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Burke: Conference tournament observations so far (Mar. 3 edition)

By Adam Burke  ( 

March 3, 2022 11:05 AM

We’ve got several conference tournaments in action on Thursday and I wanted to use today’s Blurb to scribble down a few things that I’ve noticed and how they could be actionable moving forward.

Big South Tournament – The Big South Tournament is at a neutral site for the first time since 2016 and I figured that Bojangles Coliseum would be a good under venue. It seats 9,000, which is far more than any arena in the conference. Furthermore, if the arena were even filled with 6,500 spectators, it would surpass the enrollment of 10 of the 12 member schools.

With a small smattering of fans, the teams bombed away, with each game going over the total by at least 19 points. By the final game, bettors noticed and bet the Presbyterian vs. Campbell total up from 122 to 125. The game landed 147. I’m not sure if this will continue on Friday or not, but I was dead wrong on my assessment of a new arena. You never really know until you get some sample size, but you can make educated guesses. My guesses were wrong, as the deeper sightlines didn’t bother any of the four teams, as they all got into the 70s.

Respect the Line Move – Most of the line moves in yesterday’s conference tournament games were correct, especially those that moved more than a half-point or a point. NC A&T was a flipped favorite against Radford and won the game in overtime, but was clearly the better team throughout. Mount St. Mary’s went from -5.5 to -7 and beat St. Francis (NY) by 30. Tennessee State went from -3 to as high as -4.5 and won by 15. Campbell barely beat Presbyterian and was the only noteworthy mover that failed to cover. The Camels led by 12 at half, but the game went to double overtime.

In these lesser conferences, only sharps are playing in the sand box. The moves will be more respected and generally more correct. In a one-game sample, variance can show up in a lot of forms, but pay close attention to the line moves in leagues that public bettors ignore.

I’ll have some best bets for today’s games in our running file for conference tournaments, so I encourage you to check that out later today.

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