- Breaking down odds for matchups in the Pac-12, SEC, AAC and Ivy League tournaments.
The Pac-12 and SEC may not have gotten as much love as the ACC and Big 12 during the regular season, but they can certainly change that now that March Madness has finally arrived.
With conference tournaments tipping off across the country and the Big Dance right around the corner, Pac-12 betting favorites like the Oregon Ducks, UCLA Bruins and Arizona Wildcats plus the SEC’s Kentucky Wildcats and Florida Gators all have the potential to go deep and will be joined by others in their leagues this Sunday.
In the Pac-12, the top-seeded Ducks (27-4, 16-2 Pac-12) are the defending tournament champions and are small +160 favorites (bet $100 to win $160) at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Oregon has won eight of nine to go along with a 6-2-1 mark against the spread.
But the third-seeded Bruins (28-3, 15-3) are right behind Oregon at +170 as the hottest team in the conference heading into Las Vegas with a nine-game winning streak (4-5 ATS). The second-seeded Wildcats are +265, and they have won six of their last seven (3-4 ATS).
The SEC has been down overall this year, although Kentucky (26-5, 16-2 SEC) may be a solid value pick to advance far in the NCAA Tournament with freshman Malik Monk. The top-seeded Wildcats are +100 favorites to win their third consecutive conference tournament while the second-seeded Gators (24-7, 14-4) are a strong second choice at +165.
The fourth-seeded South Carolina Gamecocks (22-9, 12-6) and third-seeded Arkansas Razorbacks (23-8, 12-6) are also expected to get invites to the Big Dance but will first look to pull off upsets at +900 and +1400 to win this tournament, respectively.
Another conference that is similarly top-heavy is the AAC with the top-seeded SMU Mustangs (27-4, 17-1 AAC) and second-seeded Cincinnati Bearcats (27-4, 16-2) clearly the cream of the crop. The Mustangs are slight +125 favorites to win the conference tournament while the Bearcats could not be much closer at +135.
Finally, the Ivy League is holding its first-ever conference tournament this weekend with a pair of semifinal matchups scheduled for Saturday at The Palestra in Philadelphia. The top-seeded Princeton Tigers (21-6, 14-0 Ivy League) are heavy -135 favorites to earn the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament on Sunday.