A10 Conference Tournament Odds: Dayton, VCU Teams to Beat
St. Louis, Resurgent Fordham Also in the Mix
With a trip to the NCAA Tournament on the line, Dayton and VCU have the best A10 Conference Tournament Odds. The 15-team tournament begins Tuesday, with the championship slated for March 12 at Barclays Center in New York. It will be televised by CBS. Each of the top four seeds — regular season champion VCU, Dayton, Fordham, and St. Louis — earned a double bye to the quarterfinals. Richmond won the tournament in 2022.
Here’s a closer look at the leading contenders to take home this year’s title.
Dayton Flyers (+150)
The Dayton Flyers have made the Big Dance eight times, though they haven’t won this tournament since 2003. While the story might’ve been different had COVID-19 not wiped out the 2020 postseason, when the Flyers rose to No. 3 in the AP poll, the wait continues.
As the No. 2 seed this year, Dayton is in good position to end that drought. Many seem to agree, as the Flyers have the best A10 Conference Tournament odds at +150, ahead of regular season champion VCU. Although the Flyers didn’t exactly separate themselves during non-conference play, where they went 0-5 in Quad 1 and 2 games per NCAAB scores, they fared much better within the A-10. They went 12-6 against the rest of the conference, helped in part by a defense that ranked 11th in the country (allowed 60.8 points per game).
The Flyers, who split their two regular-season meetings with VCU, are led by sophomore DaRon Holmes. The 6-foot-10 forward is averaging 18 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.7 blocks.
VCU Rams (+165)
The VCU Rams overcame a few bumps to go 15-3 in A-10 play and capture their first NCAAB regular season title since 2019, as well as the No. 1 seed. While their resume, highlighted by a 71-67 victory over No. 25 Pittsburgh, has them in the mix for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, they’d be best-served taking care of business in New York.
They’ve hit their stride of late, with six straight victories, and have a quality guard in junior Adrian “Ace” Baldwin Jr. Like Dayton, they’re also unforgiving defensively, ranking 10th in the country in both steals per game (9.1) and turnovers forced (525). Those qualities usually go a long way, especially in March.
Saint Louis Billikens (+500)
Saint Louis is set up well at guard — as well, if not better, than anyone else in the field. That’s the benefit of having Yuri Collins. The junior is a maestro with the ball, leading the nation in assists with 304. That’s also, by the way, an A-10 single-season record.
So long as Collins is on the floor, the fourth-seeded Billikens have a chance. They flashed their potential during non-conference play, registering Quad 2 victories over Providence, Drake, and Memphis. With A10 Conference Tournament Odds of +500, they’re worth a play.
Duquesne Dukes (+800)
As the No. 6 seed, Duquesne doesn’t have the benefit of a double-bye. Thus, it will need to win four games in five days to run the table. That seems like a tall order, perhaps too tall. Duquesne was 10-8 in A-10 play but just 1-4 against the top four seeds.
Now, the Dukes, who will face the LaSalle/Rhode Island winner in Wednesday’s second round, have an elite defender in Jimmy Clark III. The junior guard ranks top 10 in the country in steals, with 72. Still, even at +800, there are better plays on the board.
Fordham Rams (+1200)
Fordham has enjoyed a resurgent season under first-year coach Keith Urgo, going 24-7, including 12-6 in the A-10, to grab the No. 3 seed. It’s the Rams’ first winning season since 2016 and the most victories they’ve had in over 30 years.
To capture their first A-10 championship, the Rams will need to improve their efficiency on offense. They’re near the bottom of the country in both 3-point percentage and overall shooting percentage, ranking 297th and 306th, respectively. Will those numbers catch up to them?
It’s worth noting, for college basketball betting purposes, the Rams are 19-12 against the spread this year.
PROJECTED CHAMPIONSHIP MATCHUP
Dayton vs. St. Louis: Should chalk hold and the top four seeds reach the semifinals, Dayton looks like a tough matchup for Fordham. The Rams’ shooting struggles play to Dayton’s strengths. We saw that in the regular season, when the Flyers coasted to an 82-58 victory at Rose Hill Gym. The other side of the bracket is less certain, but St. Louis has a shot with Collins running the show.Follow us on Twitter
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