CAA Tournament Odds: Charleston Slight Favorite Over No. 1 Seed Hofstra

Charleston, Hofstra Popular Picks, Towson Next in Line

The Colonial Athletic Association Tournament will get underway Friday at Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington, D.C., with the College of Charleston entering as slight favorites over regular season champion Hofstra. The Cougars are atop the CAA Conference Tournament Odds board at -150, with the Pride next in line at +190.

The top four seeds, which include No. 3 Towson and No. 4 UNC Wilmington, will receive a double-bye to the quarterfinals. All games will be played in the nation’s capital, with the championship slated for March 7 at 7 p.m. on CBSSN.

The Favorites

COFC College of Charleston Cougars (-150)

At 28-3, the College of Charleston is in the conversation for an at-large bid for the NCAA Tournament, though the Charleston Cougars would obviously prefer to take the decision out of the selection committee’s hands by claiming the title in Washington, D.C. The Cougars are the tournament favorite, not to mention the only team with negative CAA Conference Tournament Odds (-150).

Charleston is proficient offensively, ranking 13th in the country in scoring (81.7 points per game), and dynamite on the glass. Only three schools are pulling down more boards per game. They’re also relatively healthy, per the NCAAB injury report. That usually bodes well for making a postseason run.

HOF Hofstra Pride (+190)

Speedy Claxton is trying to do as a coach what he did as a player: take Hofstra to the NCAA Tournament. One of the most revered figures in program history, Claxton guided the Pride to 23 victories and the CAA regular season title. They’re easily the hottest team in the field, having won 11 straight. That included a victory on the road against then-No. 18 Charleston.

The Hofstra Pride have arguably the best one-two punch in the field in Aaron Estrada, the reigning CAA Player of the Year, and Sacred Heart transfer Tyler Thomas. They’ve combined to average 36.5 points per game on better than 48% shooting. Priced at plus odds, the top-seeded Pride offer strong value for college basketball betting. It’s also worth noting, they’re an impressive 20-10 against the spread this year.

The Outsiders

TOWS Towson Tigers (+550)

The Towson Tigers are running out of time to recapture the form that made them the league’s unanimous favorite in the preseason. Their record in CAA play (12-6) looks strong, but they’d be in much better shape had they not blown second-half leads in losses to Hofstra and Charleston down the stretch.

They’ve created a difficult path for themselves, with the possibility of having to play both Charleston and Hofstra again in the semifinals and final, respectively. That said, with standout guards like Nicholas Timberlake and Cam Holden on their side, the third-seeded Tigers could get hot at any time. At +550 odds, they may be worth a sprinkle.

UNCW UNC Wilmington (+1200)

Let’s face it, it feels like there’s only two or — if we’re being generous to Towson — three schools capable of winning this tournament. But for the sake of discussion, let’s give the Seahawks their due.

The Seahawks are a healthy 22-9, with victories over two of the country’s better mid-majors in Vermont and North Texas. They also nearly beat Charleston the first time around — granted that was at home, where they were 11-3.

If nothing else, the potential is there. Still, the fourth-seeded Seahawks feel like, as their CAA Conference Tournament Odds indicate, a longshot.

DREX Drexel Dragons (+2500)

Drexel pulled off a surprise run to the NCAA Tournament in 2021, winning the CAA Tournament as a No. 6 seed. The Drexel Dragons are seeded only slightly better this time around, as a No. 5, meaning they’ll have to win four games in four days to capture another title. Can it happen? Sure, anything’s possible in March. Will it happen? Unlikely.

The Dragons will get the Hampton/Monmouth winner in Saturday’s second round.

Projected Championship Matchup

Hofstra vs. Charleston: The CAA Tournament has had a knack for upsets in recent years. Sixth-seeded Drexel, as mentioned above, won it in 2021. Last year, it was fifth-seeded Delaware.

We’re not counting on that happening again. While a Hofstra-Charleston rematch would be pure chalk, there’s a reason they’re seeded atop the bracket. At least one of these schools seem destined to make the Big Dance. Remember that for your March Madness bracket contest.

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