David Caraviello for Bookies.com

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NCAA Basketball Conference Tournament 2019 Betting Guide

NCAA Basketball Conference Tournament 2019 Betting Guide
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No need to wait — March Madness is all around us, even now. Conference tournament week offers some of the best and most desperate basketball the college game has to offer, with power teams trying to solidify high NCAA seeds and bubble teams trying to avoid falling off.

Not even the opening two rounds of the NCAA Tournament offers such a dizzying array of options, from noon to midnight and from coast to coast. For bettors, conference tournament betting is a plate of heavy appetizers before the main course arrives next week. Grab a napkin and dig in as we break down college basketball betting the major tournaments this week.

AAC

Best Bet

Houston (+105 at SugarHouse) at 29-2 amassed more wins than any other Division I program.

Best Value Bet

Central Florida (+400 at SugarHouse), which stunned Houston on its home floor just two weeks ago.

Best Long Shot

Memphis (+1600 at SugarHouse), which won four of its last five and will play the tournament on its home floor.

Houston should continue rolling, but Central Florida is dangerous.
Houston should continue rolling, but Central Florida is dangerous.

ACC

Best Bet

North Carolina (+200 at SugarHouse), which lost to top seed Virginia, but has become more well-rounded offensively and is still soaring from its season sweep of Duke.

Best Value Bet

Duke (+175 at SugarHouse), which is the No. 3 seed but could again be the best team in the nation if Zion Williamson returns from injury.

Best Long Shot

Florida State (+2000 at SugarHouse), the league’s best team behind the big three at the top, and riding a four-game winning streak.

Chances are one of the two eternal rivals will come out on top.
Chances are one of the two eternal rivals will come out on top.

Atlantic 10

Best Bet

VCU (-106 at SugarHouse) has won 12 straight games since its last loss in early February.

Best Value Bet

Davidson (+350 at SugarHouse) beat the Rams in their only meeting, and runs a system under coach Bob McKillop that can compete with anyone.

Best Long Shot

Rhode Island (+2500 at SugarHouse) was the last team to beat VCU, and enters on a four-game winning streak.

12 wins should turn into 16 heading into the NCAA tournament.
12 wins should turn into 16 heading into the NCAA tournament.

Big East

Best Bet

Marquette (+180 at DraftKings) split with top seed Villanova, endured fewer peaks and valleys than the Wildcats, and has a scorer in Markus Howard capable of taking over the tournament.

Best Value Bet

Xavier (+1200 at DraftKings) rebounded from a rocky start with a finish that included a victory over Villanova and two wins over NCAA candidate St. John’s.

Best Long Shot

Georgetown (+1400 at DraftKings) beat both Villanova and Marquette down the stretch, and played itself into NCAA consideration by winning four of its last five.

Marquette dropped a few games late, but is still the heavy favorite.
Marquette dropped a few games late, but is still the heavy favorite.

Big Ten

Best Bet

Michigan State (+120 at DraftKings) swept Michigan and won seven of its last eight to earn the tournament’s top seed.

Best Value Bet

Purdue (+300 at DraftKings) split with Michigan State and boasts the league’s best player in Carsen Edwards, averaging 23.4 points per game.

Best Long Shot

Wisconsin (+600 at DraftKings) beat Michigan and took advantage of a soft closing slate to win five of its last six.

The Big Ten belongs to Michigan State, everyone else lives in it.
The Big Ten belongs to Michigan State, everyone else lives in it.

Big 12

Best Bet

Texas Tech (+150 at SugarHouse) built on last year’s Elite Eight run by claiming a share of its first conference title since 1996.

Best Value Bet

Kansas (+400 at SugarHouse) saw its streak of 14 straight Big 12 titles end, but has plenty of talent and will be the crowd favorite in Kansas City.

Best Long Shot

Iowa State (+425 at SugarHouse) owns victories over each of the three teams (Texas Tech, Kansas State and Kansas) who finished at the top.

The Streak is dead. Long live The Streak.
The Streak is dead. Long live The Streak.

Conference USA

Best Bet

Old Dominion (+240 at SugarHouse) scored non-conference victories over Syracuse and VCU, and at one point won 12 of 13 league games.

Best Value Bet

Texas-San Antonio (+800 at SugarHouse) boasts two of the league’s top three scorers in Jhivvan Jackson and Keaton Wallace, averaging 22.4 and 20.5 ppg respectively.

Best Long Shot

Marshall (+1300 at SugarHouse) has a point guard in Jon Elmore capable of taking over a game.

Much like football, Old Dominion slammed their name on the map with huge wins.
Much like football, Old Dominion slammed their name on the map with huge wins.

Mountain West

Best Bet

Nevada (-335 at SugarHouse) has been in the Top 25 all season and enters the tournament at 28-3.

Best Value Bet

Utah State (+350 at SugarHouse) tied the Wolf Pack at the top of the conference after knocking off Nevada early March.

Best Long Shot

San Diego State (+2000 at SugarHouse) beat Nevada in February, and could see the Pack again in the semifinals.

At least Nevada can avoid playing in the Smith Spectrum again.
At least Nevada can avoid playing in the Smith Spectrum again.

Pac-12

Best Bet

Washington (+270 at SugarHouse) won a bad league by three games, and dropped a two-point decision to Gonzaga in December.

Best Value Bet

Arizona State (+300 at SugarHouse), depending on which team shows up: the one which beat Kansas, or the game prior lost to a Vanderbilt squad that would go 0-18 in the SEC.

Best Long Shot

Colorado (+650 at SugarHouse) enters with some momentum after winning four straight.

Zona State is streaky, and Washington wrapped up the league weeks ago.
Zona State is streaky, and Washington wrapped up the league weeks ago.

SEC

Best Bet

Kentucky (+180 at SugarHouse) won seven of its last eight to put itself in position for a No. 1 NCAA seed, and will have Big Blue Nation packing the arena in Nashville.

Best Value Bet

LSU (+650 at SugarHouse), the regular season champs had coach Will Wade suspended indefinitely after he was implicated in the FBI’s corruption investigation.

Best Long Shot

South Carolina (+7000 at SugarHouse) went 16-15 but did well enough in conference play to earn the No. 4 seed.

Will the offer scandal distract LSU? Kentucky is going to hope so.
Will the offer scandal distract LSU? Kentucky is going to hope so.
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