The Atlantic 10 men’s basketball tournament kicks off Wednesday as the madness of march lurks in the near future. The tournament will include all 14 teams in the conference, with the top 10 teams earning a bye for the first round. Furthermore, the top four teams earned an automatic bid to the quarterfinals.
This year has been a wild one for all of college basketball, but the A10 has specifically been impacted by COVID with Rhode Island having played the most games (24) and UMass having played the least amount of games (13). With the discrepancy in games played throughout the conference, the term “madness” should be in full effect in this conference tournament, opening up plenty of value on the board.
St. Bonaventure captured the regular season A10 crown with an overall record of 11-4 in the conference. VCU and Davidson followed the Bonnies in the regular season standings. While St. Bonaventure won the regular season battle, they’re not the favorites to come out of the A10.
The odds to win the A10 tournament courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook are as follows:
St. Louis +245
St. Bonaventure +375
Rhode Island +3000
George Mason +10000
George Washington +30000
La Salle +50000
St. Joseph’s +50000
When looking at KenPom’s rankings, these teams rank as follows in the NCAA:
34: St. Bonaventure
42: St. Louis
93: Rhode Island
126: George Mason
184: St. Joseph’s
209: George Washington
When looking at college basketball betting, KenPom rankings are always something to take into consideration. Based on those metrics, the best value pick is the regular season conference champion, St. Bonaventure at +375.
Personally, I value a team’s scoring punch when it comes to a conference tournament long shot. If you can get a pair of scorers in the Top 10, that’s the ideal scenario. Even having one player in the Top 10 scoring in the conference and another Top 20 is a scenario you can take advantage of.
The Top 20 players that quality in scoring for the regular season conference stats are as follows:
- Nah’Shon Hyland (VCU) 19.2 ppg
- James Bishop (GW) 19.1 ppg
- Jalen Crutcher (Dayton) 18.2 ppg
- Tre Mitchell (UMass) 18.1 ppg
- Taylor Funk (St. Joe’s) 17.8 ppg
- Jamison Battle (GW) 17.8 ppg
- Javonte Perkins (SLU) 16.9 ppg
- Kellan Grady (Davidson) 16.8 ppg
- Marcus Weathers (Duquesne) 16.1 ppg
- Blake Francis (Richmond) 16.1 ppg
- Ibi Watson (Dayton) 15.6 ppg
- Jordan Miller (GMU) 15.6 ppg
- Fatts Russell (URI) 15.0 ppg
- Jordan Goodwin (SLU) 14.5 ppg
- Kyle Lofton (SBU) 14.5 ppg
- Jaren Holmes (SBU) 13.7 ppg
- Hyunjung Lee (Davidson) 13.2 ppg
- Carl Pierre (UMass) 12.9 ppg
- Grant Golden (Richmond) 12.9 ppg
- Nathan Cayo (Richmond) 12.7 ppg
So when looking at these Top 20 scorers, by team the number of players are:
St. Joe’s (1)
Obviously, scoring isn’t the only thing to look at, but it is something that is extremely important when it comes to a long shot winning a conference tournament. So with that in mind, the best long shot bet is George Washington based on those stats, but there’s a catch and that comes with St. Joe’s.
Ryan Daly has only played in eight games this season for the Hawks. He is arguably their best player and most lethal scorer at 19.4 points per game in those games played. He doesn’t qualify on the above list because of the lack of games played due to injury. But when Daly is on the court you have to throw out the 3-9 conference record. St. Joe’s is 3-0 in the conference with Daly on the court, coming in the last three games. In those contests, the Hawks have beaten La Salle, Dayton and Richmond. The Flyers and Spiders are legitimate conference threats, as seen in their betting odds. St. Joe’s beat Dayton at home by 13 and then defeated Richmond on the road in a close 76-73 game, another metric to look at closely in conference tournaments.
Daly averaged 23 points per game in those three wins. He will team up with Taylor Funk to provide that formidable 1-2 punch I look for in a long shot. Funk averaged 26 points per game in those three wins. So with these guys on the floor, anything can happen in what has been a wild year. Getting 500-1 odds on St. Joe’s is amazing value.
The schedule for the tournament is as follows:
Wednesday, March 3
Game 1: No. 12 LaSalle vs. No. 13 St. Joesph’s, 11 a.m. ET, ESPN+
Game 2: No. 11 George Washington vs. No. 14 Fordham, 2 p.m. ET, ESPN+
Thursday, March 4
Game 3: No. 8 Richmond vs. No. 9 Duquesne, 11 a.m. ET, on NBCSN
Game 4: No. 5 UMass vs. Winner of Game 1, 1 p.m. ET, on NBCSN
Game 5: No. 7 Dayton vs. No. 10 Rhode Island, 3:30 p.m. ET, on NBCSN
Game 6: No. 6 George Mason vs. Winner of Game 2, 5:30 p.m. ET, on NBCSN
Friday, March 5
Quarterfinal 1: No. 1 St. Bonaventure vs. Winner of Game 3, 11 a.m. ET, on NBCSN
Quarterfinal 2: No. 4 Saint Louis vs. Winner of Game 4, 1 p.m. ET, on NBCSN
Quarterfinal 3: No. 2 VCU vs. Winner of Game 5, 3:30 p.m. ET, on NBCSN
Quarterfinal 4: No. 3 Davidson vs. Winner of Game 6, 5:30 p.m. ET, on NBCSN
Saturday, March 6
Semifinal 1: Winner of Quarterfinal 1 vs. Winner of Quarterfinal 2, 6 p.m. ET, on CBSSN
Semifinal 2: Winner of Quarterfinal 3 vs. Winner of Quarterfinal 4, 9 p.m. ET, on CBSSN
Sunday, March 14
Championship: Winner of Semifinal 1 vs. Winner of Semifinal 2, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
St. Joe’s +50000
Pick to win: St. Bonaventure +375
The Bonnies have proven they can beat any team in the conference. As the conference winners, it’s a bit disrespectful that they have the third-lowest odds to win the conference tournament. Take SBU at a solid number to come out of Dayton Arena champs on Sunday.