Friday's Best Bets in College Basketball: We Turn to the Southland Again

Conference tournaments are in full swing, and my full attention is on games from the Southland and Western Athletic Conference tournaments. Let's get to it.
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Friday's Best Bets in College Basketball: We turn to the Southland Again

Conference tournaments are in full swing, and my full attention is on games from the Southland and Western Athletic Conference tournaments. Let's get to it.

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New Orleans vs SE Louisiana Prediction

The Southland has been one of my favorite conferences to bet all season, as you guys have read in my previous articles. The teams in the southland play some of the most physical and up-tempo basketball that I have ever seen and physicality plus a faster tempo equals more shots, more free throws, and more points, which is a great recipe for overs.

New Orleans in particular, has been an over machine this season. New Orleans is one of the fastest-paced teams in the country as they are currently ranked 11th in the nation in lowest average time of possession at 15.5 seconds so they really push the ball in transition and take shots early in the shot clock.

Another thing that they do extremely well is draw fouls and get to the free throw line. They are ranked number 1 in the country in foul rate drawn on offense so they should be able to get to the line frequently in this game. They face SE Louisiana who has not been good on defense this season.

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SELA is currently ranked 339th in adjusted defensive efficiency, 335th in defensive effective field goal percentage, 346th in defensive rebounding percentage, and 350th in defensive 2-point percentage. Those are horrendous defensive numbers and New Orleans is a team who loves to score in the painted area as 84.3% of their total points come by way of free throws and 2-point baskets. SELA also plays very fast as well as they are ranked 64th in lowest time of possession at 16.7 seconds.

SELA also does a really good job of getting fouled and getting to the free throw line as they are ranked 12th in the country foul rate drawn on offense. This should be a very fast paced game and I think this total is set a bit too low, given how each team plays and how the games have played out in previous meetings between these two.

This spread is also relatively low as well so it should be a close game. The hope there is that this game is within 4-10 points in the closing minutes so that one of these teams will foul to extend the game. Both teams are notorious for this at the end of games, and this could also benefit our over. With that being said, I am rolling with the OVER 156 at -110 between New Orleans and SE Louisiana for one of my most confident college basketball picks of the night. Good for 2U up to a total of 162

New Orleans vs SE Louisiana Pick

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Abilene Christian vs Seattle Prediction

We will have to wait a while for this game as it is one of the last games of the slate, but I think this is a perfect spot for Abilene Christian. One thing I look at when handicapping is does the line make sense or not. Some indicators of this include a team with a worse record being favored or a lower seed in a tournament being favored.

Those are line indicators to me and Abilene Christian fits both of those narratives tonight. ACU comes into this game after two impressive wins over Utah Valley and a double-digit win over SF Austin. ACU is playing some of their best ball of the season as they are currently on a four-game winning streak with three of those wins coming by eigut points or more.

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The one thing that Abilene Christian does better than most, is force turnovers. They are number one in the country in defensive turnover percentage as they force a turnover on 28.9% of all defensive possessions. Another thing we have seen in these conference tournaments is teams with a bye coming out slow to start games.

We saw this with Illinois earlier today, Auburn earlier today, and many other conference favorites who started off slow when playing a team with a few wins under their belt. ACU is playing with a lot of confidence right now and is playing better basketball at the moment. Seattle has struggled against the better teams in the conference over the last month and a half. Seattle is 6-4 in their last 10 games, but that record is a bit deceiving.

Those wins have come against UT-RGV x2, Lamar, Dixie St, and Cal Baptist. Those are all bottom teams in the conference and Seattle went 0-4 against Utah Valley, New Mexico St x2, and Grand Canyon. Seattle has struggled against better competition, and I am trusting the line here as I think it is a big indicator of what the books expect to happen. With that being said, I am rolling with Abilene Christian 1H ML at -118 for one of my most confident college basketball picks of the night.

Abilene Christian vs Seattle Pick

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Joey has spent the last 6+ years betting on sports with a focus on basketball and baseball. Basketball is his main focus, and not many people know more about mid-major basketball than him. Whether you need advice on a Saturday night primetime game or a Tuesday night back-alley SWAC/MEAC game, Joey is your man.

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