2022 Southland Conference Tournament Odds: Team Race

Corpus Christi, Northwestern State Favorites in Tournament

The Southland Conference Tournament odds are pointing towards a battle between Texas A&M Corpus Christi and Northwestern State. While neither is what can be called a good team, they are the best in one of the lowest-rated conferences in college basketball. The NCAAB Sagarin ratings have the conference ranked No. 31 out of 32 conferences. The conference tournament winner is definitely not a team you want in your March Madness bracket contest.

Eight of the 10 teams in the conference were invited to the tournament, which will be held in the Legacy Center in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The tournament begins Sunday, March 5. Most games will be televised by ESPN+. The championship game on March 8, will be broadcast on ESPN2 at 5 p.m. ET.

The Favorites

 Texas A&M Corpus Christi Islanders (+115)

The Southland Conference Tournament odds have to name somebody as favorites and the conference winner is a logical choice. The Islanders were 14-4 in conference games to claim the regular season title. Corpus Christi did defeat Northwestern State both games they played. But it also lost to the likes of Lamar and Houston Christian.

Still, the Islanders had the best offense and defense in conference games. Corpus Christi was No. 141 in the nation in adjusted offensive efficiency and No. 226 on defense. The Islanders can shoot the 3-pointer, connecting on 36.7% of their attempts. They’re also the second-best foul shooting team in the nation. But the Islanders allow 55.2% on 2-pointers, one of the worst percentages in the country.

 Northwestern State Demons (+165)

Northwestern State finished second in conference play, so are the logical second choice here. The Demons also have a couple of bad losses. But they do have the best win in the conference, knocking off TCU on the road. Northwestern State played some tough non conference teams in TCU, Baylor and Texas A&M. And they were competitive, which is more than the other Southland Conference teams can say.

The Demons are slightly below Corpus Christi in the efficiency ratings. But they are pretty close on offense and defense. Northwestern State will also have double revenge should the teams meet in the tournament championship game.

The Outsiders

 Southeastern Louisiana Lions (+550)

The Lions are one of the more unpredictable teams in the Southland Conference. Southeastern Louisiana had two four-game winning streaks and a four-game losing streak in its final 12 games of the season. The efficiency ratings have the Lions well below the top two teams. The team’s 3-point defense is especially dreadful, allowing more than 38%. The Lions are an average shooting team, which is good in the Southland Conference. But the defense is probably going to keep Southeastern Louisiana out of the championship game.

Nicholls State Colonels (+650)

Nicholls State is one of the better defenses teams in the Southland Conference. But that’s not really saying a whole lot as the Colonels rank No. 205 nationally. The Colonels do force some turnovers, which has a bit to do with the competition. The stats are a bit misleading for the Colonels, who played three non-Division I teams and won each by at least 30 points. The team has a bit of a talent but should have problems in the semifinals.

Texas A&M Commerce Lions (+2800)

The Southland Conference Tournament odds have the Lions at +2800, with the remaining teams at +8000. Granted, Texas A&M Commerce doesn’t have much chance of winning the tournament, but it did beat Corpus Christi on the road. The Lions also took Corpus Christi to overtime at home in the last game of the season before losing. The Lions are an excellent 2-point shooting team, ranking No. 9 in the county in field goal percentage. But the Lions make far too many turnovers, don’t grab offensive rebounds and struggle from 3-point range. Defensively, Texas A&M Commerce is bad all the way around. If the offense is clicking, the Lions can be a challenge.

Projected Championship Matchup

Corpus Christi and Northwestern State each have byes into the semifinals, meaning they just have to win one game to advance to the title contest. While the Southland Conference Tournament odds aren’t the greatest for either team, they’re favorites for a reason. The Islanders came up with the wins over Northwestern State to win the regular season title. But now an NCAA berth is on the line for the winner.

On Wednesday, you probably won’t have the Southland Conference Tournament as one of your college basketball games to bet on today. But as long as the top two teams win Tuesday, the tournament final could offer some value on Northwestern State. The Demons have played better against tougher competition during the year. It’s hard to picture Corpus Christi beating Northwestern State three times in a season, so take the Demons +165 to win the Southland Conference Tournament.
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