Las Vegas Sun

July 31, 2014

Currently: 87° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Odds and picks for the remaining college basketball conference tournaments

Image

Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

New Mexico head coach Steve Alford cuts down the net after the Lobos defeated San Diego State in the Mountain West Conference tournament championship game 68-59 Saturday, March 10, 2012 at the Thomas & Mack Center.

It doesn’t pay, generally speaking, to bet favorites in college basketball this week.

That should be about as surprising as Kansas winning another conference title or Steve Alford bemoaning the Mountain West tournament being held at the Thomas & Mack Center by now. They call this month madness for a reason.

The upsets that give March its identity come in no greater wave than in the seven top conference tournaments, all of which tip off over the next two days.

Consider that over the past five years, favorites have only covered more than underdogs in one of those conference tournaments — the Pac-12, where favorites have covered 54 percent of the time with a 25-21 record.

That is outweighed by conferences like the ACC, where underdogs are 32-21-3 since 2008 for 60 percent, and the Mountain West, where underdogs have covered 59 percent with a 23-16 clip.

It’s something worth keeping in mind before prancing up to the betting window with a parlay full of chalk. But single games are not the purpose of this post.

Click to enlarge photo

Fans fill the court after Minnesota defeated Indiana 77-73 in an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013, in Minneapolis.

Click to enlarge photo

Florida guard Kenny Boynton (1) gets ahead of Kentucky forward Nerlens Noel (3) after getting possession of the ball and heads down court with teammate Patric Young (4) close behind during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Gainesville, Fla., Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013.

Conference-tournament future odds are the subject at hand. Prices to win all of the remaining tournaments from the LVH Superbook are listed below.

Betting favorites to win major conference tournaments hasn’t worked out too well, either. The Big Ten is the only conference where the No. 1 seed has won more than twice in the last five years, as the regular-season champion has prevailed four times.

Things get particularly zany in the Mountain West, SEC and Pac-12. The top team hasn’t captured the Mountain West tournament crown for seven straight years. It’s been a similar five-year drought in the Pac-12, a span where two No. 6 seeds have won.

The average seed to win the SEC tournament over the past five years is No. 5. Finding the right mid-priced team to wager on has been a winning strategy.

I’ll attempt to do that for the 2013 slate below, bolding my favorite bet in each of the seven premier conference tournaments. It’s far from profitable to bet all these tournaments in the long run, so most of these picks aren’t made with much confidence.

As always, I’m looking for spots to extract value and not necessarily going with my pick to win the tournament. For instance, I doubt Minnesota takes the Big Ten trophy in Chicago.

But if the capable Golden Gophers get past Illinois and upset Indiana, which they’ve already done once the season, it sets up hedging potential. And, trust me, it took a good bit of self control, and probably a foolish choice, to not contradict all that I just wrote to take vastly superior Florida as a big favorite to win the SEC.

ACC Tournament

No. 2 seed Duke — -120

No. 1 seed Miami — +225

No. 3 seed North Carolina — +450

No. 5 seed North Carolina State — +550

No. 4 seed Virginia — +900

Field — +1000

Big East Tournament

No. 2 seed Louisville — +125

No. 1 seed Georgetown — +400

No. 4 seed Pittsburgh — +500

No. 5 seed Syracuse — +500

No. 3 seed Marquette — +800

No. 6 seed Notre Dame — +1200

No. 7 seed Villanova — +2000

No. 9 seed Cincinnati — +2000

No. 8 seed Providence — +3000

No. 10 seed Saint John's — +6000

Field — +2500

Big Ten Tournament

No. 1 seed Indiana — +120

No. 2 seed Ohio State — +350

No. 3 seed Michigan State — +400

No. 5 seed Michigan — +400

No. 4 seed Wisconsin — +800

No. 9 seed Minnesota — +2000

No. 6 seed Iowa — +2500

No. 8 seed Illinois — +2500

Field — +2500

Big 12 Tournament

No. 1 seed Kansas — -130

No. 2 seed Kansas State — +400

No. 3 seed Oklahoma State — +500

No. 4 seed Oklahoma — +800

No. 5 seed Iowa State — +800

No. 6 seed Baylor — +800

Field — +1500

Mountain West Tournament

No. 3 seed UNLV — +150

No. 1 seed New Mexico — +200

No. 4 seed San Diego State — +350

No. 2 seed Colorado State — +400

No. 5 seed Boise State — +800

No. 6 seed Air Force — +3000

No. 7 seed Fresno State — +3000

Field — +5000

Pac-12 Tournament

No. 4 seed Arizona — +150

No. 1 seed UCLA — +300

No. 3 seed Oregon — +600

No. 2 seed California — +600

No. 8 seed Stanford — +600

No. 5 seed Colorado — +700

No. 6 seed Washington — +1800

No. 9 seed Arizona State — +1800

Field — +2500

SEC Tournament

No. 1 seed Florida — -200

No. 6 seed Missouri — +600

No. 2 seed Kentucky — +700

No. 3 seed Ole Miss — +1000

No. 4 seed Alabama — +1200

No. 7 seed Arkansas — +1500

No. 5 seed Tennessee — +1800

No. 8 seed Georgia — +3500

No. 9 seed LSU — +3500

No. 10 seed Vanderbilt — +3500

Field — +2000

Atlantic 10 Tournament

No. 1 seed Saint Louis — +200

No. 2 seed Virginia Commonwealth — +200

No. 3 seed Temple — +600

No. 4 seed La Salle — +600

No. 5 seed Butler — +600

Field — +300

Big Sky Tournament

No. 1 seed Montana — -110

No. 2 seed Weber State — -110

Field — +425

Big West Tournament

No. 2 seed Pacific — +225

No. 1 seed Long Beach State — +300

No. 4 seed Cal-Irvine — +350

No. 3 seed Cal Poly — +400

No. 8 seed Cal-State Fullerton — +800

No. 5 seed Hawaii — +800

No. 6 seed Cal Davis — +1000

No. 7 seed Cal Santa Barbara — +1000

Conference USA Tournament

No. 1 seed Memphis — -120

No. 2 seed Southern Miss — +225

No. 3 seed UTEP — +600

No. 5 seed Tulsa — +800

No. 4 seed East Carolina — +1200

Field — +600

Southland Tournament

No. 1 seed Stephen F. Austin — -140

No. 2 seed Northwestern State — +300

No. 3 seed Oral Roberts — +300

No. 4 seed Southeast Louisiana — +1800

Field — +550

WAC Tournament

No. 2 seed Denver — -125

No. 1 seed Louisiana Tech — +350

No. 3 seed New Mexico State — +400

No. 5 seed Utah State — +600

No. 4 seed Texas-Arlington — +1200

No. 6 seed Idaho — +1500

Field — +3000

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy