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NEC Tournament Odds, Picks, and Preview

Daniel Coyle

by Daniel Coyle in College Basketball

Updated Mar 2, 2022 · 9:55 PM PST

Bryant guard Peter Kiss dribbling
Bryant guard Peter Kiss (32) controls the ball against Houston during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Dec. 3, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/Justin Rex)
  • Bryant Bulldogs, Wagner Seahawks top the odds as the 2022 Northeast Conference Tournament gets into full swing
  • Defending champion Mount St. Mary’s face a huge challenge in their bid to repeat while LIU Sharks enter the tournament on a 6-0 run
  • Read on for for NEC Tournament odds and trends ahead of tip off on Wednesday night

The Northeast Conference Tournament continues in earnest on Wednesday with four games. After getting past Fairleigh Dickinson with Monday’s 67-66 win in Opening Round action, face off against the top-seeded and strongly favored Bryant Bulldogs. Expected to mount the greatest challenge to the Bulldogs in their bid for their first ever tournament title, No. 2 Wagner Seahawks battle No. 7 St. Francis (PA).

The defending champion Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers enter the tourney as the No. 4 seed, and face off against No. 5 St. Francis (NY) Terriers, while the No. 3 Long Island University Sharks ride a six-game win streak into their date with the No. 6 Sacred Heart Pioneers.

Higher-seeded teams enjoy home court advantage in this year’s tournament, with the semi-finals scheduled for Saturday March 5, with the tournament championship and a berth in the 2022 NCAA Mens Tournament being awarded in the final on Tuesday March 8.

Odds to win 2022 Northeast Conference Tournament

Team Odds
Bryant Bulldogs -110
Wagner Seahawks +125
Long Island University Sharks +600
Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers +1400
St. Francis (NY) Terriers +4000
Sacred Heart Pioneers +5000
St. Francis (PA) Red Flash +5000
Central Connecticut State Blue Devils +10000

Odds from Barstool Sportsbook on March 1, 2022.

Bulldogs, Seahawks Class of the Conference this Season

The Bryant Bulldogs and Wagner Seahawks set themselves apart from the rest of the NEC during the regular season, and that is reflected in the odds to win this year’s Northeast Conference Tournament. After riding a schedule-closing four-game win streak to the top of the NEC standings with a 16-2 SU record, the Bulldogs have emerged as strong -110 favorites to claim their first ever tourney title.

Runners up a year ago, the Bulldogs stormed out of the gate this season, going 12-1 SU through their first 13 conference outings, and undefeated on home court. Peter Kiss has been key to Bryant’s success. The senior guard leads the nation in scoring with 25.1 points per game, and has scored 30 or more in six of his past seven. However, after enduring a rough 3-6 overall start to the season that featured a crushing 111-44 loss to Houston, the Bulldogs have much to prove if they are to make a strong debut in the March Madness title odds.

A late-season slide has not helped the Wagner Seahawks, who sit second to Bryant on the NEC Tournament odds as a +125 bet. The Seahawks looked poised to top the conference standings during a sensational 13-0 SU start in conference play, and emerged as a potential No. 15 seed on SBD’s projected March Madness bracket. However, the club closed out their schedule won a two-game slide and with just two wins in their final five contests, leaving them forced to win this tourney to claim a ticket to the Big Dance.

Despite their recent slide, it is premature to count this team out. Wagner are assured to play their first two games of the tournament on home court, where they won 10 of 11 this season. The Seahawks are also undefeated against all upcoming and potential opponents through the first two rounds. The squad knocked off No. 7 St. Francis (PA), whom they face on Wednesday, by an average margin of 11.5 points in two meetings, and also swept all three dates with LIU and Sacred Heart, and added a forfeit win over the Pioneers back in December.

Mountaineers Face Long Odds to Repeat

Entering this year’s NEC tourney, the defending champion Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers lurk as an attractive +1400 bet to repeat since LIU won three in a row a decade ago. The Mountaineers have endured a tough conference campaign that began with consecutive losses by forfeit, and ended on a 2-4 SU run. Those hardships continue with a quarter-final matchup with St. Francis (NY), to whom they’ve lost four of five, followed with a likely rematch with a Bryant squad seeking vengeance.

Conversely, the Long island University Sharks continue to sport eye-catching +600 odds despite opening the tournament on a current conference-high six-game SU win streak that features victories over Bryant and the Mountaineers. Eral Penn has powered the attack. The senior big man is coming off a season-high 37-point performance in last week’s 94-77 win over Fairleigh Dickinson, and has scored 24 or more points in four of six outings. Indeed, the Sharks are peaking at the right time, and could ultimately emerge as an intriguing value bet in the March Madness region odds.

The Pick: LIU Sharks (+600)

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