Sun Belt Conference Tournament Preview: Can Kermit Davis get the Monkey off his Back? + 69% ATS Betting Trend

Payne Insider - Posted on 08 March 2013

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Written By: "The Bird Walker" - Former Sun Belt Conference Champion

Sun Belt Conference Tournament Championship Odds:
Middle Tennessee -380
Arkansas State +600
South Alabama +1700
Western Kentucky +1900
Arkansas Little Rock +2300
Florida International +2600
Florida Atlantic +5500
North Texas +7000
Louisiana Lafayette +8500
Troy +17500
Louisiana Monroe +70000

Top 3 Seeds:

Middle Tennessee (27-4, 19-1):
The Blue Raiders have been the clear leader of the pack, however Kermit Davis enters his 11th Sun Belt Conference Tournament with a giant bagel next to his name (0-10). First Team all SBC guard Marcos Knight will try to get the critics of his coaches back. For some reason MTSU always come up short when it counts. Will this season be any different?

South Alabama (17-11, 14-6):
The Jaguars rely heavily on SBC POY Augustine Rubit. South Alabama has dealt with a rash of injuries in the backcourt, not to mention interim head coach Jeff Price is trying to land the gig on a permanent basis. Despite being from the last coaching regime, If South can win the conference championship it will be tough not to bring Price back with the interim title removed. Can Rubit put the Jags' on his back and carry them to the Big Dance?

Arkansas State (18-11, 12-8):
Ark State has the all conference duo of Brandon Peterson and Trey Finn. With the tournament being played in Hot Springs, the Red Wolves will have home court advantage due to the easy travel. Can they play off the emotion of the crowd and make a run? The Red Wolves and Trojans have combined to cover 69% of their games this season when they tip in the state of Arkansas.

Friday's Games:

#6 Western Kentucky vs #11 LMU
Look for the youth of WKU to start slow but eventually defeat the Warhawks.

#8 ULL vs #9 UNT
Preseason POY Tony Mitchell posts a monster game and the Mean Green advance in a barn-burner.

#7 FAU vs #10 Troy
All league backcourt Greg Gantt and Stefan Moody come out firing and the Owls survive to play Saturday.

Saturday's Games:

#4 FIU vs #5 UALR
FIU over-achieved during the regular season and having to play UALR so close to home doesn't do them any favors. UALR was 12-4 ATS at home this year in what is virtually a home game. Look for UALR to win comfortably.

#1 MTSU vs #9 UNT
MTSU dominates UNT in this matchup and covers easily. The Mean Green have not handled adversity well this year and today is no different.

#3 USA vs #6 WKU
This game goes down to the wire with Rubit coming up big for the Jaguars. There's a lot of history between these two schools and this game will be neck and neck.

#2 ASU vs #7 FAU
Arkansas State is 8-5 ATS at home this year. In another virtual home game, the Red Wolves prevail in a close game.

Sunday's Games:

#2 ASU vs #3 USA
In a game of two evenly matched teams, the home court advantage comes into play and the Jaguars season ends. Trey Finn hits the game winner as ASU moves on.

#1 MTSU vs #5 UALR
With a virtual home game (4,000-5,000 fans) in Hot Springs, UALR could win this game. However, MTSU has been too strong throughout league play and barely escapes with the W.

Monday's Sun Belt Championship Game:

#1 MTSU vs #2 ASU
Will the Blue Raiders be able to finally get Kermit Davis to the Big Dance? Is the home court advantage enough for ASU to shock the world? This is the year for MTSU, they're head and shoulders above the rest of the league and SHOULD march on to the madness that is the NCAA Tournament.

Sun Belt Best Bets:

The combination of MTSU's flameouts, South Alabama's depleted guard depth, and the SBC tourney in Hot Springs adds a ton of value to the Arkansas schools. There's value investing in Arkansas State at +600. Hard to justify betting MTSU at -380 when they haven't won this tournament in a decade. If you're looking for a long shot, FAU at +5500 is worth a look. Moody and Gantt are the best guard tandem in the Belt, if they get hot, look out.

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