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2021 Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament Odds, Preview, and Prediction

John Hyslop

by John Hyslop in College Basketball

Mar 1, 2021 · 9:58 AM PST

2021 Atlantic Sun Tournament Bracket
The 2021 Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament bracket.
  • The 2021 Atlantic Sun Tournament begins on March 4th
  • The championship game will be at 2:00 PM on Sunday, March 7th, at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville
  • Read on to find out all the trends, odds, picks and best bets for the 2021 Atlantic Sun Tournament

In the last four Atlantic Sun Tournaments, the #1 or #2 seed took down the whole thing so it’s a good idea to look there first. Obviously taking an large underdog brings a bigger payday, but that strategy has been a losing proposition lately.

The Lipscomb Bisons have advanced to each of the last three championship games, winning one and losing the last two to the Liberty Flames. Both teams have reloaded and sit atop the standings this season.

All tournament games will be played at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville on March 4th and 5th, with the championship game on Sunday, March 7th. The winner will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

2021 Atlantic Sun Tournament Odds

Team Odds
Liberty (1) -275
Bellarmine (2) +275
Lipscomb (3) +800
Florida Gulf Coast (6) +1200
North Alabama (5) +2500
North Florida (4) +2500
Stetson (7) +3300
Kennesaw State (8) +5000

Odds as of March 2nd, 2021. 

Two-Team Race

The Atlantic Sun regular season was won by the Liberty Flames so they are an obvious choice to win the tournament. They are peaking at the right time winning all six of their games in February while looking good doing so. Every win was by double digits and four of the six were by 20-plus points. Led by Darius McGhee, who scored at least 22 points in each of the last four games, the sky is the limit for this team.

What Liberty has going for them is the fact that they have the only defense in KenPom’s top 200 in terms of efficiency. The kicker is that their offense is ranked 56th in efficiency (adjusted for opponent) so there are in a position to take advantage of the bad defenses. They’ve won the last two Atlantic Sun Tournaments and they are favored to win this year as well for good reason.

Lipscomb Can’t Be Counted Out

Florida Gulf Coast was an interesting team but given that they have only played once since February 6th, they are tough to back. Especially when considering they play Lipscomb in the first round. The Bisons have been in the championship game of this tournament each of the last three years so they are no easy out. KJ Johnson is one of three Bison to average double-digit points per game on the season and he is in great form heading into the tournament.

Lipscomb finished the season with a loss in their last game which isn’t ideal but they had won three in row coming into the game. They’re defense is in line with the other shoddy units in the conference but their offense is ranked 175th in terms of efficiency which is better than most of the field. They are 117th best in the country shooting the three-ball so they have proven they can get hot.

Give Me Liberty or Give Me …..

The case for Liberty is speaks for itself but the path they have to the title game could not be any easier. They will open with Kennesaw State whom they beat 76-47 the last time they played. In the second game, they will face the winner of North Alabama/North Florida game. They beat both of those two teams twice during the regular season and three of those wins were by 20 points. It’s hard to imagine they will even be challenged until the championship game.

Taking teams with long odds may not be the right choice for this tournament but Lipscomb at +300 could be worth a shot if bettors don’t want to take a -150 team to win a tournament. The Bisons draw a team in the first round that hasn’t played in awhile which is a great start. They would then meet either Stetson or Bellarmine in the second round and they beat both of them in the regular season. They beat the Knights twice. If they make it to the final and play Liberty, they have beaten the Flames this year as well. The Bison are in good shape to make noise in this tournament.

The pick: Lipscomb (+800) 

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