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SWAC Championship Odds & Pick: Bet Prairie View A&M Over Texas Southern

SWAC Championship Odds & Pick: Bet Prairie View A&M Over Texas Southern article feature image

Rich Schultz/Getty Images. Pictured: Faite Williams.

  • The SWAC has been a three-horse race between Prairie View A&M, Jackson State, and Texas Southern. Now, it's between the Panthers and TXSO Tigers.
  • The spread is short, but Matt Cox of Three Man Weave sees value on PVAMU.
  • Check out Cox's full betting preview complete with updated odds and a pick below.

SWAC Championship

Texas Southern vs. Prairie View A&M Odds

Texas Southern Odds +3
Prairie View A&M Odds -3
Moneyline +125 / -152
Over/Under 143
Time | TV 6 p.m. ET | ESPNU
Odds as of Saturday morning and via Parx.

College hoop obsessors wouldn’t have it any other way. From Day 1, the SWAC Championship looked like a three-horse race between Jackson State, Prairie View A&M and Texas Southern.

Sure, Grambling and Southern were dangerous and all, but no other SWAC challenger could match the talent caliber or coaching chops of the Tigers, Tigers and Panthers.

In conference tournament bracketing, to the victor goes the spoils. Jackson State was a perfect 11-0, but Prairie view was, well, more perfect. The Panthers’ 13-0 performance pinned Jackson State in the other half of the bracket with Johnny Jones and his army of Monstar-level talent — at least by SWAC standards.

Disclaimer: Before proceeding any further, know that I’ve been playing whack-a-mole with this tournament. SWACtion is as fun as it is volatile, and I’ve been on the wrong side of that volatility this week.

But hey, what better time to snap the drought than on Championship Saturday. For all the March cliches — you know, the “defense wins titles” or “guards win in the tournament” mantras — there is one I subscribe to absolutely: Coaching matters.

Bryon Smith is a general worth going to war with, now one win away from putting the cherry on top to a regular-season SWAC 3-peat.

He beat (and covered) TXSO in both regular matchups, improving his lopsided record against Jones to 5-1 against the spread over the last three seasons.

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This year, Smith unleashed his furious defensive pressure like a pack of hyenas on the sloppy Tiger ball handlers, inducing turnover after turnover with no end in sight. Texas Southern coughed up the rock on 30% and 23% of its offensive possessions in the first and second meeting, respectively, wasting precious opportunities to let its sublime talent takeover.

Michael Weathers is the exemplar of that talent, the hero of yesterday’s overtime victory against Jackson State in the semifinals.

The difference, at least this year, is that Smith finally has a Power-6 talent unicorn of his own: Cam Mack. The former Nebraska standout is a wizard in the pick-and-roll, where he puts open looks on a platter for his teammates. He may not be the man responsible for shadowing Weathers on the defensive end, but his takeover potential could be Smith’s ace in the hole if Weathers goes nuclear again.

The early market seems to respect the opening line, which hovered around PVAMU -1.5 to -2 for most of the morning. At -2 or below, it’s worth signing up for the Prairie View A&M cover machine.

P.S. In Byron Smith’s contract, there’s a clause that awards him $2,500 for every regular-season victory over SWAC rival Texas Southern. It’s a shame tonight’s tilt doesn’t qualify.

Pick: Prairie View A&M -2.

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