Full of long abbreviations for names that you might need to look up, the WAC hasn’t taken up a ton of my time this year. Aside from learning that you can’t make spreads big enough for Chicago State, I’ve done ok just following the model when it leads me to bet UTRGV. It also begs the question, “what if you brought a team from Chicago into a West Coast league? Would they win a single road game?” Spoiler Alert: No.
When and Where: March 14th-16th at the Orleans in Vegas
Defending Champ: New Mexico State Aggies
Who’s Good: New Mexico State
Who’s Sneaky: Utah Valley State, Grand Canyon
Who Stinks Out Loud: Chicago State. 0-16 in conference, 0-19 on the road. #351 in KenPom rankings, #353 in NET rankings.
Coolest Team Nickname: University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros. Which is just a really cool way to say “Cowboys”.
Seeding and rules: Straight up 8 team bracket, at a neutral site in Vegas. Cal Baptist has to sit out as they are ineligible due to their transition from DII.
Multi-Bid League: While NMSU could end up with 12 seed in the Big Dance, they probably aren’t good enough to overcome losing this tourney. This is a winner’s in, one-bid league.
Breakdown: New Mexico State gets to start with a team that’s lost 20 straight games and then will play the winner of two teams that combined to play .500 ball in the conference. Although, to be fair to CSUB and UTRGV, they did both manage to keep it close when they hosted the Aggies. Their price is probably pretty accurate, and it’ll be hard to imagine they don’t at least make the final. They haven’t rested on their laurels and coasted into the post-season, instead winning the past 16 games and doing so by an average of 14 points. Sure, they played some shitty teams, but they beat them handily and also took care of business versus the tougher teams even on the road.
My Pick(s): Utah Valley’s odds imply that they will win this tournament 19.6% of the time, and everything I’ve run kinda disagrees with that. Even knowing the volatility of these smaller leagues, the combination of my numbers and the motivation angle for NMSU say the bet is to either not make one or lay the heavy juice. Yesterday I was fully ready to just throw their price into a two-leg parlay, but it has since come down and I stake these flat anyways, I’m just going to play it.
New Mexico State -160 (o.75x) 5Dimes