OVC Conference Tournament Odds: Morehead State Favored

6 Teams at Odds of +1000 or Lower in Wide Open Race

Morehead State may be the favorite in the OVC Conference Tournament odds, but the Eagles are far from a sure thing. You can make a case for six or seven on the teams in the Ohio Valley Conference. The OVC is down a bit this year, ranking No. 28 out of 32 conferences by the Sagarin college basketball ratings. The winner of the conference tournament is probably a team you won’t have slated to win in your March Madness bracket contest.

That often leads to more upsets, as even the best teams in the conference are inconsistent. Morehead State is the only team in the OVC with more than 20 wins but four of those victories came against non-Division I schools. Both Sagarin and Ken Pomeroy have Morehead State as the best in the OVC. But not by a huge margin and there isn’t much difference between the No. 2 through No. 5 seeds. All games will be played at the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana. All games will be aired on ESPN+ with the championship game played Saturday, March 4 at 8 p.m. ET. and aired by ESPN2.

The Favorites

MOREMorehead State Eagles (+125)

The Eagles are the favorites in the OVC Conference Tournament odds, but they should cause a little hesitation before placing a bet. At +125, it’s hard to make a case for Morehead State. Especially when other teams are at far more generous odds. Morehead State was the best team during the IVC season, posting a 14-4 conference record. The Eagles were also the best college basketball against the spread team in the OVC, sporting a 17-10 ATS record. Morehead State is a decent 3-point shooting team but that’s pretty much the best you can say for them offensively. The defense is nothing special and that makes Morehead a risky favorite.

TNTCTennessee Tech Golden Eagles (+375)

Tennessee Tech is the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament and they’re similar to Morehead State offensively. But the defense is a bit worse. The Golden Eagles did end the season on an 11-5 run after a 4-11 start, so they are playing their best basketball of the season. Tennessee Tech hits 37.5% of its 3-point attempts, so it has a shooter’s chance each game. But it’s hard to have much faith in a defense that is rated No. 311.

UTMTennessee Martin Skyhawks (+625)

The Skyhawks enter the conference tournament as the No. 3 seed after going 10-8 in OVC play. Tennessee Martin is probably a little better than its No. 287 efficiency rating, being dinged for a lack of forcing turnovers. The Skyhawks can hit from the inside, but struggle from 3-point range. Tennessee Martin’s odds are pretty close to what they should be based on the scores and odds ncaab from the regular season.

The Outsiders

TNSTTennessee State Tigers (+750)

The Tigers finished the season on a 7-2 run in OVC play, earning the team the No. 4 seed and a first-round bye. Tennessee State pretty much lives or dies with the 3-pointer, scoring 34.7% of its points on 3-pointers and 46.3% of points on 2-pointers. A little more than 40% of the team’s field goal attempts are 3-pointers. So if the Tigers are making shots, they have a chance against anybody in the conference. If they’re not falling, it could be a long game. Tennessee State’s defense isn’t good and a cause for concern.

SIUE SIU Edwardsville Cougars (+800)

The Cougars were woefully inconsistent this season, but you expect that in the lower-level conferences. Edwardsville had a six-game winning streak and two four-game losing streaks, finishing OVC play at 9-9. It wasn’t quite how the preseason favorites favorites expected the season to go. Offensively, the Cougars don’t shoot that well except from the foul line. Fortunately, they did get to the charity stripe frequently enough to win some games. Depending on how the tournament is officiated could determine the team’s fate. Defensively, Edwardsville isn’t bad, at least by conference standards. With OVC Conference Tournament odds of +800, the Cougars are a bit intriguing.

Southeast Missouri State Redhawks (+1000)

One thing is certain, the Redhawks are going to push the ball and play at a fast pace. What happens after that is a bit of an unknown, as SEMO could be very good at times and awful at others. The Redhawks did play Morehead State tough during the season but need a pair of wins to get there first. Don’t bet on that happening.

Projected Championship Matchup

You can make a case against Morehead State in its half of the bracket, but it’s more likely the Eagles win one game than the other teams win two or three to reach the finals. The other half of the bracket is where it gets interesting. Edwardsville has to get past Tennessee Tech and Tennessee Martin to reach the finals and there’s no reason why it can’t. The odds are certainly worth a stab on the Cougars to win the tournament at +800.
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