Sun Belt Basketball Odds: Conference & Preview is Wide Open

Eight Teams With Odds of 10-to-1 or Lower

The Sun Belt Conference has a brand new look this season with four new teams. Sportsbooks aren’t quite sure how to handle all of the newcomers and that’s evident in the Sun Belt basketball odds to win the conference. There are eight teams given a realistic chance to win the Sun Belt Conference and a trip to the NCAA Tournament.

The Top Tier

Marshall (+400): Somebody has to be the favorite and it’s the Thundering Herd. The Sun Belt basketball odds have Marshall at +400. The Thundering Herd are known for their fast pace but it hasn’t yielded results lately, with the team going 12-21 last year.

Marshall can score but there’s also a thing called defense. The Thundering Herd allowed 78 points per game last year. Taevion Kinsey, Andrew Taylor and VMI transfer Kamdyn Curfman need some help if Marshall is going to contend.

If one of the team’s big three lands on the college basketball injury report it might be another long season for Marshall.

James Madison (+450): JMU has a pretty good offensive team this season and returns most of its leaders. But much like Marshall, the Dukes have to improve their defense. You can’t allow opponents to make 53.9% of their field goals and expect to win consistently. The Dukes started off strong last year with a 9-2 record but finished just 15-14. JMU was just 6-12 in Colonial Athletic Conference play.

Texas State (+450): The Bobcats were 12-3 in conference play last year but lost to Louisiana in the Sun Belt Tournament. Leading scorer Caleb Asberry has moved on, as has leading rebounder Isiah Small, who also averaged 10.8 points per game. Texas State lost three of its four top scorers overall. The Bobcats will be hard-pressed to win 20 games again this year.

Louisiana (+450): The Sun Belt basketball odds have the Ragin’ Cajuns at +450 and Jordan Brown will have a big say in that. Louisiana’s leading scorer and rebounder is back for his junior season. He averaged 15.3 points and 8.6 rebounds a year ago. Second-leading scorer Kobe Julien also returns. The team needs a few others to pick things up. After a lackluster conference season last year, Louisiana reached the conference tournament finals.

The Second Tier

Troy (+550): The Trojans lost a lot of players from last season’s 20-11 team. But if anybody can withstand the losses, it’s Troy, which played 11 players 10 or more minutes a year ago. There is plenty of experience returning. The Trojans still appear to be a few notches below the top teams in the conference. It’s worth watching the NCAAB scores early and see how the Trojans fare against tougher competition.

Georgia State (+1000): The Sun Belt basketball odds aren’t real high on the defending conference champions. The Panthers lost their top six scorers from last season but did bring in Dwon Odom (Xavier) and Jamaine Mann (Vanderbilt) as transfers. If the new players can blend together, the Panthers could be tough.

Old Dominion (+1000): The Monarchs are likely a step below a few others but that’s also why the Sun Belt basketball odds have them at +1000. Old Dominion comes to the Sun Belt from Conference USA and the Monarchs like to slow things down. The Monarchs did lose all three double-digit scorers from last year’s squad.

South Alabama (+1000): South Alabama is going to see its fate this season determined by newcomers. That’s to be expected when you lose your top three scorers from the previous season. South Alabama did get Kevin Samuel via transfer from TCU, where the 7-footer averaged 11.5 points and 9.7 rebounds. The Jaguars did get a pair of decent recruits in Jamar Franklin and 6-foot-10 Julian Margrave.

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