Drake Favored To Win Missouri Valley Conference Basketball Tournament 2023
Affectionately known as “Arch Madness”, the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament tips off on Wednesday Mar. 2 with a much different look than past versions. Loyola Chicago left for the A-10, while Belmont, Murray State and UIC joined the conference. Therefore, we have 12 teams in the MVC Tournament for the first time.
It is priced into the market, but this has historically been one of the top conference tournaments for betting unders because of the style of play and the neutral-site venue with what must be a difficult shooting backdrop in St. Louis.
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How to Watch the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament
When: March 2-5
Where: Enterprise Center in St. Louis, MO
Format: Top four seeds get bye to quarterfinals
Watch: MVC TV, CBS Sports Network, CBS; Championship Game on CBS on Mar. 5 at 2 p.m. ET
Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Seeds, Teams and Odds
1. Bradley (+190)
2. Drake (+135)
3. Southern Illinois (+1400)
4. Belmont (+800)
5. Indiana State (+550)
6. Missouri State (+3000)
7. Murray State (+20000)
8. Northern Iowa (+7000)
9. Illinois State (+80000)
10. Valparaiso (+50000)
11. UIC (+80000)
12. Evansville (+100000)
Favorite To Win Missouri Valley Conference Tournament
Drake lost by 12 at Bradley on the final day of the regular season to put the Braves on the No. 1 line, but the Bulldogs are still the favorite on the No. 2 line. What makes the seeding so interesting here is that Bradley lost both regular season meetings against Belmont and those two are on a crash course to square off in the semifinals. Drake lost twice to Missouri State, but the Bears would still have to get past the Southern Illinois Salukis.
Drake and Bradley split in the regular season, with Drake winning by 25 at home and Bradley winning by 12 in the friendly confines.
Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Darkhorse
It’s rare to see a No. 3 seed at +1400, but Southern Illinois is an intriguing team. The Salukis are a top-20 team by 2P% and a top-50 team by 2P% defense. They really slow games down and convert at the rim at a high rate. They can’t shoot 3s well, which is unfortunate because they shoot one 47.1% of the time for the season and 44.4% of the time in conference play. They’re also third in the conference in adjusted defensive efficiency in conference play.
That being said, they’d have to beat Drake and Bradley on consecutive days to win this thing. You’re also likely to get better than +1400 with a rolling moneyline. (Jeff Fogle wrote about rolling moneylines for us)
Players to Watch in Missouri Valley Conference Tournament
There are a lot of really good players in this conference. The 1-2 punch at Drake of Tucker DeVries and Roman Penn is hard to top, but Bradley has its own with Rienk Mast and Malevy Leons. DeVries averages 18.9 PPG and 5.6 RPG, while Penn is the facilitator on offense, leading the MVC with 5.3 APG. Mast averages 14.0 PPG and 8.0 RPG for the Braves, while Leons contributes in every major stat category.
Valparaiso likely isn’t long for the tournament, but Ben Krikke led the conference with 19.6 PPG. He and Kobe King (16.4 PPG) just can’t overcome the below average players on the rest of the roster. Indiana State leads the nation in 2P% and all-name team member Courvoisier McCauley leads the way with 16.4 PPG.
Betting Pick to Win The Missouri Valley Conference Tournament
We should get a final game of Bradley vs. Drake here and the line will likely be around a pick ‘em or maybe Drake -1. Assuming we get that matchup, Bradley +190 is a decent ticket to be holding in a coin flip final, even though the Braves could struggle with Belmont on Saturday before getting to Sunday.
Belmont is also a way better candidate for a rolling moneyline. They will be a dog in all three games, as Indiana State is a strong No. 5 seed and should handle Evansville without a problem. You’ll get a good bit more than +800 on the Bruins going that route.
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