Horizon League Tournament Odds: Youngstown State Favored to Win First Tourney Title

Can Cleveland State or Northern Kentucky Take Down Favored Youngstown State?

End of the Road for High-Scoring Antoine Davis of Detroit Mercy?

There have been three different champions in the Horizon League in the last three years. With reigning champ Wright State seeded seventh and well back in the Horizon League Conference tournament odds, a new winner could emerge as well.

The tournament begins with three first-round games on Tuesday. Robert Morris, seeded sixth, faces No. 11 IUPUI. Wright State plays host to Green Bay and Purdue Fort Wayne meets up with Detroit Mercy.

Youngstown State, Milwaukee and Cleveland State are the top three seeds and receive byes into the quarterfinals with the field. The only quarterfinal matchup already finalized is the one between Northern Kentucky and Oakland.

The games through the quarterfinals will be played at the site of the higher seeds. The quarterfinals are set for Thursday. The four winners will advance to the semifinals on March 6 and the championship game at 7 p.m. on March 7 with those games being played at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis.

Horizon League favorite Youngstown State is 114th in the NCAA NET rankings so this will clearly be a one-bid league with only the tournament champion being involved in the March Madness bracket contest.


Youngstown State leads the way in the Horizon League tournament odds as the Penguins won the regular-season title with a 15-5 record in the league.

Leading scorer Dwayne Cohill has scored in double figures in 12 straight games with Youngstown State going 9-3 in those games.The Penguins are priced at +150 to win the tournament.

Youngstown State has scored 87, 95 and 93 points in its last three games and Youngstown State is tied with IUPUI for the best mark (18-11) against the college basketball spreads among Horizon League wins. The Penguins also lead the conference with 18 of their games going over the total.

Northern Kentucky comes in at +375 and Cleveland State is at +400 to win the conference tournament.

Tristan Enaruna is coming off his seventh 20-point effort of the season for Cleveland State. Marques Warrick had his run of 20-point games snapped with 14 in a win at Oakland in Northern Kentucky’s regular-season finale.

Northern Kentucky won three out of four Horizon League tournaments from 2017-20 with Cleveland State taking the title in 2021 so perhaps another championship run could be coming. Youngstown State has never won the tournament title.

The top four teams in the Horizon League are 52-11 at home and that could come into play with the quarterfinals being held at the sites of the higher seeds.


With the longest winning streak among the tournament teams being just two games, anything could happen in the race for the Horizon League title so keep that in mind when looking at the Horizon League Conference tournament odds.

Milwaukee finished tied with Cleveland State and Northern Kentucky for second place in the Horizon League standings, but are just fifth at +1000 in the Horizon League. Injuries could have something to do with that as the status of third-leading scorer Markeith Browning could play a role in the Panthers’ title chances.

Wright State is getting some love at +750 even though the Raiders finished 10-10 in conference play.

Robert Morris (+2000), Detroit Mercy (+2200) and Oakland (+4000) fall into the dark horse category.

Detroit Mercy does feature Antoine Davis, the top scorer in the nation.

When looking at the college basketball injuries, Detroit Mercy’s third-leading scorer Jayden Stone hasn’t played since Jan. 8.

When looking at the NCAA basketball spreads, Purdue Fort Wayne, Green Bay and IUPUI will be underdogs on the road. IUPUI is 0-14 on the road and 2-26 as an underdog, so it is no surprise to see +25000 championship odds for IUPUI. Green Bay has the same odds while Purdue Fort Wayne comes in at +7500.

Surprises are possible, especially after No. 4 seed Wright State won last year’s Horizon League tournament. However, don’t be looking for extended runs for the three teams playing on the road in the opening round on Tuesday.

Projected Championship Matchup

Youngstown is favored in the Horizon League Conference tournament odds for good reason.

Northern Kentucky and Cleveland State have played a pair of one-point games during the regular season so it figures to be too close to call if the Norse and Vikings both reach the semifinals.

Northern Kentucky has a little more continuity and that could make a difference in the semifinal matchup.

Youngstown State split its two meetings with Northern Kentucky and Cleveland State during the regular season and that included a double-overtime loss to Northern Kentucky.

Northern Kentucky finished first and Cleveland State third in the Horizon League in scoring defense, so perhaps they can slow down the top-scoring team in the conference if they meet up with Youngstown State with a spot in the March Madness bracket on the line.

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