NCAA Tournament West Region Odds: 2 Sleeper Teams To Back
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No one was surprised to see Gonzaga earn the top NCAA Tournament ranking as the overall No. 1 seed in the West region. The Bulldogs are undefeated and boast the top offense in the nation. They’re also the heavy college basketball betting favorite to win the West Region and return to the Final Four. Oddsmakers have Gonzaga as a -240 favorite to win the region, with No. 2-seed Iowa well behind at +400.
Elsewhere, Virginia has long odds at +1000 despite earning the No. 4 seed. No. 5 Creighton (+600) has better odds than the Cavs. while No. 6 USC and No. 8 Oklahoma are even with Virginia at +1000.
March Madness betting is really about having some fun and looking for sleepers.
NCAA Tournament West Region Odds
|11. Wichita State||+4000|
|14. Eastern Washington||+10000|
|15. Grand Canyon||+10000|
|16. Norfolk State||+10000|
|16. Appalachian State||+10000|
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Top West Region Sleepers
No. 11 Drake
The Bulldogs have been an excellent bet all season long. They’re an impressive 20-6-1 against the spread, best among all teams that played at least 20 games, and started the year on a run of 13 consecutive covers.
Drake has been underwhelming in recent weeks and lost a tough one to Loyola-Chicago in the Missouri Valley Tournament title game. The Bulldogs have been without two of their best players the past month, but it sounds like help is on the way.
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Junior guard Roman Penn is out for the season with a foot injury, but senior forward ShanQuan Hempill will likely return Thursday for the Bulldogs’ play-in game against Wichita State. Hempill has been out since early February and averaged 14.1 points and 6.3 rebounds prior to foot surgery, taking MVC Newcomer of the Year honors.
Hempill is on track to return and give Drake a big boost in the paint. The Bulldogs are sixth in the nation in offensive efficiency and could make a run if they’re able to get past the Shockers in the First Four. We think there’s some value on Drake at +3000.
No. 13 Ohio
The Bobcats rank 15th in offensive efficiency and are dead even with No. 4-seed Virginia in that category. Ohio also shot the lights out in the MAC Tournament, hitting on 44.8% of 3-pointers en route to the title with strong wins over Kent State, Toledo and Buffalo.
Ohio finished the season winning nine of 10 games, and we already know the Bobcats are capable of hanging with the best teams in the nation – they nearly knocked off No. 2 Illinois in a 77-75 loss back in November.
Junior guard Jason Preston scored 31 points against the Illini and is heating up again, connecting on 10 of 18 3-pointers in the MAC Tournament. If the shooters stay hot and Ohio plays like it has the past two months, we wouldn’t be stunned to see them go on a run at +4000 odds.