College Basketball Conference Tournament Betting Preview - Big 12 and Big Ten
The countdown to the NCAA Tournament is less than one week away. The top teams are preparing for March Madness, and the small conference tournaments are in full swing with automatic-bids being decided during the most intense and exciting time of the college basketball season. Conference tournaments and the NCAA Tournament produce the most live bet games of the season with wall-to-wall media coverage and memorable moments.
The week before the NCAA Tournament and Selection Sunday on March 12, big conference basketball tournaments tipoff. We'll shoot for covering 8-9 conference tournaments with selective stats and information you can bet on to assist you when wagering at your online sportsbooks. And know that despite all the regulated sportsbooks across the U.S. in nearly 30 states, there are still benefits to wagering offshore.
Be sure to join the huge March Madness contest at BetOnline ahead of the 2023 NCAA Tournament.
In Joe Lunardi's Bracketology for ESPN, these conferences will have multiple bids to the 2023 NCAA Tournament. Our coverage of the big conference basketball tournaments includes the ACC, SEC and American, along with the Big East and Atlantic 10, and the Pac-12 and Mountain West, which I will be attending in Las Vegas.
Big Ten (10)
Big 12 (7)
Big East (5)
Pac 12 (3)
Mountain West (3)
West Coast (2)
I add futures odds, stats and some picks to win conference tournaments. But I bet few futures, although I took one shot on San Francisco (+10000) at the best longshot odds, as shopping futures odds and betting lines at top online sportsbooks is significant if you plan to profit more with your bets.
2023 NCAA Conference Tournament schedules brackets, scores and automatic bids
The Big 12 looked like the best conference in college basketball this season, and have five teams ranked in the AP top 25 ahead of conference tournament play. Defending national champion Kansas won another Big regular season title, and the Jayhawks should be a No. 1 NCAA Tournament seed when Selection Sunday arrives March 12. But Kansas has significant competition in the Big 12 battle for a conference tournament crown, and the competitive odds to win the conference tournament shows six teams at 8/1 or less.
Big 12 Tournament - T-Mobile Center, Kansas City, MO
First Round: March 8
Quarterfinals: March 9
Semifinals: March 10
Championship: March 11
The ESPN family of channels carries all the coverage of the Big 12 conference tournament.
Big 12 Tournament Odds to Win (BetOnline)
- Kansas (+275)
- Texas (+325)
- Baylor (+500)
- TCU (+550)
- Kansas State (+650)
- Iowa State (+800)
- West Virginia (+1600)
- Oklahoma State, Texas Tech (+3300)
- Oklahoma (+4000)
Top team stats (KenPom ranking Big 12/National)
Baylor (1/2), West Virginia (2/15), Texas (3/16), Kansas (4/23), Kansas State (5/51), TCU (6/57)
Iowa State (1/6), Kansas (2/9), Kansas State (3/14), Oklahoma State (4/19), Texas (5/20), TCU (6/24), West Virginia (7/53)
Kansas is the Big 12 No. 1 seed in the conference tournament for the 18th time in its 27-year history. Texas just buried Kansas, 75-59, to close the regular season in a mostly meaningless game for the Jayhawks with the Big 12 regular-season title already locked up. But the Longhorns are a top threat in the Big 12 Tournament with a top-20 offense and defense, according to KenPom's adjusted ratings. Notice the top defensive teams in the Big 12 with 5 of the top-20 in KenPom's defensive efficiency ratings. Kansas does lead the Big 12 in scoring offense (78.2), FG% (47.8%) and 3PT% (36.4%) with Baylor No. 2 in scoring (77.0). Both Baylor and Texas are best in turnover margin and the Bears are also tops in assist/turnover ratio followed by Kansas and Texas.
Add it all up and the Big 12 Tournament is wide open. Take better odds to win on Texas, Baylor or TCU, as the Horned Frogs are legitimate as well. Also don't be surprised if West Virginia and coach Bob Huggins take out Kansas if they get another shot.
Pick to Win: Texas or Baylor
The Big Ten has 10 teams projected to make the NCAA Tournament, per ESPN's latest Bracketolgy - most of any conferences. Purdue was the dominant team in winning the Big Ten regular season title, and the Boilermakers are also playing for a No. 1 seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.
Big Ten Tournament - United Center, Chicago, IL
First Round: March 8
Second Round: March 9
Quarterfinals: March 10
Semifinals: March 11
Championship: March 12
The Big Ten Network broadcasts the games through the quarterfinals, and CBS picks up the semifinals and championship game.
Big Ten Tournament Odds to Win (BetOnline)
- Purdue (+175)
- Indiana (+500)
- Michigan State (+650)
- Maryland (+700)
- Northwestern (+800)
- Illinois, Iowa (+1200)
- Michigan (+1400)
- Rutgers (+2200)
- Penn State (+2800)
- Ohio State (+4000)
- Wisconsin (+5000)
- Nebraska (+6600)
- Minnesota (+50000)
Top team stats (KenPom ranking Big Ten/National)
Iowa (1/3), Purdue (2/11), Penn State (3/17), Ohio State (4/21), Indiana (5/30), Maryland (6/32), Michigan State (7/37), Michigan (8/43)
Rutgers (1/4), Northwestern (2/18), Purdue (3/23), Wisconsin (4/26), Illinois (5/28), Maryland (6/31), Michigan State (7/37), Indiana (8/46), Michigan (9/51)
Beyond the KenPom ratings, the top scoring offenses in the tournament are Iowa (80.6), Indiana (75.3), Illinois (74.6), Michigan (73.8) and Purdue (73.2). The leaders in scoring defense are Rutgers (60.4), Northwestern (62.3), Purdue (62.5), Maryland (63.2), Wisconsin (63.8) and Illinois (66.6). The leaders in FG% shooting on offense are Indiana (48.8), Penn State (46.7), Ohio State (46.2) and Purdue (46.1) while the best FG% defenses are Rutgers (39.3), Northwestern (41.2), Indiana (41.2), Illinois (41.4) and Purdue (41.7). Purdue dominates in rebounding margin (11.1) and Illinois (4.6) is next. Northwestern is best in turnover margin while Iowa is top-2 in both turnover margin and assist-to-turnover ratio, which is Illinois' biggest weakness.
I'm a big fan of Purdue coach Matt Painter, and the Boilers are tough with the 7'4" beast Zach Edey in the middle and a dominant rebounding margin. But pass on Purdue at lower odds and take a shot on Illinois or Iowa at double digit odds to win the Big Ten Conference basketball tournament with Indiana also a very capable contender.
Pick to Win: Illinois or Iowa +1200
Check back for more updates, odds and information you can bet on as college basketball major conference tournament action tips off.
FairwayJay is a proven sports handicapper and insightful analyst with proven winning results including in college basketball. He chips in additional sports betting coverage and reporting on industry news and events. Read more great insights from FairwayJay and follow him on Twitter: @FairwayJay