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Atlantic 10 Tournament Betting – Temple Is Poised For Success

Posted by Washington Tucker on 2/6/2014 2:23:00 AM

The NCAA basketball bettingcommunity can agree on a few things: First, the Richmond Spiders are the main story at the 2011 Atlantic 10 Tournament in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Second, the Temple Owls should be the favorite for this event.

March Madness betting experts know that the Xavier Musketeers, the regular-season champions of the A-10, are the best team in the conference, but that’s a different matter compared to the process of picking a likely tournament champion. In each of the last three Atlantic 10 tournaments, the same basic patterns have emerged: Xavier has lost in the semifinals while Temple has won the championship. Since this event is annually played in Atlantic City, the established location for the A-10 Tournament after years of switching around, Temple enjoys the advantage of a partisan crowd in a city not too far removed from Philadelphia. Xavier, a school located in Cincinnati, Ohio, has to make a longer trip to the gambling city in Jersey. This fact has clearly hurt the Musketeers in this event, and the results offer plain proof. Xavier usually picks up the pace in the NCAA Tournament, a marked contrast to Temple’s struggles in the Big Dance (the Owls have been pasted in their last few tourney appearances and haven’t won a game in the NCAAs since they marched to the Elite Eight in 2001). However, the roles are reversed in the realm of the conference tournament: Temple dictates and Xavier generally fades. Until proven otherwise, it’s smart to pick Temple to win the A-10 Tournament.

Now, about the other major story in Atlantic City: Richmond. The Spiders are giving sports betting experts a lot of discussion material. Coach Chris Mooney’s team is viewed as one of several clubs that sits right on the bubble, the basic cut line for the field of 68. Working in Richmond’s favor is a pair of high-quality non-conference wins against Purdue and Virginia Commonwealth, plus a 13-3 record in the conference. What doesn’t help the Spiders is a collection of losses to elite conference foes (Temple and Xavier), modest non-conference opponents (Iona and Bucknell), and a bad Georgia Tech team. All in all, Richmond has to win its quarterfinal clash against Rhode Island on Friday. Tucking away that game would avoid giving the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee a bad loss to look at. Winning a second game at this tournament, in Saturday’s semifinals, would lock up an at-large bid for the Spiders. Richmond is the third seed and sits at the bottom of the bracket alongside No. 2 Temple, so the Spiders will have their work cut out for them in the semifinals against the Owls.

As for the rest of the tournament, everyone beyond the top three (Xavier, Temple, Richmond) must win the whole event to make the NCAA Tournament. Duquesne is the fourth seed and will have to knock off (in all likelihood) Xavier in the semifinals in order to get to the winner’s circle. Temple gets a great quarterfinal draw in the form of tenth-seeded LaSalle, which knocked off seventh-seeded Saint Bonaventure in Tuesday’s first round. Interestingly enough, the most intriguing quarterfinal game on Friday could involve the top seed, as Xavier goes up against ninth-seeded Dayton. The fires of an all-Ohio rivalry could ignite the Flyers and give Dayton an energy boost against Xavier.

In the end, pick Xavier, Duquesne, Richmond and Temple to win in the quarterfinals on Friday. On Saturday, take Duquesne and Temple to win the two semifinal games. In Sunday’s final, go with proven experience and take Temple over Duquesne. If history is an accurate barometer, that’s how the 2011 Atlantic 10 Tournament will unfold in Atlantic City.

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