MAC Tournament Odds & Picks: Value On Favored Toledo & A 10-1 Flier On Bowling Green
Steven King/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Toledo’s Spencer Littleson.
There’s still a long list of conferences yet to crown champions, with 15 championship games on Saturday followed by five more before the NCAA Tournament bracket is released on Sunday.
In order to help you navigate the jam-packed week of college basketball, our analysts have come together to deliver their top picks to win each of the remaining Power 6 and high-major conference tournaments.
You’ll find their favorite outright bets for the MAC Tournament below. Be sure to also check out their picks for the Big Ten and more conference tournaments here.
MAC Tournament Odds
Collin Wilson: Toledo +180
There could be a level of boredom betting the favorite to win the conference tournament, but in this case, the price warrants investment.
Toledo finished the season 15-4 in conference play with three of its losses coming on the road. One of those opponents was Central Michigan, which did not qualify for the MAC Tournament. The Rockets’ opening-round opponent, Ball State, did score a victory over them on Feb. 6, but Toledo avenged that with a 19-point drumming this past Friday.
KenPom projects an eight-point victory over Ball State in the quarterfinals and anywhere from 5-to-7 points over Ohio or Kent State in the semifinals.
There is a strong possibility that Toledo could get into the conference championship game without breaking a sweat. Since the beginning of February, Toledo has led the MAC in adjusted offensive efficiency and ranked second in defensive efficiency per Torvik.
This is the top-ranked 3-point shooting team in the MAC, and it has the highest point distribution from long distance.
More importantly, Toledo finished the season with the lowest MAC defensive free-throw rate, making it tough for opponents to get to the foul line for free points.
Be careful with price point when taking favorites in conference tournaments. This number should be played no lower than +160.
Mike Randle: Bowling Green +1000
Bowling Green’s end-of-season home loss to Miami (OH) is masking one critical fact: the Falcons were the hottest team in MAC during the month of February.
They finished a disappointing sixth in the conference after receiving eight of 12 votes as the preseason MAC favorite. Bowling Green suffered a six-game losing streak midseason but then hit its stride with four consecutive road wins last month.
Over the course of the season, the Falcons scored huge road wins at No. 1 seed Toledo (88-81), No. 2 seed Buffalo (76-69), and No. 3 seed Akron (83-71).
They still have one of the top players in the conference in seniors Justin Turner (19.9 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 4.5 APG) and Daeqwon Plowden (13.2 PPG, 8.1 RPG).
The Falcons’ offense has struggled in MAC play, ranking 10th in 2-point percentage (48.3%) and 11th in 3-point percentage (31.3%) but have seen improved efficiency across the board from beyond the arc.
Freshman Kaden Metheny (10.5 PPG) senior Trey Diggs (11.5 PPG) have combined to shoot 44.8% (22-of-49) from 3 over the past three games.
Other teams in the conference have major concerns such as Kent State (Michael Nuga injury), Buffalo (free throws/turnovers), and Toledo (road losses at Ball State/Central Michigan). Every team is flawed, making Bowling Green’s struggles less impactful.