Missouri Valley + West Coast Conference Tournament Previews
The guys (@GamblingPodcast) continue their college basketball conference tournament previews with their Missouri Valley Tournament preview and the West Coast Conference Tournament preview. They’re joined by Colby Dant (@TheColbyD) from The College Basketball Experience.
As college basketball heats up, there’s a lot of college basketball conference tournaments out there you might have never heard of. When betting on these types of conference tournaments, it’s often best to take big favorites in the early rounds as there is usually a big difference in talent and production between teams at the top and bottom of the conference.
Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Preview
Bradley and Drake are the two most likely to win this conference, but a team like Belmont was able to beat Bradley twice, and Missouri State was able to beat Drake twice. These two teams are volatile, but when you can get someone like Missouri State at 20-1 for the conference, the volatility is worth it. All of these games will be a neutral site.
Illinois State/Northern Iowa: Northern Iowa -3
Illinois State is 1-5 in games decided by less than 3 points, but they do shoot their free throws well. With a close matchup like this, taking the underdog could be exciting.
Evansville/Indiana State: Indiana State -16
Evansville is 1-9 in conference and Indiana State won by 18 points the last time these teams played.
Valparaiso/Murray State: Murray State -2
Valpo has lost their last four games and they are the worst 3-point shooting team in the conference. Overall, Murray State is the better team.
Missouri State/UIC: Missouri State -5
UIC is at the bottom of the country in a number of offensive categories and had 10 double-digit losses in the year. However, they are another volatile team and Missouri State has shown weakness in some areas, UIC could grind out a cover here.
West Coast Conference Tournament Preview
This conference is interesting because the top two seeds, St. Mary’s and Gonzaga, have essentially three byes in the tournament. St. Mary’s got the one seed because they had a better net rating than Gonzaga. LMU and Santa Clara have the ability to get hot and are big time dogs, well worth the risk. BYU is a team to never right off due to how well their crowd can travel, which will be huge for the LIT factor.
San Diego/Portland: -2 spread
San Diego has lost 4 in a row, but Portland has lost 5 in a row. When they most recently played, Portland won by 19. In general, Portland is the more disciplined team.
Pepperdine/Pacific: Pepperdine to be favored
Pepperdine has not won a game out of their arena this year and are the only team that got swept by San Diego. Pacific shoots over 38% from three which is towards the top of the country and Pepperdine’s defense is very bad compared to the country.
Missouri Valley Locks:
Kramer: Indiana State -16
Sean: Murray State -2
Colby: Missouri State -5
West Coast Locks:
Kramer: Portland -2
Sean: Pacific +1
Colby: Portland -2
Kramer: UIC +5, Portland 500-1 to win conference
Sean: Illinois State ML
Colby: Illinois State ML