Conference USA College Basketball Betting Odds & Analysis: Which Teams Can Dethrone UAB?
Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: UAB Blazers guard Quan Jackson (13).
With UAB’s win over Louisiana Tech this past weekend, some believe that the Conference USA has turned into a one-horse race. I don’t believe that’s the case, but you wouldn’t be able to tell if you looked at the odds.
UAB jumped up to a -130 favorite to win the conference after beating Louisiana Tech on the road, 83-76. However, with that win, the Blazers are still just one of three teams tied for first place in the conference at 6-1.
One thing I do believe, however, is that the winner of this league will be out of the West division. UAB, North Texas and Louisiana Tech all sit at 6-1 in league play and are all in the West.
Florida Atlantic leads the East at just 4-2, but lost 76-65 when it squared off against UAB. And they may not even win the East because second place Middle Tennessee blew out the Owls on Jan. 13, 70-57.
There are some teams that can beat UAB, but at this point, it’s the Blazers’ conference to lose. And more importantly, they have one of the easier schedules the rest of the way, as they are projected to win every game.
So, does anyone stand a chance of upsetting the Blazers?
Conference USA Odds to Win Regular Season
Listed odds are updated as of Wednesday, Jan. 26 and courtesy of FanDuel.
Blazers in Driver’s Seat for C-USA Title
UAB Blazers (-130)
As I previously mentioned, the C-USA is the Blazers to lose until another program proves otherwise.
It’s hard to see anyone doing so.
The Blazers went on the road and knocked off their biggest competition in Louisiana Tech over the weekend. They ended a five-game losing streak to the Bulldogs while also earning their first-ever win in Ruston, Louisiana.
Along with their historic win over Tech, Jordan Walker earned C-USA Player of the Week honors for the second week in a row. Walker set a new career-high with 36 points in the win over LA Tech on Saturday.
The career-high was fueled by tying a school-record nine made 3-pointers.
The win also snapped LA Tech’s 18-game home winning streak.
Walker has now scored 20 points or more in four straight games and has scored 17+ in all but one C-USA game this season. He also ranks first in the conference in total 3-pointers made with 30.
The Strongest Foil to UAB’s Title Hopes
North Texas Mean Green (+240)
The Mean Green are hot right now, having won 11 of their last 12 games while also being on a conference-best five-game win streak. They are tied in the West with UAB, and their only conference loss this season has come against the Blazers.
But North Texas has something no other team in the conference does: an elite defense. The Mean Green lead the C-USA in scoring defense while also ranking fifth overall in the nation. They limit teams to just 58 points per contest.
Against UAB, they limited the Blazers to their fourth-lowest scoring total of the season at just 69 points.
So, there’s definitely something to keep an eye on with the Mean Green. Their next test will come on Saturday against Louisiana Tech.
Freshman Aaron Scott won C-USA Freshman of the Week for the third time this week, as well.
Scott has been a force around the basket for North Texas. He posted a season-high 13 rebounds in the Mean Green’s win over Charlotte, which was the most rebounds in a single game by a C-USA freshman this season. It was also the third time he’s had a 10+ rebound performance this year.
UAB and North Texas are the only two teams I feel confident in capturing the C-USA regular season title. However, there is one team with an outside chance if everything falls right.
One Long Shot to Consider Betting
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (+13000)
The Blue Raiders are a long shot, and for good reason. They cant win on the road. The Blue Raiders’ only road win the entire season came against 307th ranked by KenPom, UT-Martin.
However, the Blue Raiders have proven they can beat good teams and have done so as of late.
The Blue Raiders blew out the C-USA East leader in FAU, 70-57, and are currently on a three-game win streak. They are winning those league games by an average margin of 12.6 points.
The Blue Raiders are a balanced team on both sides of the ball and if they can perform on the road, they become a very dangerous team. More importantly, not only does Middle Tennessee need to prove it can win away from home, but its path to winning the conference also requires the West to fall apart.
If the three leaders — North Texas, UAB and LA Tech — all end up trading losses while Middle Tennessee runs away with the East, there’s a strong chance it finds itself atop the conference overall.
We will also find out very quickly if the Blue Raiders have what it takes to win on the road. Their next two games come against two of the bottom three teams in the East, Western Kentucky and Marshall.
If the Blue Raiders can earn those victories over these two teams — which they should — the dream becomes real for a big long shot.
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