Sun Belt Tournament Betting Preview
Three of the top four seeds in Sun Belt Tournament betting have advanced to the semifinals. No. 1 Middle Tennessee will face No. 4 Florida International in the first semifinal. The Blue Raiders won both meetings this season straight-up but the series was split 1-1 against the spread.
In the second semifinal, the No. 2 Arkansas State Red Wolves square off against No. 6 Western Kentucky, which is coming off a 3-point win over No. 3 South Alabama as a 2-point favorite on the closing line at the sportsbooks. The Red Wolves won both meetings this season both SU and ATS.
Sun Belt Conference Tournament betting action got underway on Friday night with three first-round games to set the stage for Saturday’s quarterfinals.
No. 1 Middle Tennessee State will start things off against No. 8 Louisiana-Lafayette. The Blue Raiders extended their current winning streak over UL-Lafayette to nine games with a pair of victories both straight-up and against the spread this season.
In the other half of that bracket, No. 4 Florida International will face No. 5 Arkansas-Little Rock. The Golden Panthers have been opened as 1-point favorites on the betting lines for the rubber match after these two split two regular season games both SU and ATS with the home team winning each time.
Game 3 on Saturday’s slate pits No. 2 Arkansas State against No. 10 Troy. The Red Wolves avenged a stunning 74-67 overtime loss as 7.5-point road favorites the first time they met this year with a 58-50 victory on February 23 as 12.5-point favorites at home. The Trojans are now 7-2 ATS in the last nine games between the two schools.
Saturday’s nightcap features a matchup between No. 3 South Alabama and No. 6 Western Kentucky. These two split their two meetings this season both SU and ATS with each team winning at home; the favorite is 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings between these schools in Sun Belt betting action.
The quest for this year’s Sun Belt Conference Tournament title gets underway this Friday from Summit Arena & Convention Center Court in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
First-round action tips off at 6 p.m. with the No. 6 seed Western Kentucky Hilltoppers against the No. 11 seed Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks. Western Kentucky evened its conference record to 10-10 straight-up with a 3-1 run both SU and against the spread in its last four games.
The second game on Friday pits the No. 8 seed Louisiana-Lafayette Rajin' Cajuns against the No. 9 seed North Texas Mean Green. Both teams had losing records overall and in conference play but the Rajin' Cajuns won the only meeting this season 105-74 as 1.5-point favorites.
The No. 7 seed Florida Atlantic Owls wrap up the day against the No. 10 seed Troy Trojans. The Owls already beat Troy twice this season; by seven points on the road as 4-point underdogs and by 21 points as 7-point home favorites later in the season.
The Sun Belt quarterfinals on Saturday start off with the No. 4 seed Florida International Golden Panthers taking on the No. 5 seed Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans. FIU finished the regular season 16-13 SU and 12-9-1 ATS, while the Trojans went 17-14 SU overall and 15-13 ATS. They split the season series with each team winning at home both SU and ATS.
Game 2 on Saturday features the No. 1 seed Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders - they will face the winner of the UL-Lafayette/North Texas game. The Blue Raiders finished the regular season 27-4 SU (14-13 ATS) and boasted the best record in the Sun Belt by a full five games at 19-1 SU.
The No. 3 seed South Alabama Jaguars will play the winner of the Western Kentucky/UL-Monroe contest in the third game on Saturday’s slate. The Jaguars went 6-2 SU down the stretch but covered the spread in just three of their last 10 games.
Saturday’s action closes things out with the No. 2 seed Arkansas State Red Wolves playing the winner of Friday’s Florida Atlantic/Troy game. The Red Wolves had the best record in the Sun Belt’s West Division at 12-8 and they went 18-11 SU overall. They come into this matchup fresh off back-to-back SU losses to North Texas and Arkansas-Little Rock as road favorites.
Sun Belt Conference Tournament Odds - courtesy of 5Dimes:
Middle Tennessee -365
Arkansas State +575
South Alabama +1600
Arkansas-Little Rock +2300
Western Kentucky +2000
Florida Atlantic +5500
North Texas +6000
Friday, March 8 – Opening Round
6:00 PM ET – No.6 Western Kentucky vs. No.11 UL-Monroe
6:30 PM ET – No.8 UL-Lafayette vs. No.9 North Texas
8:30 PM ET – No.7 Florida Atlantic vs. No.10 Troy
Saturday, March 9 - Quarterfinal Round
6:00 PM ET – No.4 FIU vs. No.5 Arkansas-Little Rock
6:30 PM ET – No.1 Middle Tennessee vs. No. 8/9
8:30 PM ET – No.3 Alabama vs. No. 6/11
9:00 PM ET – No.2 Arkansas State vs. No.7/10
Sunday, March 10 - Semifinal Round
6:30 PM ET – Quarterfinal Winners (Games 1 &2)
9:00 PM ET – Quarterfinal Winners (Games 3&4)
Monday, March 11 - Championship Game
6:00 PM ET – Semifinal Winners