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Missouri Valley Conference Odds, Picks and Bracket

Chris Amberley

by Chris Amberley in College Basketball

Updated Mar 2, 2022 · 9:54 PM PST

Lucas Williamson drives versus AJ Green
Loyola Chicago guard Lucas Williamson, right, drives against Northern Iowa guard AJ Green during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Chicago, Sunday, Feb. 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
  • The Missouri Valley Conference Tournament will run from Thursday, March 3rd, to Sunday, March 6th
  • Regular season champion Northern Iowa is the top seed, but 4-seed Loyola Chicago has the shortest odds to win
  • See the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament odds, seeds, bracket, and full tournament preview, below

It’s officially Arch Madness season. The Missouri Valley Conference Tournament begins on Thursday (March 3rd), with the final taking place on Sunday (March 6th). All games will be held in St. Louis, and there’s a chance the conference produces two NCAA Tournament teams next weekend on Selection Sunday.

2022 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Odds

Team (Seed) Odds
Loyola Chicago Ramblers (4) +130
Missouri State Bears (2) +300
Northern Iowa Panthers (1) +500
Drake Bulldogs (3) +650
Bradley Braves (5) +900
Southern Illinois Salukis (6) +2200
Valparaiso Beacons (7) +12000
Indiana State Sycamores (9) +13000
Illinois State Redbirds (8) +20000
Evansville Purple Aces (10) +50000

Odds as of March 1 at DraftKings.


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That’s because Loyola Chicago is by far the highest rated team by both the NCAA NET Rankings and KenPom’s metrics, but will be seeded fourth after stumbling down the stretch. Four teams won at least 13 conference games, with Northern Iowa claiming the regular season crown.

The Panthers may be the top seed, but a quick scroll through the NCAA Tournament odds reveals that the Ramblers and number two seed Missouri State Bears are the only Missouri Valley teams currently priced.

Fade Northern Iowa

It’s not often that the top-seed is an underdog in their conference tournament semifinal, but that’s exactly the fate that likely awaits Northern Iowa. Barring a colossal upset, they’ll have to face Loyola Chicago in the semis, a team that grades out 71 spots higher per KenPom.

The Panthers did beat the Ramblers in their final game to secure the regular season title, edging them out in overtime. Their previous meeting was a much different story. Loyola Chicago trounced Northern Iowa by 27 points, holding the Panthers to their second lowest point total in conference play.

Northern Iowa is a solid offensive team, ranking top three in the Missouri Valley in points per game and field goal percentage, but they don’t excel in any one area.

Defensively, they allow the fourth most points in the conference, don’t force turnovers, and yield a 55.1% opponent field goal percentage on two-point attempts, a bottom-17 mark in the country.

Pass on Loyola Chicago

Back in 2016, the Ramblers shocked everyone in the Final Four odds by making the National Semifinal. They made it to the Sweet-16 last season, and have multiple outs to get back to March Madness in 2022.

First, win the conference tournament. They’re clearly the most talented team in the Missouri Valley, ranking 32 spots higher in KenPom’s overall efficiency metric than anyone else. They rank 30th in the country in offensive efficiency, and lead the conference in field goal percentage, three-point efficiency and assists.

Defensively, they’re no slouch either. They have the best defensive rating in the Missouri Valley, hold opponents to 42.2% from the field, and rank 15th in the nation in defensive rebounding percentage.

Second, earn an at-large bid. Given their high grade in the NCAA Net rankings and per KenPom, they clearly belong in the Tournament. They played a respectable out of conference schedule, and will likely advance to March Madness as long as they make the final this weekend.

The reason they’re not the top-seed this week, is due to a lacklustre finish. They went 8-5 down the stretch, and have lost to each of the other top-five seeds this season. Their shaky recent form and extremely short price is enough for me to pass, especially with Missouri State sitting there with more favorable odds.

Roll With Missouri State

The Bears aren’t among the teams currently in the projected NCAA Tournament bracket, but don’t let that stop you from backing them. They won five of six down the stretch, and rank 29 spots higher per KenPom than top seed Northern Iowa.

They lead the conference in points per game and offensive rating, and rank just behind the Ramblers in field goal percentage and three-point efficiency. Missouri State doesn’t turn the ball over, and boasts two of the conference’s top-four scorers. Isiaih Mosley and Gaige Prim combine for over 36 points per outing, and Mosley cracked 40 points twice this season, including in a victory over Loyola Chicago.

Defensively, they hold enemy shooters to 42.3% from the field, and 33% from three, while boasting the 25th best defensive rebounding rate in the country.

They’ve got size and experience, and swept the third seed Drake, their likely semifinal opponent, in the regular season.

Pick: Missouri State Bears (+300)


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All Conference Tournament Previews:

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