College Basketball Odds, Picks, Futures: 2022-23 CAA Betting Preview
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images. Pictured: Cameron Holden (Towson)
The Colonial loses James Madison — which made more CAA Championship finals appearances than any other school in the conference — to the Sun Belt.
But conference realignment works both ways — sometimes for the better, sometimes for worse.
The Colonial, in my opinion, gets considerably better with the addition of Monmouth, Stony Brook, Hampton and North Carolina A&T. The league isn’t done either, as another member from the Big South — the Campbell Camels — is slated to join the CAA following this season.
If this year’s Colonial can be half as exciting as last year’s, we’re in for a great season. Last year, the CAA ranked eighth in offensive efficiency, as well as fifth in field goal percentage.
The CAA was as well balanced and competitive as any other in Division-I league. Home teams won 53% of league games, while 25% of the 90 conference games played were decided by five or less points, or went to overtime.
Even with 13 teams now fighting for the Colonial title, I expect it to be a closely-contested battle among four-plus teams for that top spot — one that could potentially lend value to an underrated squad.
2022-23 CAA Futures Odds
|North Carolina A&T||+2200|
|William & Mary||+5000|
|ATS Record ’21-22||21-11-0 (67.7%)|
|O/U Record ’21-22||13-20-1 (39.4%)|
The Tigers return four starters from their regular season championship team a season ago. They’re still in search of ending their 31-year tournament drought.
Last year’s squad was the first team in the Colonial to lead the conference in both Adjusted Offensive and Defensive Efficiency, per KenPom.
Charles Thompson is a veteran leader on the squad and one of the best big men in the conference. After winning Defensive Player of the Year a season ago, he could very well repeat or find himself in the running for CAA Player of the Year.
Towson is the team to beat in the conference, but that’s been a familiar position for the Tigers in the preseason.
They have the stars to finally end the drought, but when it comes to depth and rotational off-ball players, they may be somewhat lacking.
|ATS Record ’21-22||18-14-0 (56.3%)|
|O/U Record ’21-22||19-13-0 (59.4%)|
In his first year at the helm, Pat Kelsey couldn’t have been much better, finishing the season 17-15, while going 8-10 in conference play. He did this without ever having a true point guard.
He lost two of his top three scorers, but the foundation of Charleston’s team is strong.
Highlighted by the returning all-rookie duo of Reyne Smith and Ben Burnham, good luck keeping up with the Cougars this year — literally.
The College of Charleston ranked second in Adjusted Tempo a season ago. Remember, that was after having just two players on the roster when Kelsey arrived and while playing without a true point guard.
This Cougars team will move up and down the floor as fast as physically possible. I’ll be shocked if anyone even comes close to Charleston in terms of pace.
If they can find a way to get stops on defense after losing their best player on that end (Dimitrius Underwood), the Cougars will have the conference on skates all year.
|ATS Record ’21-22||15-15-0 (50%)|
|O/U Record ’21-22||18-12-0 (60%)|
Speedy Claxton is another coach entering his second year after setting the bar high in year one.
The Pride went 21-11 and were an astounding 13-5 in conference play to finish third in the regular-season standings.
They enter this year with three returning starters, the most impactful being the newest addition in a long line of game-defining point guards at Hofstra: Aaron Estrada.
A year ago, Estrada became the fourth Hofstra guard to win CAA Player of Year in the last seven seasons. He returns eyeing more hardware and has his sights fully set on the CAA title.
Hofstra has two of the best players in the conference — Darlinstone Dubar and Estrada — but what it lacks is depth and playmakers on the offensive glass — as well as on the defensive end.
The Pride bring a talented group of transfers in, including Tyler Thomas from Sacred Heart, whose scoring abilities challenge that of Estrada. But it will take time for them to mesh and learn to work as a team.
Delaware Blue Hens
|ATS Record ’21-22||15-19-0 (44.1%)|
|O/U Record ’21-22||19-15-0 (55.9%)|
The Blue Hens are the preseason favorites to win the conference, as many think they can keep the momentum from last year’s postseason rolling right into this year.
Delaware returns its leading scorer in Jameer Nelson Jr., as well as Rookie of the Year and the CAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player in Jyare Davis.
The two of them should push the Blue Hens’ offense to new highs while Ebby Asamoah patrols the paint. Expect Asamoah to play a much more significant role off the glass due to the departure of leading rebounders Dylan Painter and Andrew Carr.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but the Blue Hens’ success in the chase for the championship will depend on the output of their bench and the success of the incoming transfers.
However, the Blue Hens may have an upper hand, as they add one of the best newcomers in the conference in LJ Owens (UMBC). Just a season ago, Owens was named to the All-America East team.
The Blue Hens’ success in 2021-22 was also due largely in part to them refocusing on defense in the postseason. If they want to be contenders this year, that will need to be at the forefront from day one.
Delaware ranked outside the KenPom top-200 in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency during the regular season last year.
|ATS Record ’21-22||16-12-0 (57.1%)|
|O/U Record ’21-22||13-15-0 (46.4%)|
Drexel loses four of its top five scorers from a season ago, but it does return last year’s Defensive Player of the Year in Amari Williams.
Williams is one of the best defensive players in all of mid-major basketball.
Unfortunately, he was a bit of a one-man show for the Dragons last season, as they still finished the year ranked 176th in Defensive Efficiency.
There are a laundry list of questions for Drexel on offense, and while neither have had the opportunity to display their talents much, I think guards Coletrane Washington and Oral Roberts transfer Jamie Bergens can quickly become one of conference’s best duos.
Still, frontcourt questions loom, and I think it will be well into the season before we see a set starting five for Drexel, as it works to figure out who it is as a team.
UNC Wilmington Seahawks
|ATS Record ’21-22||23-11-0 (67.7%)|
|O/U Record ’21-22||16-18-0 (47.1%)|
UNC Wilmington just kept finding ways to win last season, and while it fell just short of making it to the Big Dance, it did accept an invite to the CBI Tournament before winning the event.
The Seahawks finished the year with as many wins as their last three seasons combined.
They look to keep the momentum heading into this season, but it may be rather difficult after losing three of their top four scorers.
Seven newcomers arrive this year, and while it may take time for the Seahawks to gel as a team, they should still be able to remain in the top half of the conference, at worst.
Middle of the Pack
North Carolina A&T Aggies
|ATS Record ’21-22||15-15-0 (50%)|
|O/U Record ’21-22||16-14-0 (53.3%)|
The Aggies enter this season in a new conference for the third year in a row, which may sound odd, but not quite as odd as their current coaching situation.
Phillip Shumpert was named interim head coach in the offseason, as the Aggies announced they wouldn’t even begin to look for a coach until after the ’22-23 season.
Despite the oddities currently around the NC A&T program, it does return its top two scorers from a season ago. Shumpert has experience and could very well keep this team in contention in the CAA.
The Aggies bring in an immense amount of new and young talent, but as is the norm, it is yet to be determined how well they can work together.
Stony Brook Seawolves
|ATS Record ’21-22||12-18-0 (40%)|
|O/U Record ’21-22||19-11-0 (63.3%)|
Just 19.6% of the Seawolves’ scoring from a season ago remains for their first year in the Colonial. But they do bring a talented group of transfers with them.
One of those additions — Aaron Clarke — could be the best transfer coming into the Colonial overall.
The step up in competition will be the biggest challenge for Stony Brook, but with as much turnover as the team has had, it may not be as significant as some think.
The Seawolves’ frontcourt is unproven, but does have some serious star potential with seven-footers Keenen Fitzmorris and Rocco Muratori.
I expect the Seawolves to fight for positioning among the middle of the pack, but as they develop, they could be dangerous come conference tournament time.
|ATS Record ’21-22||21-13-0 (61.8%)|
|O/U Record ’21-22||11-23-0 (32.4%)|
King Rice has done a stellar job at Monmouth, leading the Hawks to a winning record in six of their last eight seasons. Last year, they were just shy of making their first NCAA tournament appearance after losing in the MAAC Championship.
Now the competition becomes even tougher, as they transition into the Colonial.
Also, the Hawks do not return a single starter, ranking last among all CAA teams with just 18.1% of their minutes returning.
But Rice has done this song and dance before. Not long after he arrived at Monmouth, he oversaw its transition from the NEC to the MAAC, and had it fighting for the top spot in the conference after a rocky first year.
I think we’ll see a similar situation play out here. I don’t expect the Hawks to compete heavily this year, but this is the conference that fits them best, and I don’t think it will be long before we see them at the top.
|ATS Record ’21-22||10-20-1 (33.3%)|
|O/U Record ’21-22||16-14-1 (53.3%)|
The Huskies are coming off of one of the worst seasons in program history, posting their worst record since 1997 (9-22).
Northeastern looks to bounce back in a big way this year with the return of their top two scorers. Joe Pridgen, who was ineligible to play last year, but showed signs of being great during his time at UNCW and Holy Cross, is also suiting up.
Also, the Huskies bring in one of the best freshmen classes in the Colonial, highlighted by Chase Cormier, who can immediately be a starter at point guard and make an impact.
It may take some time for the Huskies to gel due to the lack of experience on the team, but don’t underrate this squad once conference tournament time rolls around.
Lot of Work to Do
|ATS Record ’21-22||12-17-1 (41.4%)|
|O/U Record ’21-22||10-20-0 (33.3%)|
Billy Taylor is a well-seasoned veteran of the game, but how this team responds to his patented defensive-minded approach will decide the Phoenix’s fate.
Taylor said in the preseason his goal at Elon is to combine his experience with defense with the high-flying offense he witnessed under Fran McCaffery. Dream big if you’re going to dream I suppose.
Elon returns seven players from a year ago, three of which Taylor had to recruit back out of the transfer portal. There is definitely some talent on the Phoenix roster, most of which has struggled to overcome injuries in the past.
Elon has more questions than it does answers at both ends of the floor. Even if everything goes according to plan, I’m not sure the Phoenix can compete much higher than middle-of-the-pack in the CAA.
William & Mary Tribe
|ATS Record ’21-22||13-17-0 (43.3%)|
|O/U Record ’21-22||13-16-1 (44.8%)|
The Tribe weren’t just one of the worst teams on offense in the Colonial last year — they were one of the worst in the country. William & Mary ranked in the bottom 10 of nearly every offensive metric a season ago, per KenPom.
The Tribe look to improve their offensive output thanks to incoming transfers from some quality schools — Gabe Dorsey (Vanderbilt), Noah Collier (Pitt), Matteus Case (Providence), Chris Mullins (Rice) and the most proven, Anders Nelson (St. Thomas).
Mullins and Nelson are both expected to be starters and will elevate the offense for the Tribe. However, chemistry — of course — will take time to figure out, and outside of those two, there isn’t much depth or talent that stands out for the Tribe.
William & Mary will be a better team this season, but I’m not convinced it will earn the Tribe a better ranking in the conference.
|ATS Record ’21-22||12-14-0 (46.2%)|
|O/U Record ’21-22||12-14-0 (46.2%)|
The Pirates are another team that enters a new conference with a vast amount of new names on the roster.
Returnees Russell Dean and Marquis Godwin could very well form one of the best backcourts in the Colonial. But to truly elevate this team, the Pirates need newcomers to pick up where they fall short — more specifically on the glass.
Hampton ranked outside the top 300 in both offensive and defensive rebounding a season ago.
Its best chance at improving those numbers is with newcomer Jordan Nesbitt (Saint Louis). His experience in the A-10 can play a significant role in Hampton’s success.
The Pirates also get back Daniel Banister, who missed a major portion of last season due to injury.
Even with these improvements and additions, the Pirates won’t stand much of a chance in the Colonial if they can’t improve immensely on the offensive end.
Hampton ranked outside the top 300 last year when it came to efficiency, 2-point percentage and 3-point percentage. Not to mention, it was 246th at the charity stripe.
CAA Futures & Picks
Towson is the favorite to win the conference, and for good reason.
Hofstra isn’t far off — listed at +250. That is also for good reason.
But the drop off to Delaware, Charleston and other contenders in this conference is ridiculous, and I have no choice but to take full advantage of it.
I think Delaware, Charleston, UNC Wilmington and the most absurdly priced of the bunch, Drexel, could all make a run in the CAA.
I do respect that Towson and Hofstra are the two best teams heading into the season, but the gap in odds does not come anywhere close to reflecting how the regular-season race will shake out by the season’s end.
For me, it’s worth the risk on the below selections.
If you’re looking to just bet one team, I would advise Charleston. I think its pace alone can cause havoc for this league — and beyond.
- 1 unit Delaware +1000
- 1 unit Charleston +1000
- .5 units UNC Wilmington +1100
- .5 units Drexel +2200