College Basketball Conference Tournament Value Bets
We’re just a few days away from Selection Sunday and that means it is time for the bigger conference tournaments to begin. Move over Atlantic Sun and Summit, it is time for the big boys to get started (minus the Ivy League). Here are a few teams from some big conferences that provide bettors with some excellent betting value to win their respective conference tournaments.
Richmond +600 – The Richmond Spiders finished second in the A-10 regular season standings. The Spiders are scoring 75.3 points per game and allowing just 66.8 per game. KenPom has the Spiders ranked 53rd and 54th in offensive and defensive efficiency respectively. Richmond has the makeup of a Sweet 16 team. They can score from anywhere on the court and they play solid defense to back it up.
Saint Louis +1000 – Saint Louis enters the A-10 tournament on a five-game winning streak. Hot teams are dangerous this time of year and the Billikens are just that after five blowout victories. Saint Louis plays excellent defense, allowing just 65.2 points per game (59th-best). They are also a very good rebounding team and between that and their defense they can win any type of game. Free throws are an issue which could cost them games late but this team could certainly give Dayton and others a run for their money.
Rhode Island +1000 (My Pick) – Rhode Island was a bit of a surprise team this season, finishing a solid third in the A-10 and while winning 21 games overall. The Rams like to play fast-paced basketball but they are also an excellent defensive team. Rhode Island’s defense is what gives them an excellent chance of winning this tournament, especially considering they are getting 10-1 odds. Scoring has been an issue at times this year but as long as they knock down a fair amount of shots against the better teams, Rhode Island could steal the A-10 from heavy favorite Dayton.
Colorado +600 –The Colorado Buffaloes are allowing the 34th-fewest points per game in the country. KenPom has the Buffs ranked 25th in defensive efficiency and 49th in offensive efficiency. Colorado has two deadly traits for this time of year in an excellent defense and the ability to hit threes. A solid lineup that features plenty of talent, the Buffs are live to win a wide open PAC-12 tourney.
USC +1000 – USC is another strong defensive team. They are allowing the 79th-fewest points per game and hold their opponents to the ninth-lowest FG% in the country. With a defensive efficiency ranking in the top 20, USC is capable of making a run in the PAC-12 tournament. They have the ability to shoot threes as well which also gives them a chance in any game.
Washington +3500 – Washington finished the season below .500 but this team isn’t as bad as their record would suggest. The Huskies finished their season winning three of their last four games. Despite their record, KenPom has Washington as the 53rd-best team in the country. This shows how good this team is and can be. They have the 32nd-ranked defensive efficiency and a respectable 111th offensive efficiency. At +3500, this sub .500 team is better than you may think.
Arizona State +1000 (My Pick) – Fast tempo and a solid defense, that is what you get with Arizona State. The Sun Devils are 14th in tempo which can give slower-paced teams fits. Arizona State has an excellent coach in Bobby Hurley that preaches defense. The Sun Devils will go as far as Remy Martin will take them (19.1 PPG) but the sky’s the limit if he can play his best basketball. This is a team to watch out for not only in this tournament but also the NCAA Tournament.
Illinois+800 – Illinois finished the season 21-10 but when you play in the best conference in the country, that is a solid season. KenPom has the Illini in the top 40 in both offensive and defensive efficiency. Solid rebounding and a defense that is allowing the 65th-fewest points per game in the country is a solid recipe for success this time of year.
Purdue +2000 – Purdue has had a disappointing season but they have shown their potential a number of times this season. Playing for their NCAA tournament life, the Boilermakers will be forced to play their best basketball right now and maybe that extra fire is just what this team needs. Only 16-15 this season, Purdue is still ranked 24th in KenPom. A 52nd-ranked offensive efficiency and 11th-ranked defensive efficiency, Purdue has the size and talent to give any team trouble.
Indiana +7500 – Indiana finished 10th in the conference which is why their odds are so high. However, this team is capable of beating any team in this conference. Indiana features a very good defense and a respectable offense. If the Hoosiers can shoot more consistently, they will be a serious threat with that defense.
Michigan State +250 (My Pick) – Michigan State has had a down season by their standards but the Spartans are still an excellent team in an excellent conference. Ranking seventh in KenPom, the Spartans have the experience and the coaching to lead them all the way in this tournament and the NCAA Tournament. Ranking inside the top 13 in both offensive and defensive efficiency, the Spartans can beat you a number of ways. Cassius Winston is one of the best players in the country and can take over a game if needed. Don’t sleep on the Spartans.
West Virginia +700 – Bob Huggins has always been big on coaching defense and he has done well again this year, coaching West Virginia to the third-best defense according to KenPom. They are allowing the 16th-fewest points per game in the country and they are also the best offensive rebounding team in the nation. Scoring has been their kryptonite but defense outweighs offense this time of year. If the Mountaineers can find a way to knock down a couple more shots they could challenge Kansas and Baylor for the Big 12 title.
Texas Tech +700 – Texas Tech lost some key players from last season’s title-game run. They still have that elite defense that is allowing the 30th-fewest points per game. They ended their season with four losses but you can be sure that head coach Chris Beard will have this team ready for tournament time. Texas Tech is a very good shooting team and a strong defensive team. They rank 47th offensively and ninth defensively in efficiency on KenPom. The Red Raiders could make another deep tournament run this season.
Baylor +300 (My Pick) – For weeks Baylor was the only #1 team that could seem to hold onto that ranking. The Bears defense is arguably the best in the country. They are fourth in defensive efficiency and are allowing the seventh-fewest points per game in the country. Scoring has been an issue for Bayor at times but with that defense, they can hold any team in the country to low 50s, which gives them a chance to win every game. The Bears are a solid three-point shooting team despite their scoring woes. If Baylor can hit their threes, no team in the country can stop them.