CBB conference tournaments betting preview


March Madness officially arrives this week in college basketball as all the major conference tournaments are scheduled and then it’s Selection Sunday.

Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com

cbb-conference-tournaments-betting-previewThe ACC is considered a bit “down” this season after having three teams earn No. 1 seeds in the 2019 NCAA Tournament and Virginia winning it all for the first time in school history. The ACC has had at least one top seed in the Big Dance every year since 2014 but probably will not this year no matter what happens in the conference tournament.

That begins Tuesday in Greensboro, N.C., with first-time regular-season champion Florida State as the +245 second-favorite. The Seminoles have won the ACC Tournament once, in 2012. They did reach the final a year ago but lost to Duke (+240 favorite this year). Louisville (+290) and Virginia (+550) are the other schools with a double-bye to the quarterfinals.

The deepest conference this season has been the Big Ten, which could be looking at 10 teams in the Big Dance field depending on what happens in the conference tournament, which begins Wednesday from Indianapolis. No. 2 seed Michigan State (+325) and No. 3 Maryland (+400) are the favorites. Interesting that top seed Wisconsin is a +900 longer shot. As good as the Big Ten has been overall, there’s essentially no shot any team from it will be a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. No Big Ten team has won it all since 2000 (Michigan State).

The Big 12 Tournament starts Wednesday from Kansas City, which means it’s essentially home-court advantage for top-ranked and regular-season champion Kansas (-105). The Jayhawks have won this tournament only twice in the past six years despite their regular-season dominance. They are likely guaranteed a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament no matter what happens in K.C. Baylor (+225) is in good shape for a top seed, too, but a one-and-done might ruin that. The Bears have never won this tournament.

Also starting Wednesday is the Pac-12 Tournament from Las Vegas. No shot for a Pac-12 team to get a top seed in the Big Dance and no school from that conference has won it all since Arizona in 1997. The Wildcats are +300-second-favorites in the conference tournament behind regular-season champion Oregon (+175). Surging UCLA is +750.

Finally, the SEC Tournament begins Wednesday from Nashville with regular-season champion Kentucky the clear-cut +175 favorite. The Wildcats blew any realistic shot at a top seed in the Big Dance with last Tuesday’s 81-73 home loss to Tennessee. UK had won four straight SEC Tournaments before Auburn ended that streak in 2019. The second-seeded Tigers are +300 second-favorites.