College Basketball Betting Guide for Thursday 3/3/22: 3 Conference Tournament Games to Target

March Madness is on its way, and conference tournaments are starting up all across the country.

Tonight, we see tournament action in the Sun Belt, Horizon League, Patriot League, ASUN, Ohio Valley Conference, West Coast Conference, and the Missouri Valley Conference.

Which games should draw our attention? Let's find out.

Please note that lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. Please check here to make sure you're seeing the most updated information. You can also look at our oddsFire tool to get a feel for what the betting public is doing.

Oakland Golden Grizzlies at Wright State Raiders

This Horizon League Championship quarterfinal pits the 170th-ranked (by our power rankings) Oakland Golden Grizzlies against the 203rd-ranked Wright State Raiders.

Despite the power rankings discrepancy, it's Oakland who is the underdog (by 4.5 points).

Wright State is 2-0 in the season series, winning by 4 and 11 in those matchups, both of which came in February. They cleaned the offensive glass well in both of those matchups.

However, our model, accounting for the fact that this game is at the Nutter Center, Wright State's home court, views the anticipated spread as 0.8 points.

It makes sense, then, that Oakland +4.5 is a two-star play (i.e. a two-unit wager opportunity).

Oakland's moneyline (+168) implies win odds of 37.3%. Their actual win odds, per our model, are 46.9%. The anticipated return there is 25.8% for an upset.

Central Arkansas Bears at Jacksonville Dolphins

What's a 94.7% win probability worth in terms of a spread? Our model is saying around 18.1 points, accounting for home-court advantage.

At least, that's what we're seeing for the projected gap in this ASUN matchup between the Jacksonville Dolphins (173rd in our power rankings) over the Central Arkansas Bears (328th). The Dolphins beat the Bears 79-59 back in late January.

Jacksonville is a 10.5-point favorite at FanDuel Sportsbook, and that's rating as a four-star play, per our algorithm.

Jacksonville boasts a top-100 adjusted defense, via; Central Arkansas' defense is 318th.

The biggest obstacle toward covering, it seems, is pace. The Dolphins operate at the 355th-fastest adjusted tempo in the nation, but the Bears are 11th, so that should allow enough total possessions for Jacksonville to cover again in this matchup.

Army Black Knights at Lehigh Mountain Hawks

It's the total in this Patriot League quarterfinal that is drawing attention from numberFire's model.

That total sits at 142.5, and the expected outcome, via our model, is 134.7, leaving plenty of wiggle room on the under.

These squads totaled 132 and 155 points in their two prior meetings for an average (143.5) right around the actual total (142.5).

Trends and underlying data point to the under, though.

Both defenses, despite ranking 250th or worse in adjusted efficiency, have held opponents under their implied team totals in at least 48.3% of games (46.4% for the Army Black Knights and 48.3% for the Lehigh Mountain Hawks).

Army has actually gone over its own implied total by an average of 2.3 points -- but that's inflated with some outliers. They've surpassed their own implied team total in just 11 of 28 games (39.3%).