The Longwood Lancers (25-6) face the Winthrop Eagles (23-8) Sunday in the Big South Conference championship game. Tip-off from Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte is scheduled for noon ET (ESPN2). Below, we look at the Longwood vs. Winthrop odds and lines, and make our expert college basketball picks, predictions and bets.
The top-seeded Lancers rolled through their first two tourney games. They topped North Carolina A&T 79-65 in overtime – outscoring the Aggies 16-2 in OT – to cover as 6.5-point favorites in a quarterfinal, and beat ousted USC Upstate 79-70, also as 6.5-point faves, in a Saturday semifinal. Both games cashed Over tickets.
The second-seeded Eagles dispatched High Point 68-51 in a quarterfinal and Gardner-Webb 76-67 in a semifinal. They covered both spreads, -4.5 and -7, respectively, while posting a 1-1 Over/Under mark.
Longwood (15-1 Big South regular season) and Winthrop (14-2) met just once in this season with the Lancers winning at home 92-88 and covering as 2.5-point favorites. The Over (142.5) comfortably connected.
See also: Ferris Mowers Coaches Poll powered by USA TODAY Sports
Longwood vs. Winthrop odds, spread and lines
Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 7:23 a.m. ET.
Money line: Longwood +100 (bet $100 to win $100) | Winthrop -120 (bet $120 to win $100)
Against the spread (ATS): Longwood +1.5 (-120) | Winthrop -1.5 (-105 )
Over/Under (O/U): 146.5 (O: -112 | U: -108)
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Longwood vs. Winthrop odds, lines, picks and predictions
Winthrop 84, Longwood 80
Longwood has dominated all season in the Big South, but WINTHROP (-120) is the play to win outright and lock up this automatic bid.
The Eagles entered this conference tourney as the only legitimate threat to the Lancers, although NC A&T certainly put a scare into Longwood in the quarterfinals.
The fact this game is played in Charlotte, just a quick ride up from Winthrop’s home of Rock Hill, S.C., should lead to a pro-Eagles crowd. That should help get the Eagles over the hump for a victory.
Against the spread
WINTHROP -1.5 (-105) failed to cover in the 4-point loss at Longwood in the only regular-season meeting between the two.
The Eagles certainly would have liked a crack at the Lancers on their home hardwood during the regular season. Now, they must settle for the next best thing, which is a neutral-floor game in Charlotte, just a short drive from campus.
Winthrop is 8-2 ATS across the past 10 games, and playing really well lately. Look for the Eagles to return the favor from Game 1 and grab the cover here.
The OVER 146.5 (-112) is the lean. While Winthrop hit the Under in its two Big South tourney games, it closed the regular season on a 4-0 Over run, going for 81 or more points in each game.
Longwood cashed the Over in each of its Big South tourney games and enters on a 5-1 Over streak in the past six outings.
These teams combined for 180 total points in their first meeting, too.
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