Sun Belt Conference Basketball Tournament 2023: Betting odds, picks and predictions


Marshall Favored to Win the Sun Belt Conference Tournament

The Sun Belt Conference tournament is slated to begin on February 28 and will feature all 14 teams that the conference has to offer. This is looking like a one-bid conference for the NCAA tournament, which means the stakes will be extremely high when these teams arrive in Florida for the week. However, just because this isn’t a conference that will have multiple in March Madness, that doesn’t mean this will be a tournament that is lacking in quality. In fact, there are some rock-solid programs within this group, and there will be seven or eight teams that feel they have a legitimate shot of representing the Sun Belt later in March. That should make for some very competitive action, which is all you can ask for at this time of year. Continue reading for everything you’ll need to know before betting on this tournament through the futures market. 

RELATED: Check out our NCAAMBB Team Power Ratings



How to Watch the Sun Belt Conference Tournament

When: February 28; March 2-6

Where: Pensacola Bay Center in Pensacola, Florida

Format: Teams seeded by record in conference play (tiebreaker system for teams with same records); top-10 teams get a first-round bye and top-four teams get a double bye (sending them through to the quarterfinals)

Watch: ESPN+; Championship Game on ESPN2 on Mar. 6 at 7 p.m. ET

Sun Belt Conference Tournament Seeds, Teams and Odds

1. Southern Miss Golden Eagles (+450) 
2. Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns (+360) 
3. Marshall Thundering Herd (+200) 
4. James Madison Dukes (+380) 
5. Troy Trojans (+1600) 
6. Old Dominion Monarchs (+3000) 
7. Georgia Southern Eagles (+5000)  
8. South Alabama Jaguars (+850)
9. Appalachian State Mountaineers (+4500) 
10. UL-Monroe Warhawks (+25000)
11. Texas State Bobcats (+15000)  
12. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (+30000) 
13. Arkansas State Red Wolves (+50000)
14. Georgia State Panthers (+50000) 

Favorite To Win Sun Belt Conference Tournament

Marshall is only seeded third in this tournament, but the Thundering Herd are still the favorites to win it all. This is a team that can be extremely fun to watch, as it’s led by head coach Dan D’Antoni — who isn’t all that different from his brother, Mike. Marshall has the second-most efficient offense in the conference, according to KenPom’s adjusted offensive efficiency. The Thundering Herd also have an explosive backcourt in Taevion Kinsey and Andrew Taylor, who have combined to average 42.4 points per game this season. With production like that, Marshall has a high floor and a high ceiling. So, it isn’t hard to see why the oddsmakers tabbed them as the most likely team to lift this trophy.

Sun Belt Conference Tournament Darkhorse

While South Alabama only finished in eighth in this conference, the team is fifth in the Sun Belt in KenPom’s adjusted efficiency margin. The Jaguars are also tied for fourth in the conference in adjusted defensive efficiency, and being able to shut down opponents is a valuable skill at this time of the year. South Alabama can always hang its hat on its defense keeping the team in games, and all it will take is somebody getting hot offensively in order for the Jags to make a run at this thing. With that said, keep an eye on senior guard Isaiah Moore. Moore is averaging 18.5 points per game this season and he has the potential to help South Alabama pull off a miracle this week. This isn’t something we’d suggest going big on, but it’s worth a tiny dart throw. 

Players to Watch in Sun Belt Conference Tournament

Kinsey is the leading scorer in the conference and looks like a player with an NBA future. This season, the 6-foot-5 senior is averaging 22.2 points and 5.4 assists per game for Marshall. He’s exactly the type of microwave scorer that will have people talking themselves into a first-round upset in March Madness, if the Thundering Herd end up representing the Sun Belt in the NCAA Tournament. However, for this week, he and Taylor, who averages 20.2 points and 4.8 assists per game for Marshall, will make up one difficult backcourt to eliminate.

You’ll also want to keep an eye on Southern Miss guard Austin Crowley, who is averaging 16.2 points per game for the Golden Eagles this year. The Ole Miss transfer will need to turn in a special week if Southern Miss is going to find a way to steal a bid.

Betting Pick to Win The Sun Belt Conference Tournament

Louisiana looks like a great bet to win this tournament. The Ragin’ Cajuns have a nice inside-outside combination in big man Jordan Brown and guard Greg Williams Jr. Brown, who has played for bigger programs like Nevada and Arizona, is averaging 19.8 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game for Louisiana this season. He’s an absolute load around the basket, and that’s important in tournament play. Shooters can occasionally go cold when the pressure is on, so you want a player you can rely on to get a tough bucket. Meanwhile, Williams is a legitimate sniper on the outside, knocking down 40.3 percent of his triples this season. He’ll make opponents pay for sending extra help in Brown’s direction. The Ragin’ Cajuns have also proven that they can beat some of the best teams this conference has to offer, as they already have victories over Marshall and Southern Miss this season. On top of all that, Louisiana isn’t a far drive from Pensacola. So, the Ragin’ Cajuns could have some representation in the building.

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