NCAAB Conference Tournament Odds Roundup: The Show Must Go On
By: Travis Pulver
The threat of the coronavirus caused the Ivy League to cancel their tournaments and prompted the MAC and Big West to close their games to the public. But as far as the major conferences are concerned, the show must—and will – go on as scheduled.
While several of the smaller conference tournaments are already in progress or finished, the major conferences will be getting started soon. So, if you already haven’t bet on a winner, there is still time.
Should you just go with the team that has the best record? Or maybe the one ranked highest in the top-25? Those guys will be favored (probably) and have the best odds, so it makes sense to pick them. But favorites tend to win only about 50 percent of the time while underdogs often get overlooked.
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ACC Tournament Odds
Favorites: Florida State (+200), Duke (+225), Louisville (+325), Virginia (+700),
Florida State earned the right to be the No. 1 seed after winning the regular-season title. But Virginia, Duke, and Louisville were only a game back. However, Florida State has losses to Duke and Virginia this season.
Virginia will be entering the tournament riding an eight-game winning streak that includes wins over Louisville and Duke. Louisville has lost four of their last seven, including one to Virginia and Florida State. Duke is 3-3 in their last six but is still the choice of many experts.
Big Ten Tournament Odds
Favorites: Michigan State (+350), Maryland (+350), Wisconsin (+400), Michigan (+600), Iowa, Ohio State, Penn State (+800), Illinois +1400
The Big Ten is one of the more competitive conferences with six teams ranked and a three-way tie for first as the regular season finished. Wisconsin ended up winning the tiebreakers and will be the No. 1 seed going into the Big Ten tourney.
With the conference being hard-fought during the regular season, the experts are all over the place with their predictions. Michigan State is getting the nod from most with Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, and Ohio State also getting picked. The Badgers will enter tournament play on an eight-game winning streak.
Pac-12 Tournament Odds
Favorites: Oregon (+190), Arizona (+350), Colorado (+400), UCLA (+700), Arizona State (+800)
Oregon enters the tournament as the No. 1 seed, but the Pac-12 could end up being one of the more competitive tournaments in the country. While the Ducks clinched the regular-season title with a convincing win over Stanford, they have lost three of their last nine, including one to Stanford and Arizona State.
Before losing their regular-season finale to USC, UCLA had won their last seven. Arizona State ended the season with a win but lost three of their last four. Arizona struggled down the stretch losing four of their last five. Colorado lost five of its last seven.
Big 12 Tournament Odds
Favorites: Kansas (+110), Baylor (+300), West Virginia (+400), Texas Tech (+800)
As usual, Kansas will enter the tournament as the team to beat and the No.1 seed. More than likely, it will come down to the Jayhawks and the Baylor Bears. Expert predictions are primarily split between Kansas and Baylor.
However, Baylor did recently take down the Bears, and Texas Tech did give Kansas a heck of a fight in both regular-season matchups.
SEC Tournament Odds
Favorites: Kentucky +175, Auburn +280, LSU +500, Florida +700
The Kentucky Wildcats enter the tournament with a narrow win over Florida to follow a bad game and loss to Tennessee. But before that, they had won eight in a row. Auburn cooled off as the season went on after a hot start losing four of their last seven. LSU struggled down the stretch losing six of their last ten. Florida lost three of their last five, including two to Kentucky.
Most experts are picking Kentucky, but some are taking Florida and Auburn as well.
A-10 Tournament Odds
Favorites: Dayton (-305), Rhode Island (+500), Richmond (+1000), Saint Louis (+1800)
Dayton is the No. 3 team in the country and undefeated in conference play. Richmond will enter the tournament playing well with wins in nine of their last ten. Rhode Island has lost four of its last seven, including two bad losses to Dayton.
Saint Louis did give Dayton a good fight in both regular-season games losing one by two in overtime and the other by six. The experts are picking Dayton, of course.
Big East Tournament Odds
Favorites: Villanova (+250), Creighton (+350), Butler (+400), Marquette (+500), Providence (+600)
The regular season ended with Creighton, Seton Hall (no odds given for New Jersey teams), and Villanova tied for first. But Creighton ended up getting the No.1 seed in the tournament. Experts have favored Villanova and Creighton with Seton Hall and Providence getting nods as well.
Creighton ended the season with a clutch win over Seton Hall but suffered losses during the season to Providence, Villanova, and Butler. Villanova won seven of their last eight but recorded losses to Creighton, Butler, Seton Hall, and Providence in their last 11. Providence ended the season with a nice six-game winning streak, including wins over Seton Hall, Marquette, and Villanova.
AAC Tournament Odds
Favorites: Houston (+190), Cincinnati +350, Wichita State +400, Memphis +650, Tulsa +650
Houston is the clear favorite amongst the experts, but the Cougars struggled down the stretch losing three of their last six. Tulsa received nods from a few experts but lost four of their last ten (like Houston), including games to Wichita State and the Cougars. Cincinnati finished the season winning ten of their last thirteen.
Wichita State ended the season with a win over Tulsa but recorded losses to the other favorites since February 1. Memphis struggled down the stretch losing five of their last nine.