Patriot League Tournament Odds: Colgate Remains a Heavy Favorite

Two-Time Defending Champ Colgate the favorite, Ahead of Navy

Two-time defending Patriot League champion Colgate returns to the conference tournament this week as a heavy favorite. The Red Raiders have Patriot League Tournament odds of -225, with Navy behind them at +225. Besides those two programs, nobody else is being given much of a chance to take home the title, not to mention an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The rest of the field is at +1000 or longer, beginning with Army West Point (+1000) and followed by Lehigh (+1400) and Lafayette (+3300).

The first round tips off Tuesday, with all games being hosted by the higher seed. The final is scheduled for March 8 at 7:30 p.m. on CBSSN. Here’s a closer look at the field.


COLGColgate Red Raiders (-225)

Colgate is the overwhelming favorite to three-peat. It’s no surprise either, as the Red Raiders — the only school here with negative betting odds — broke the Patriot League record with 17 victories and finished a whopping six games ahead of second place. As the No. 1 seed for the fourth time in five seasons, the Red Raiders, who will host either No. 8 Loyola Maryland or No. 9 Holy Cross in Thursday’s quarterfinals, earned homecourt advantage throughout the tournament.

The Red Raiders are deep, with five players averaging double figures in scoring, and extremely efficient offensively — qualities that usually translate to the postseason. They rank second in the country in both field goal percentage (50.8%) and assist/turnover ratio (1.72) and third in assists per game (18).

Sure, upsets happen, but this is a pretty safe pick.


NAVYNavy Midshipmen (+225)

Navy has the second-best Patriot League Tournament odds, and it’s not remotely close. This is somewhat familiar territory for Midshipmen, who were also the No. 2 seed last year when they fell in the final to Colgate.

The Midshipmen have played particularly well of late, going 6-1 over their last seven games. Although they’ve struggled against Colgate, like practically everyone else in the field, they won’t have to face the Red Raiders again until the final on March 8. That makes the road bearable, especially with homecourt in the earlier rounds.

Navy isn’t the flashiest team, but it’s fundamentally strong, especially on the defensive end. The Midshipmen rank 58th in the country in scoring defense (58.4 points allowed per game). At plus odds, there’s a bit of value here.


ARMY Army West Point Black Knights (+1000)

To win the Patriot League title, Army will have to overcome history. The Black Knights are one of more than 30 schools to have never made the NCAA Tournament, although they did technically turn down an invite in favor of the NIT in 1968. Nevertheless, that doesn’t matter much now.

The fourth-seeded Black Knights will open the tournament Thursday against No. 5 Boston University, having lost to the Terriers just eight days prior. While that could pose a problem, there’s a reason why the Black Knights are in this position to begin with: they’re sound offensively, ranking 28th in the country in effective field goal percentage (.548).

That and the fact they have junior guard Jalen Rucker, who’s averaging a team-high 15.8 points per game. They’re also remarkably healthy, per the college basketball injury report, with all five starters having played at least 30 games.

LEH Lehigh Mountain Hawks (+1400)

Lehigh finished with the same record in conference play (11-7) as Navy but had to settle for the No. 3 seed based on tiebreakers. The Mountain Hawks are solid defensively, ranking 46th in the country in scoring defense (64.9 points allowed per game).

Plus, they were 16-11 against the spread this season, which is notable when considering the NCAAB odds. One area of concern, though, is on the boards. The Mountain Hawks have been outrebounded by nearly three boards a game, making them hard to trust in tight games.

American Eagles (+8000)

The Eagles are an extreme longshot at 80/1, not to mention they’re riding a six-game losing streak. Yet somehow, they managed to do what nobody else in the Patriot League could this year: beat Colgate.

Projected Championship Matchup

Colgate vs. Navy: Is this a chalky pick? Of course. But let’s face it, this is Colgate’s tournament to lose. The Patriot League Tournament odds say as much. The Red Raiders have been the league’s best team from start to (almost) finish, and there’s little reason to believe that’ll change now with an NCAA Tournament bid on the line. Anything could happen in single-elimination play, but having homecourt is huge. Take that into account when filling out your March Madness contest bracket.

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