Oregon Tops Pac-12 Tournament Odds But USC May Be Best Bet
Perhaps no major conference tournament has more weight on possible at-large bids than the Pac-12 Conference.
The Oregon Ducks, regular-season champion and No. 1 Pac-12 Tournament seed, along with Arizona, Colorado and Stanford, are on the inside of the NCAA Tournament bubble. But there are five other teams in contention for an at-large bid, if they show well this week in Las Vegas. With every team coming in with at least five conference losses and all but two showing seven or more defeats, the field is wide open, making for interesting March Madness betting opportunities.
2020 Pac-12 Tournament Odds
Oregon is the rightful favorite, with odds more than half that of Arizona and Colorado, next on the chart. Four others are firmly in “contender” status, according to sportsbooks.
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Pac-12 Tournament Favorites
Oregon has won six of seven, falling at Arizona State by five but handling fellow contenders Colorado, Arizona and Stanford in that span. But the Ducks aren’t invincible – outside of Eugene, anyway. At home, Oregon finished a perfect 17-0, but away from home the Ducks were only 7-7. Five Pac-12 teams have tasted victory over the conference champs, including likely quarterfinal foe Oregon State.
The other two big favorites, oddly, are seeded No. 5 (Arizona) and No. 6 (Colorado) and have first-round games on Wednesday. Neither are lighting the college basketball betting world on fire lately. The Wildcats have dropped four of five, including defeats against Washington – who they play Wednesday – and USC, which awaits the winner in a quarterfinal.
Colorado has lost a surprising four in a row, including defeats at the hands against first-round opponent Stanford and potential quarterfinal foe UCLA.
Darkhorses To Consider
With the favorites all showing flaws, the opportunity is open for those down the board to take advantage.
USC ended the season by winning three straight, and against Arizona, Arizona State and UCLA. UCLA won seven of eight to end the year, the lone loss a two-pointer at USC, with wins over both Arizona State and Arizona, too. As one might surmise, the Sun Devils didn’t end on the strongest note, losing three of four including head-scratcher at home to last-place Washington.
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Pac-12 Tournament Picks
The Pac-12 Tournament is such a wide-open competition, and the toughest of the major conferences to get a beat on. But there are two teams that have a slight leg up.
One is Oregon, which won more conference games than anyone else and is as hot as any team. The Ducks’ track record away from home should give some pause, along with their fairly low odds. You can’t go with Oregon and another team. It’s the Ducks or bust.
For those seeking a bigger payday, look at USC at +1000. The Trojans don’t have an easy trip to the finals, with Arizona likely looming in the quarterfinals then a semifinal showdown with Oregon. But the Trojans beat three of the toughest in the field to end the regular season and played the Ducks to double OT in their one meeting.