CBB Picks: Take Liberty, Marshall in Mid-Major Regular-Season Finales

The Atlantic Sun will be the first men's basketball league to start its conference tournament on Monday.

Before the event begins, the mid-major league needs a No. 1 seed.

Liberty and Kennesaw State are locked at 14-3 and they both need victories on Friday night to secure at least a share of the regular-season title. Kennesaw State would get the No. 1 seed if the two sides are tied because of a head-to-head win over the Flames.

The two A-Sun powers should win their respective games on Friday, and they are expected to continue their over 50 percent cover rates.

Kennesaw's 17-9-1 against the spread mark and Liberty's 15-11-1 ATS record are impressive, but they are not as good as the team directly beneath them in the standings. Stetson is 17-7-2 ATS and the Hatters can finish off a remarkable covering run at home on Friday night.

The Sun Belt will also conclude its regular season on Friday. Marshall and Southern Miss are locked at 13-4 as well and both sides need to win on the road to at least finish in the top two. Marshall owns the tiebreaker.

The Thundering Herd and Golden Eagles both have a cover rate over 60 percent, so you guessed it, we're going with them one more time with elevated stakes on the line .

Friday CBB Picks

Overall Record: 145-146-8

Queens University at Liberty (-15.5) (7 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

Liberty has to take care of its own business before it can focus on Kennesaw State's result.

The good news for the Flames is they should cruise to victory at home against Queens University.

Liberty is an elite home team. It won all eight of its Atlantic Sun home games by double figures with an average margin of victory of 23.4.

Queens just lost to the Flames at home by eight points and they could suffer a worse fate against a tough team to remain close with inside its own building with extra motivation on its plate.

Kennesaw State (-9.5) at Central Arkansas (8 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

Kennesaw State needs a win to lock in the No. 1 seed in the Atlantic Sun regardless of what Liberty does.

That should be an easy task for the Owls against the worst team in the A-Sun.

The Owls beat Central Arkansas by 16 points in their first meeting, and covered a 10-point spread in the process. UCA is 2-5 ATS in its last seven games as it limps to the finish line.

Lipscomb at Stetson (-1.5) (7 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

Stetson is the third best team in the A-Sun behind Liberty and Kennesaw State.

But the Hatters are the superior team against the spread. In fact, Cal State Fullerton is the only team with a better ATS winning percentage in Division I.

Stetson has won six of its last seven games outright, and it faces a Lipscomb team that suffered five of its seven conference losses on the road.

All of Stetson's home wins in A-Sun play have been by more than two points, so if it wins, it will likely cover.

Marshall (-3) at Old Dominion (7 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

Marshall is 6-3 ATS in its last nine games.

The Thundering Herd need a win over Old Dominion to be the top seed in the Sun Belt tournament.

They enter Friday on a five-game winning streak with four wins of at least nine points. Old Dominion is a soild team in its own right, but it is 2-3 straight up against the top four Sun Belt teams.

Marshall beat the Monarchs by eight points, and there is a distinct difference in two-point shooting between the two sides. Marshall ranks 33rd on KenPom in two-point offense, while ODU is 307th.

Southern Miss (-3) at Texas State (8 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

Southern Miss is in a better position on paper to win on Friday against a Texas State squad that is 6-11 in the Sun Belt.

The Golden Eagles are chasing Marshall because they lost their last two road games, but I think we see a reversal of that trend on Friday.

Southern Miss averages nine points per game more than Texas State on offense, and its defense allows 2.1 fewer points per game.

Southern Miss held Texas State to 58 points in their first meeting, and like the Marshall game, there is a gap over 200 places in two-point offense between the two sides on KenPom.

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