College Basketball Betting: Horizon League Tournament Preview
With Detroit ineligible for postseason play, the Horizon League Tournament will feature nine teams. The format heavily favors the top two teams in the league with Wright State and Northern Kentucky earning first and second round byes. UW-Green Bay has a first round bye while the remaining six teams play on campus in the first and second rounds before shifting to cozy Indiana Farmers Coliseum (IUPUI’s home court) in Indianapolis.
Favorite – Wright State owns the top seed and justifiably so as the Raiders dominated much of league play. Nine of their 15 wins came by double-digits as they finished the regular season first in offensive efficiency and second in defensive efficiency. What made Wright State so dominant was an offense that featured four, highly efficient scorers who averaged double-digits. Amazingly, both Cole Gentry and Tanner Holden rank in the top 50 nationally in offensive rating — an unheard of feat at the mid-major level. The only knock on the Raiders was their complacency at times. Head coach Scott Nagy routinely had to implore his team to defend due to how easy it was to simply outscore the competition. Perhaps a positive sign heading into the postseason was WSU’s season finale road win against second seed Northern Kentucky. The Raiders jumped out to a double-digit lead and for once struggled to knock down shots (39% FG, 57% FT) but still found a way to win, 64-62.
Darkhorse – Green Bay is a dangerous team by simply having the ability to outscore teams. The Phoenix split with both Wright State and Northern Kentucky; note that they held a lead late in the loss to the Raiders. UWGB also has a first round bye and plays host to the lowest remaining seed meaning they shouldn’t have to expend too much energy before facing Northern Kentucky in the semifinals.
As mentioned, Wright State was the class of the league but oddsmakers clearly knew it as the Raiders finished a lackluster 7-9-2 ATS in league play. They do however have the feel of a team of destiny after being dominated in last year’s championship game (trailed by as much as 20) against Northern Kentucky as -1.5 chalk.
What to Bet – Should WSU and NKU meet again, bettors should look to play the UNDER. Wright State’s pace and totals were heavily skewed due to multiple high scoring blowouts against the lower class of the Horizon. Northern Kentucky, the slowest paced team in the league, will no doubt attempt to turn the game into a grind, similar to what we saw in the regular season finale.
Odds to Win Tournament (5Dimes)
Wright State -110
Northern Kentucky +180
UW-Green Bay +765
Youngstown State +1500
Cleveland State +13500