division I, Bellarmine is 21-8 in ASUN play. Only Liberty can claim a better record over that span.
While Hall of Fame head coach Scott Davenport loses considerable production from last season, there’s a reason why he is a “Hall of Fame head coach.” His offenses are a sight to behold, a gorgeous motion attack with constant cutting, passing and off-ball movement.
Eastern Kentucky Colonels
Few teams suffered worse injury luck than EKU last season. A whopping 13 different players started a game last year, and head coach A.W. Hamilton used a ridiculous 17 different starting lineups.
As a result, the Colonels naturally struggled in their first season in the ASUN, going just 5-11 in league play. The two years prior, EKU was a muscular 27-11 in the OVC.
Hamilton’s style is dubbed “the most exciting 40 minutes in sports.” His teams race down the floor in transition and try to get the most possessions possible in an effort to outscore their opponents.
Some real firepower returns from last year’s squad, and freshman point guard Leland Walker could be a future superstar.
At the current odds, this is the best deep sleeper to put your money on.
Austin Peay Governors
Austin Peay is new to the ASUN, joining the conference from the OVC as fellow defectors EKU and Jacksonville State once did.
Second-year head coach Nate James, a former Dukie, leads a talented group with major upside.
Peay’s best player is a rising sophomore named Elijah Hutchins-Everett. He should be among the most dominant forces in all the mid-major realm this season, and his fellow sophomores — Caleb Stone-Carrawell and Shon Robinson (both redshirts) — ooze talent, as well.
The Bottom Tier
While a couple of these teams possess some real upside, the chances of them making a run to an ASUN title are slim to none.
Perhaps we will be including their names among the contenders in a few years.
Queens University Royals
One of five new teams to Division I this year, Queens comes in looking to prove it belongs right away.
Like Bellarmine, Queens was a dominant Division-II program that looks ready to compete in the ASUN.
Over the past seven seasons, the program is a sparkling 163-30 (.844), and it returns four starters from a team that won 30 games last season.
Central Arkansas Bears
The Bears overachieved last season despite what their 11-20 record suggests. Nobody expected Central Arkansas to win seven games in the ASUN after coming over from the Southland, especially given the youth of the roster.
Though highly unlikely, the Bears have a non-zero chance of making noise in the upper half of the standings, particularly if point guard Camren Hunter continues his upward trajectory.
North Alabama Lions
The one thing North Alabama has going for it this season is the fact it’s finally out of the four-year transition window.
For four seasons, the Lions had to sit in postseason purgatory, unable to compete in the Big Dance even if they had won the ASUN Tournament (ala Bellarmine last year).
Now in its fifth year as a Division-I program, UNA is motivated to get to the promised land.
Though the talent isn’t quite the level of other ASUN squads, Tony Pujol’s bunch wins ugly and even made the ASUN Conference championship in 2021 despite finishing 7-8 in the league.
While Stetson isn’t totally devoid of talent, you’d be wise avoiding the Hatters in your futures portfolio.
Stetson loses its top three players from a season ago, a campaign in which it finished just 5-11 in ASUN play.