2021 NCAA conference tournaments best bets: Back streaking Oregon


Conference tournament week is the perfect prelude to the NCAA Tournament. It’s upwards of 12 hours of wall-to-wall college basketball coverage that is going to be full of every sports betting emotion imaginable. Think of it like a warmup to the Big Dance.

Most major conference tournaments start on Wednesday and will go through the week with other mid-majors in action as well.

In the spirit of picking tournament winners, let’s try and hit on a few conference outrights, shall we?

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ACC Tournament - Florida State +260 (DraftKings Sportsbook)

Florida State limped to the finish line of the regular season, dropping two of their final three, but I still see this team as the best team in the ACC.

I also like the path for the Seminoles in the ACC Tournament.

A likely quarterfinal matchup with Duke or Louisville presents a favorable matchup for FSU.

They blitzed Louisville in the team’s only meeting of the season. Meanwhile, the Noles defense should have enough to slow down Duke wing Matthew Hurt and make the Blue Devils pay on the other end.

A rematch with North Carolina looms in a potential semifinal meeting. While the Tar Heels were able to storm back from double digits on February 27 to beat Florida State, I don’t see history repeating itself.

The Noles interior defense should shut down UNC’s frontcourt and force a poor perimeter shooting team into a lot of shots from beyond the arc.

Big East Tournament - Connecticut +235 (DraftKings Sportsbook)

These odds have fallen over the past week as UConn continues to play high level basketball while the rest of the Big East’s elite have taken a step back. At these odds, I still show value on the Huskies to leave Madison Square Garden with the trophy.

First, the Huskies bracket seems much more manageable, with dangerous and desperate teams like Seton Hall and St. John’s on the other end. The Huskies will likely have to go through Providence and Creighton to make the Big East title game, where they may be favored.

Creighton was able to win both matchups against Connecticut this season, but after coach Greg McDermott was suspended by the school last week, who knows what kind of shape the roster will be in. Factor that in with the injury to Villanova guard Collin Gillepse, and Connecticut is in the best shape of the three.

James Bouknight raises UConn's ceiling with his shot making. Since the guard returned from injury, the team has won five of six.

The Huskies are inside the KenPom top 30 in both offensive and defensive efficiency, and may be a darkhorse Final 4 team with their current play. We are catching this team at the right time.

AAC Tournament - Wichita State +300 (FanDuel)

If you look at the AAC bracket, the draw is set up nicely for the No. 1 seed Shockers.

If Wichita can get out of the quarterfinals where they will be about a double digit-point favorite, they will either face an underwhelming Cincinnati team or SMU, who hasn’t played since February 8th.

If the team makes the finals, Wichita will get the winner of a hotly contested Houston-Memphis game, barring an upset before that.

The Shockers winning the American Athletic Conference was no fluke. The team won seven straight to close out the regular season, including a win over Houston.

Wichita does a great job at limiting mistakes and maximizing opportunities, placing top 50 in turnover and free throw rate.

These odds feel high for a team that is going to have a nice draw to get to the AAC final.

PAC-12 Tournament - Oregon +310 (FanDuel)

The No. 1 seed in the tournament has the third lowest odds at +310? Something doesn’t add up.

The Ducks have won 10 of their past 11 games and avoid the two toughest opponents in the bracket. USC and Colorado are on the other side and on a collision course for a semifinal matchup, while Oregon is set to face UCLA, who they beat last week.

If there is a knock on Oregon right now, it's fatigue.

After playing three games in a one-month span due to COVID-19 protocols, the Ducks have played 6 games in the past two weeks.

With a condensed tournament schedule, Oregon may run out of gas in Las Vegas, but this price is too good to pass up on a team this hot.

Reed is a native of New Jersey and graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a die-hard Brooklyn Nets fan and always believes the spread has a chance of covering. You can follow Reed on Twitter @ReedWallach for more commentary.