The Atlantic Sun championship game pits the Jacksonville Dolphins against the Bellarmine Knights, with a ticket to the NCAA Tournament on the line. Both teams come into this game with identical conference records, as this matchup is expected to be tight throughout. In our college basketball betting picks for Tuesday, March 8, we look at Jacksonville vs Bellarmine and give you our best bet for the ASUN championship game.
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Jacksonville vs Bellarmine Betting Pick
This game will be played at Freedom Hall at 5:00 PM ET on Tuesday, March 8, 2022.
Why Bet On Jacksonville:
✅ This is a game where the teams play very different styles. Bellarmine relies heavily on its offense to win games, while Jacksonville hangs its hat on the defensive end. According to KenPom, Jacksonville has a top-100 defense, while Bellarmine can say the same about its offense. Expect the defense of Jacksonville to win the day, as the nerves of a conference title game should favor the side better on the defensive end of the floor.
✅ Bellarmine won the only matchup between these teams this season, but only did so by three points on their home floor. This game should be just as close, but Jacksonville should be able to take down the Knights on a neutral floor, without the help of the home crowd from Bellarmine to push them to the finish line.
✅ Bellarmine got just four bench points in the first meeting between these teams this season. They got a combined 54 points from CJ Fleming and Dylan Penn, which might not be sustainable in this game. Expect Jacksonville to continue to clamp down on the reserves of the Knights and to play better defense against the top two weapons for Bellarmine as well.
The Jacksonville Dolphins have used their defense to get to the championship game in the Atlantic Sun. They have beaten Central Arkansas and Jacksonville State to reach this point, holding them to an average of 60 points per game to reach the championship game. Jacksonville has allowed under 60 points per game for the season, and will need to bring one of their best defensive performances to knock off Bellarmine for the conference title and NCAA Tournament bid.
For Jacksonville, the rebounding battle will be incredibly important to their success in this matchup. They average six rebounds per game more than Bellarmine this season, and will need to secure defensive rebounds to avoid giving up second chances to a team that is superior on the offensive end.
Bellarmine played in a rare defensive struggle in their Atlantic Sun semifinal victory over the Liberty Flames. They beat Liberty 53-50 to advance to the championship game, and the Knights will be looking for a better offensive performance if they are going to collect their first ever Atlantic Sun title and trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Bellarmine is a team that relies so heavily on its starters that one has to wonder if that will be a factor after having played so many games in such a short period of time. The Knights had zero bench points against Liberty, and their lack of depth could make the difference in a conference tournament setting where they are playing a third game in four days.