College Basketball Conference Tournament Best Bets, OVC and SoCon: Morehead, Samford

Vaughn Dalzell breaks down two Conference Tournament picks in the OVC and SoCon.

Ohio Valley Conference Winner: Morehead State (-105)

There are four teams remaining in the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC), Morehead State (-105), Little Rock (+220), UT Martin (+450), and Western Illinois (+600).

UT Martin enters this tournament on a seven-game winning streak, while Little Rock are the winners of nine straight. Western Illinois and Morehead State each won the past three games, so everyone has a winning streak going.

Morehead State and Western Illinois play at slow tempos on offense, while UT Martin and Little Rock play at extremely quick paces. The books are doubting Western Illinois, but paying the respect to Morehead State who are -8.5 favorites against UT Martin. Morehead State won by 18 at home and lost by six on the road versus UT Martin.

At -410 odds on the ML, Morehead State would be favored in the final and whatever the ML price, you likely wouldn't get -105 odds. Little Rock is a -6 favorite versus Western Illinois and won 63-60 at Western Illinois in the only meeting of the season.

I would not be shocked to see Western Illinois give Little Rock problems, but based on Morehead State's profile, No. 1 conference ranked defense (No. 10 in country), and top 100 rebounding percentages (only team in the OVC), I like the Eagles to win the conference tournament.

I played Morehead State at -105 odds to win the Ohio Valley Conference at DraftKings. This is -120 on FanDuel.

Pick: Morehead State to win the Ohio Valley Conference (1u)

Southern Conference Winner: Samford (+155)

Since the start of February, Samford is the highest ranked team in the SoCon at No. 73 per Barttorvik with Western Carolina (No. 104) and UNC Greensboro (No. 146) as the only other squads cracking the top 150.

UNC Greensboro (+425) and Western Carolina (+500) are behind Samford (+155) in terms of odds to win the SoCon. Chattanooga (+550) and Furman (+700) are the only other teams below +1500 to win the tournament. However, it's Samford's conference title to lose.

The Bulldogs have multiple wins over a lot of other mid-major contenders like Merrimack, Belmont, and Louisiana, plus losses to VCU and Purdue to start the season.

Samford has the 52nd-ranked offense in the country and plays at the 5th-quickest pace (12th overall). The Bulldogs shoot the three-ball at 39.8% (6th), owns an effective field goal percentage of 57.2% (6th) and forces a turnover 22.2% of possessions on defense (12th).

Those are three combos I love in backing in tournament season and I don't see that type of production coming from Western Carolina (345th in forcing turnovers), Chattanooga (318th in forcing turnovers), or Furman (309th in two-point defense).

UNC Greensboro has the best case, but they are a poor rebounding team and shoots below 50% from two-point range. I played Samford to win the Southern Conference aka the SoCon at +155 odds. This is around +150 at most shops.

Pick: Samford to win the Southern Conference (1u)

CBB Futures In My Pocket:

1u: Houston win the National Championship (+700)
1u: Iowa State to make the Final Four (+550)
1u: South Florida to win the AAC Tournament (+500)
1u: Illinois to win the Big Ten Tournament (+500)
1u: Morehead State to win the OVC Tournament (+105)
1u: Samford to win the SoCon Tournament (+155)
0.1u: Ohio State to win the Big Ten Tournament (+5000)

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