Atlantic 10 & Patriot League Odds & Picks: How To Bet Wednesday’s College Basketball Conference Tournament Games
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images. Pictured: Boston University Terriers guard Walter Whyte (5).
- Wednesday's college basketball slate features several active conference tournaments, including the Ohio Valley, Patriot League and Atlantic 10.
- Matt Cox of Three Man Weave and Kyle Remillard break down the Patriot League and Atlantic 10, respectively, in order to highlight the top game to bet from each tournament today.
- Below, find their full breakdowns for each pick, including updated odds for both matchups.
College basketball conference tournament season is truly one of the best times of the year — perhaps second only to the NCAA Tournament itself. Low- and mid-major schools across the country fight tooth and nail for automatic qualifying bids to the Big Dance with games tipping off as early as 10 a.m. ET and, in some cases, as late as 11:59 p.m. ET.
CRT televisions being wheeled into high school classrooms during “study breaks,” stealing away to the office break room (along with half of the rest of the office) to sneak a peak at the ACC, Big Ten or Big East Conference Tournament action on Friday afternoons … it truly is a glorious occasion for college basketball fans and bettors alike.
So, 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.
Don’t know a thing about the Northeast Conference or the Summit League? Want to bet the 2 p.m. ET SoCon tipoff but only have your lunch break to decide which side to back? Don’t worry: We’ve got you covered.
Wednesday’s top picks have been provided by Kyle Remillard and Matt Cox (of Three Man Weave) and cover each of their favorite games to bet during today’s first-round Atlantic 10 Championship and Patriot League Tournament action.
College Basketball Odds & Picks
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Note: All photos below are via Getty Images.
Atlantic 10 Championship: First Round
No. 14 Fordham vs. No. 11 George Washington
The Atlantic 10 Tournament kicks off Wednesday afternoon with two first-round games on the slate. I see value in the second game, when the No. 11 seed George Washington Colonials take on the No. 14 seed Fordham Rams.
Fordham has been awful all season, scoring just 80.6 points while allowing 104.8 points per every 100 possessions in conference play this season, according to KenPom.
The Rams have a historically bad offense, shooting just 26.9% from behind the arc and just 41.6% on 2-point field goal attempts, both of which rank 344th in the country. Fordham ran into COVID-19 issues throughout the season, only allowed it to play only 13 games and never really get into a groove.
In those 13 games, the Rams lost by an average margin of 15.6 points. They scored fewer than 60 points in 11 of 13 contests and fewer than 50 points in six of them.
George Washington has a strong duo in James Bishop and Jamison Battle, who combine to score 38.5 points per game. Bishop is a transfer from LSU and has taken over the offense for the Colonials, scoring 20 points in all but five games this year.
Coming off an embarrassing 47-point loss to St. Bonaventure, I see the Colonials coming out fired up while Fordham already has its bags packed, ready for this dreadful season to come to an end.
Patriot League Tournament: First Round
No. 10 Lehigh vs. No. 7 Boston University
By Matt Cox
Let’s get Patriotic!
Boston University and Lehigh hit the hardwood this evening to kick-start the Patriot League’s nine-team tournament. The field shrunk to an awkward nine after an untimely COVID-19 pause pulled the plug on Holy Cross’ season, thrusting the lucky Loyola (MD) Greyhounds into the Quarterfinals. On the opposite side of the bracket, the Terriers and the Mountain Hawks will have to earn their place in the Elite 8 the old-fashioned way: By winning.
The Patriot’s unorthodox scheduling format set up three regional pods during the regular season, creating an unusual scenario in which BU and Lehigh will do battle for the first time this year. Oddities aside, this unique spot presents value on the over between two teams that are relatively unfamiliar with each other — at least within the context of the 2021 season. The Terriers and Mountain Hawks played a combined nine different opponents within their pod formats. During the nine first meetings in those series featuring BU or Lehigh, the total went over six times (6-3).
Here’s that trend explained: In each of those opening acts throughout the regular season, we witnessed both BU and Lehigh play relatively loose offensively but struggle to get stops defensively. Anecdotally, the latter is the key tailwind for the over. Mastering a defensive game plan is more difficult against an unfamiliar foe, which is further amplified by COVID-19 restrictions on standard scouting capabilities this season. All of that boils up into a spot that sets up well for both offenses to score efficiently.