- Abilene Christian has made steady gains since moving to NCAA Division I in 2013
- Wildcats have won and covered in six of seven, but face legitimate threats from Southeastern Louisiana, Sam Houston State
- SLU handed the Wildcats a stunning upset loss two weeks ago, and Bearkats have topped ACU in three straight
After setting program records with a 14-4 record in conference play, and an overall 25-6 record this season, the Abilene Christian Wildcats will make their first-ever appearance in the Southland Conference Tournament (Mar. 13-16) perched as clear betting favorites, sporting short +100 odds.
Odds to Win 2019 Southland Conference Tournament
|Team||2019 Southland Tournament odds|
|Sam Houston State||+140|
|Texas A&M CC||+2600|
Southland Tournament Bracket
Wildcats Ride Win Streak into First-Ever Southland Tournament
The Wildcats have made steady gains since making the leap to NCAA Division I in 2013, and have showed massive improvement over a year ago, when they finished just out of tournament contention with an 8-10 record. The squad avoided repeating last year’s late-season swoon by posting four straight wins down the stretch to claim second place on the Southland Conference standings.
Seniors lead ACU men past Incarnate Word in regular-season finalehttps://t.co/ozggxUoAOH
— Joey Richards (@ARN_Joey) March 10, 2019
This season was not without its blemishes, however. The Wildcats proved to be a shaky wager entering conference play, failing to post an ATS win in their first seven meetings with Southland opponents before righting the ship down the stretch with SU and ATS victories in six of their final seven.
ACU Has Long Layoff before Friday’s Semifinal
Pegged as the No. 2 seed in this year’s tournament, the Wildcats enjoy a lengthy break leading up to Friday’s semifinal.
First-round action gets underway on Wednesday, as No. 6 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi battles No. 7 Central Arkansas for the right to face No. 3 Southeastern Louisiana on Thursday, with the last team standing taking on Abilene Christian on Friday.
#3SportsBlitz: Islanders riding win streak heading to Southland Tournament
*TAMU-CC heads to Katy as the six seed, needing four wins in four nights.
— Kiii 3 Sports (@kiii3sports) March 12, 2019
While that hectic schedule clearly works in the Wildcats’ favor, Abilene Christian will likely want to avoid a semifinal matchup with Southeastern Louisiana, who sit as an attractive +770 longshot.
Lions Enter Tournament as Hottest Team in the Conference
Southeastern Louisiana emerged as the hottest team in the conference after overcoming an eight-game slide that included losses in each of their first three conference outings. The squad has tallied SU victories in 12 of 15 contests, also winning ATS in 11 of those outings.
— BCH Sports (@BCHsports) February 24, 2019
The Lions have also historically dominated the Wildcats, claiming victory in nine of 11 meetings since Abilene Christian joined the conference, including a 75-66 upset win as 9-point road underdogs two weeks ago.
Bearkats Have Feasted on Conference Opponents
On the other side of the bracket, the Wildcats cannot ignore the top-seeded Sam Houston State Bearkats, who closely trail them as +140 second-favorites to win their first tournament crown since 2010.
Learning to finish has propelled Sam Houston State to a historic league start https://t.co/ay7vMTyRMj
— Greg Mitchell (@gregpmitchell) February 14, 2019
The Bearkats overcame a dismal showing in early-season non-conference play by regularly feasting on Southland opponents during their march to a 16-2 record and top spot on the conference standings.
That run includes a pair of outright victories over the Wildcats as betting underdogs that extends their historical dominance over Abilene Christian to 8-3 SU in 11 meetings since January 2014.
SBD’s NCAA conference tournament coverage:
- 2019 SWAC Tournament Odds: Texas Southern Favored
- 2019 Conference USA Tournament Odds: Southern Miss Favored
- 2019 Big 12 Conference Tournament Odds: Texas Tech Heavily Favored
- 2019 Big Sky Conference Tournament Odds: Montana Listed as Favorite
- 2019 Big Ten Conference Tournament Odds: Michigan State Favored
- 2019 AAC Tournament Odds: Houston Listed as Favorite
- 2019 Pac-12 Tournament Odds: Washington Listed as Favorite
- 2019 Big West Conference Tournament Odds: UC Irvine the Odds-On Favorite
- 2019 ACC Tournament Odds: Virginia, not Duke, Listed as Slight Favorite
- 2019 SEC Tournament Odds: Tennessee & Kentucky Favored Over LSU
- 2019 Big East Conference Tournament Odds: Villanova Favored Over Slumping Marquette
- 2019 MEAC Tournament Odds: Norfolk State Listed as Favorites
- Lipscomb Odds-On Favorite to Win NCAAM Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament
- Colgate Odds-On Favorite to Win Patriot League Tournament
- 2019 Horizon League Tournament Odds: Northern Kentucky Favored
- 2019 Big South Tournament Odds: Radford Favored
- 2019 MAAC Tournament Odds: Iona & Rider Listed as Co-Favorites
- 2019 Colonial Conference Tournament Odds: Hofstra Given Edge Over Northeastern
- Saint Francis Red Flash Favored to Win 2019 Northeast Conference Tournament
- Belmont Favored Over Murray State in Ohio Valley Conference Tournament
- 2019 West Coast Conference Tournament Odds: Should You Bet Against Gonzaga?
- 2019 Summit Conference Tournament Odds: South Dakota St Heavily Favored
- Wofford Listed as Odds-On Favorite in 2019 Southern Conference Tournament
- Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Odds: Loyola-Chicago Favored
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