SEC and Pac 12 Odds
March 14, 2013
When it comes to football season, the Pac-12 and the SEC are the talk of the town, but in basketball circles you don't get much hyperbole. It didn't help that Kentucky's Nerlens Noel had to sit for the second half of the season after a terrible injury. What have the Pac-12 and SEC Tournaments got in store for us?
For one, they've got great betting numbers. These tournaments are due to kick off any minute now so get your bets in as soon as possible. Best of luck.
PAC-12 TOURNAMENT ODDS
As you probably expected, the Arizona Wildcats are the leading favorite to win the Pac-12 Tournament at +180. This is strange for a few reasons, the first being that they haven't actually won the tournament in over a decade. Secondly, Arizona isn't even the best team in this conference. They were certainly the most consistent but that's because the preseason favorite in this conference had to deal with some shenanigans.
Maybe I should call them Shabazzigans?
Shabazz Muhammad was part of a deep recruiting class that made the UCLA Bruins the talk of college basketball during preseason. A suspension surrounding his recruitment halted any real momentum, but the Bruins were able to pick up the slack upon his return and find the team chemistry required to be a winning team down the stretch. UCLA went on a strong 5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS run to end the season and claim the Pac-12 regular season title outright.
Right now the Bruins have very tempting +350 odds in CarbonSports' college tournament futures. This is highway robbery for gamblers. Arizona is a very good team, but UCLA is simply a much better bet. They were the most competitive team down the stretch and also toppled the Wildcats 74-69 just two weeks ago. UCLA should be on a tear to prove that they have been the favorite all season.
Strangely, the best team in terms of betting was Utah which held an 18-9-1 ATS record on the season. You can bet on them to some how stun the Pac-12 Tournament odds by taking the field at +2500. With so many teams in the fold, including defending champion Colorado at +800, it's not a great idea to split the difference with the lackluster field.
There are some intriguing plays, including Oregon at +700, but the best bet is on the UCLA Bruins. They are playing the best basketball heading in to the Pac-12 Championship and are showing glimpses of why there was so much hype surrounding them back before the season started.
SEC TOURNAMENT ODDS
The Florida Gators became the defacto favorites in the SEC as soon as Nerlens Noel went down with a season ending injury, seemingly ending Kentucky's chance at repeating as champions. It would have been easy for Florida to remind everyone that they're the SEC favorites if they hadn't lost at Kentucky in the season finale. In fact, the main reason that Florida's -160 SEC Championship odds aren't worth touching is because they play so horribly on the road. Unless the tournament is moved from Nashville to Gainesville in the next ten minutes, you can't bank on team that went 1-4 SU and ATS when playing away from home. You just can't.
There is sentiment that Kentucky can rise again, as they say, after finding the resolve necessary to move on from Noel's saddening injury. Kentucky did go 4-3 SU and 3-4 ATS in the 7 games without their star center, but they have a glaring issue with their recent record that might make the Wildcats +700 odds even harder to swallow. They're 4-7 SU and 3-8 ATS in their 11 road games this season, which includes four straight losses while travelling. I have faith in Calipari and his young guns, so at 7-to-1 you'll definitely see a few flyer bets go on, but this is not the basket the majority of my eggs will land in.
Speaking of flyer bets, how about the Tennessee Volunteers at +1200? The Vols ended the year at 8-2 SU and ATS in their last 10 games of the season, far and away the best record to conclude an SEC season this year. No team is playing better ball right now and they have picked up wins over Florida and Kentucky already.
The Missouri Tigers at +600, who won the Big 12 Championship, last year before migrating to the SEC, are the best bet in the conference in terms of value and odds of winning. They're a resoundingly underappreciated tournament performer and I'm betting Phil Pressey is the type of player who responds well to the one-and-done pressure.
If strategy is your game, the best way to spread your money is with a flyer on the Volunteers before making a choice between Missouri and Florida. This is a very wide open conference, with teams like Georgia still in the mix, so it may be wise to properly balance your bets around two or three contenders. I like Missouri to win the tournament outright, but I also love the way Tennessee has played down the stretch. Both teams have great numbers to bank on.
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