The regular season is over with and the college basketball world is in a full sprint toward March Madness and the 2019 NCAA Tournament. Something to keep in mind, however, is that you don’t need to wait until the first round begins on March 21 to get in on the NJ online sports betting action.
Before looking ahead to the NCAA Tournament, online sports betting players are keeping a close eye on college basketball conference tournaments. These league tournaments supply the 32 automatic bids to the 2019 NCAA Tournament in addition to having an effect on the rest of the field of 68.
Here, we provide odds from various NJ sportsbooks for some of the more well-known leagues including:
- Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)
- Southeastern Conference (SEC)
- Big 12 Conference
All of these conferences have more than one team capable of winning the conference title and nearly all of them will have multiple, if not several programs headed to the 2019 NCAA Tournament. Still, these tournaments inside the league at the end of the season prove crucial for bubble teams attempting to earn a bid to the dance and for teams trying to improve seeding and earn a more favorable draw to the Final Four.
Below, we will take a look at the favorites to win these conference tournaments and suggest sports betting picks for each. And to learn more sports betting tips, check out our How To Bet On Sports Guide.
*All odds are as of 3/11 at 11am*
Making An ACC Tournament Pick With FanDuel Sportsbook Odds
The Duke Blue Devils have long since been the favored team to win the 2019 NCAA Tournament, so it stands to reason that they have the lowest odds to win the ACC Tournament as well. On FanDuel Sportsbook app, online sports betting players can hae Duke at +155 in addition to Virginia at +190. Bet On The ACC Tournament At FanDuel Sportsbook!
For our NCAAB pick on the ACC Tournament, however, we are going with North Carolina at +240 on FanDuel Sportsbook. Considering the value on UNC here and the current states of Duke and Virginia, the Tar Heels could be poised for a run.
Duke’s freshman star Zion Williamson, who sustained a sprained MCL against North Carolina on February 20, is set to return for the league tournament after missing five games. Williamson’s return cements Duke’s place as favorites and makes handicapping the ACC tougher, as Duke re-acclimating its star before the NCAA Tournament could come at the expense of being in top form for the conference tournament.
In the case of picking UNC, sometimes it’s when you get hot. Comparatively to years past, North Carolina has somewhat flown under the radar. Despite going 11-1 on the road and 16-2 inside the conference (sharing the regular-season ACC championship with Virginia), it wasn’t until they beat Duke that people started to consider this team in the same conversation as the Blue Devils and Virginia. Even those two wins are somewhat tainted by some considering Duke was without Williamson.
Virginia is dominant and probably the team most deserving of garnering online sports betting wagers, but the same thing we are saying about Duke can be said for the Cavaliers. Their sights could be set squarely on getting revenge after an embarrassing exit in last year’s NCAA Tournament. That cannot happen until the bracket is made and even winning the ACC title won’t erase that.
Check out the odds on ACC teams winning the 2019 NCAA Tournament
Making An SEC Tournament Pick With SugarHouse Sportsbook Odds
The upper echelon of the SEC is one of the most interesting group of teams in the 2019 NCAA Tournament, and one of the hardest groups to predict for online sports betting players. Tennessee and Kentucky dominated for the entire season, but neither team wound up winning the league.
Despite not having its coach due to an NCAA investigation, it was LSU winning the regular-season conference title with a 16-2 mark. Even though they won the SEC, the Tigers still have the fourth-lowest odds to win the SEC Tournament at +650 on the SugarHouse Sportsbook app. The online sports betting favorites according to the odds are Tennessee (+175), Kentucky (+180), and Auburn (+300). Bet On The SEC Tournament At SugarHouse Sportsbook!
LSU may be riding high, but this NCAAB pick on the SEC Tournament may not be a spot for the underdog. The most consistent team in the conference all season has been Tennessee, and that’s our college basketball prediction for the SEC. The Volunteers are currently +175 on SugarHouse Sportsbook.
The Volunteers dominated on its home floor going 18-0, but have a game that travels as well, making them incredibly dangerous at a neutral site. Tennessee lost just three games since late November and those losses came by a combined nine points, proving Tennessee doesn’t take nights off and is nearly incapable of being blown out.
With Tennessee and Kentucky having the same odds, this feels like a complete toss-up. Both teams defended home court against the other and they could meet for a third time to decide the SEC Tournament just before March Madness gets under way. Tennessee has beaten and lost to Kentucky, LSU and Auburn, so it’s hard to say which emerges when it’s all said and done. For our money, Tennessee is the NCAAB pick.
Check out the odds on SEC teams winning the 2019 NCAA Tournament
Making A Big Ten Tournament Pick With FanDuel Sportsbook Odds
Michigan State’s second-half rally past Michigan to close the regular season certainly impacted a couple of things. First, the thrilling win over their archrival gave the Spartans a share of the regular-season conference title to split with Purdue. It also made Michigan State the online sports betting favorites heading into the Big Ten Tournament at +170 on FanDuel Sportsbook. Bet On The Big Ten Tournament At FanDuel Sportsbook!
Call it recency bias, but the Spartans at +170 is our NCAAB pick for the Big Ten Tournament. The Big Ten is strong at the top with three programs that are all pretty similar. Michigan, and Michigan State each lost one home game while Purdue went undefeated on its home floor.
With Michigan at +270 and Purdue at +330, Michigan State has caused a big of separation in the mind of oddsmakers. Prior to the end of the regular season, all three teams had pretty similar odds and we suggested putting money on the Wolverines to win the NCAA Tournament if picking a Big Ten team, but Michigan State altered that perspective.
Michigan State just dominated the Wolverines on the glass and scored 46 points in the second half. Add in that the Spartans are welcoming back Nick Ward, the team’s second-leading scorer and third-leading rebounder for the Big Ten Tournament.
Purdue earns respect and a high seed in the 2019 NCAA Tournament for its conference title. What needs to be kept in mind, however, is that Purdue went just 6-6 away from home and 4-5 against teams ranked in the AP Top 25. It may have the goods to take over March Madness, but the trends point to one of the more experienced teams in the Big Ten.
Check out the odds on Big Ten teams winning the 2019 NCAA Tournament
Making A Big East Tournament Pick Using DraftKings Sportsbook Odds
The Big East had more parity this year than at any point since realignment in 2013-14, but wound up with a similar result. Villanova won its fourth outright Big East regular-season championship in five seasons despite losing its final game. Marquette had an opportunity to capture its first-ever Big East regular-season title but lost their finale as well.
Due to the Golden Eagles’ struggles to close out games, Villanova is the smart sports betting pick at +140 on the DraftKings Sportsbook app.
A longshot like Xavier (+1200), St. John’s (+1500) or Seton Hall (no odds yet) seem like tempting plays. Each of these squads displayed incredible inconsistency, but have tons of talent and could compete in any game it plays in. There could be reason, however, to select one of the top two teams if making a sports betting pick on the Big East Tournament. Bet On The Big East Tournmanet At DraftKings Sportsbook!
As the DraftKings Sportsbook odds tell us, this is likely a two-team race. Creighton at +450 is the only team close in odds and it had to win five straight just to finish .500 in the conference. The Blue Jays are the hottest team in the conference, but are unlikely to win the tournament.
The loss to end the Big East schedule was Marquette’s fourth in a row. At times, the Golden Eagles looked like one of the best teams. Lately, they look more like a team that can’t be trusted, and is backing into the Big East Tournament on the worst way possible.
Villanova isn’t the same team that won three Big East Tournament titles in four years in addition to two NCAA Tournament championships. The good news is, the Wildcats’ roster features veterans with big-game experience both in the Big East and on the national stage. Jay Wright is still one of the best coaches in the country, and their path to the final is littered with teams they’ve had success against.
In the minds of NJ sportsbooks and oddsmakers in Las Vegas, it’s Villanova or Marquette cutting down the nets at Madison Square Garden. Out of those two, the Wildcats are the NCAAB pick for the Big East crown.
Making A Big 12 Tournament Pick With FanDuel Sportsbook Odds
The Big 12 Conference looks different this year than it has in the past because of the programs at the top of the standings. Online sports betting players will notice that for the first time since 2004, someone other than the Kansas Jayhawks are regular season champions. Texas Tech and Kansas State split the honors and those two teams plus Kansas as the odds-on favorites to win the Big 12 Tournament.
Texas Tech closed the regular season with nine straight wins and enters the league tournament as the odds-on favorite at +200, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. While the Red Raiders would possibly have to get through both Kansas and Kansas State (both at +440), Texas Tech is the free NCAAB pick to win the hardware at the Big 12 Tournament. Bet On The Big 12 Tournament At FanDuel Sportsbook!
Although the tournament is held in Kansas City, the Jayhawks’ second home, Kansas doesn’t have quite the same team we are used to seeing. Yes, they were 17-0 in their vaunted home of Lawrence Fieldhouse, but were justy 3-8 away from it and are not on Texas Tech’s level with all things equal.
Like Texas Tech, Kansas State plays tough defense and can win anywhere. The Wildcats have improved since going to the Elite Eight in last season’s NCAA Tournament and are proven as a team worth watching in March. Iowa State (+600) has tailed off of late, but has the offensive firepower to win tournament games as well.
Although there’s heavy competition in the Big 12 Tournament and the path to the finish line is a gauntlet, Texas Tech has the most complete unit and a game that travels. Red Raiders are the online sports betting pick to win the conference sharing the regular season title.
Making A Pacific-12 Tournament Pick With BetStars NJ Odds
It’s not very often that a power conference has a chance at being a one-bid league in March Madness. The fact of the matter is that it has been a down season in the Pacific-12 Conference and it has been largely overlooked this college basketball season.
As of now, only regular-season champion Washington is safely in the 2019 NCAA Tournament after going 15-3 inside the conference. If online sports betting players are looking to back the odds-on favorite to win the Pac-12 Tournament, the Huskies can be had at +200 on BetStars NJ. Bet On The Pac-12 At BetStars!
Washington may be the No. 1 seed, but our free NCAAB pick is No. 2 seed Arizona State at +350 on the BetStars app.
Washington had the best season of any Pac-12 team, but Arizona State beat the Huskies this season and has a ton to play for. Oregon is another team with +350 odds and a win over Washington, so on the surface it feels like a toss up between the Ducks and Sun Devils. Arizona State is coming into this tournament the far more desperate team, however, needing a strong performance to secure a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The Pac-12 is as unpredictable a conference as any, and has the ability to provide some memorable moments in March despite the lack of depth in the league. When it comes to sports betting on the conference tournament, take the +350 odds and go with Arizona State to steal an automatic bid.