Eli’s Conference Tournament Odds: Targeting ACC, MWC Futures

Written By Eli Hershkovich on March 7, 2022 - Last Updated on March 8, 2022
Virginia Sports Betting

There are six days until Selection Sunday, so the second leg of my conference tournament odds have arrived. Here’s the running list of futures for the week of March 7, as I’ll be updating it throughout.

Click on the odds below to place a bet, and continue the discussion in our Discord betting community, as we dissect the biggest games of the day. Stay up-to-date on the top-68 programs with my college basketball power rankings.

  • All of Eli’s College Basketball Bets

ACC Tournament Odds

Game
(Eastern Time)
(EST)
Duke
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-130
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-135
North Carolina
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+700
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+750
Virginia Tech
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+900
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+1300
Wake Forest
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+1000
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+1000
Notre Dame
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+1000
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+850
Miami
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+1400
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+1300
Virginia
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+1800
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+1600
Syracuse
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+6000
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+7000
Florida State
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+6000
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+7000
Clemson
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+9000
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+10000
NC State
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+10000
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+12000
Louisville
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+12000
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+10000
Georgia Tech
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+13000
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+15000
Pittsburgh
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+20000
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+20000
Boston College
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+25000
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+25000

Duke A Heavy Favorite

The Blue Devils fell to the Tar Heels in Mike Krzyzewski’s final game coaching at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Saturday, but they’re the rightful leader in the clubhouse — given the conference’s inconsistent play as a whole. As of now, five ACC programs are slated to appear in the big dance.

Duke owns the fifth-rated Adjusted Offensive Efficiency (AdjO) in the college basketball, and its half-court attack has improved of late. Simply put, five-star freshman Paolo Banchero has showcased more of an inclination to score. Banchero’s early-season hesitancy produced turnovers at a concerning rate, but his 6-foot-10, 250-pound frame is now aggressively attacking opposing forwards off the dribble or in the low-post.

  • Adjusted Efficiency factors in the estimate efficiency (points scored or allowed per 100 possessions) a team manufactures or surrenders against the average Division I opponent.

Despite the Blue Devils’ defensive issues, they should come out motivated after the regular season finale. There’s no value on their side of the conference tournament odds as a result. That even goes for Wake Forest, which would face them in the semifinals. The Demon Deacons are an unattractive +1000.

Where’s The Value?

Although I’ve considered adding Virginia Tech (+1300) to the card, I ended up on the other school from the Old Dominion state — the ‘Hoos (+1700).

Tony Bennett’s squad, owning a No. 6 seed in the ACC tournament, is slated to challenge the winner of Louisville-Georgia Tech. If Virginia wins that affair as a hefty favorite, it’ll battle North Carolina in the quarterfinals before taking on the winner of a potential Notre Dame-Virginia Tech duel. Don’t underestimate the mastermind that is Bennett albeit UVA’s underperforming pack-line setup.

Virginia’s Matchup Edges

While the Tar Heels were dominant over the Cavaliers in their lone regular season contest, Bennett’s crew will have plenty of motivation, needing at least an appearance in the title game to aid its NCAA tournament chances. On the flip side, UNC sealed its March Madness odds with the aforementioned victory over Duke, signifying a lackluster defensive effort could be in store.

In particular, Bennett’s mover-blocker motion structure should be able to take advantage of Hubert Davis’ struggling ball-screen coverage. It presents the length to match up at both ends, too, which would help control tempo and play at their snail-like pace.

If the Cavaliers nabbed a third meeting with the Hokies, their defensive scheme, also mixing in ball pressure from guards Reece Beekman, Armaan Franklin and Kihei Clark, would continue to give Va. Tech’s turnover-prone backcourt issues.

On top of that, the ‘Hoos were very competitive in both of their meetings against the Blue Devils. That includes an outright win at Cameron Indoor Stadium as 11-point underdogs, adding intrigue to their conference tournament odds.

That being said, Virginia has outperformed its ShotQuality metrics by three wins. But ShotQuality considers the highest quality shots to be ones near the rim and from 3-point land. The Cavaliers’ backcourt, as well as 6-foot-6 forward Jayden Gardner, have been efficient mid-range shooters throughout their collegiate careers.

Mountain West Conference Tournament Odds

Game
(Eastern Time)
(EST)
Boise State
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+280
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+260
San Diego State
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+330
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+350
Colorado State
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+360
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+370
Wyoming
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+600
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+600
UNLV
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+700
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+750
Utah State
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+1100
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+1300
Fresno State
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+1300
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+1100
Nevada
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+6000
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+6500
New Mexico
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+20000
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+10000
Air Force
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+50000
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+25000
San Jose State
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+50000
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+50000

Favorites Overvalued?

Considering the fact that the the four shortest futures prices are all locked into the big dance, their incentive to win the conference tournament — as opposed to going into March Madness fully healthy and rested — isn’t nearly as high as the ones below them.

Even though Colorado State has loads of Cinderella potential for mid-March, as Niko Medved’s floor-spacing unit is well-suited to create mismatches in a tournament setting, the Rams don’t possess a worthwhile number.

Long-Shot Wager To Make

Despite UNLV representing the most trendy futures bet outside of those schools, I instead targeted a meatier price tag on Sunday afternoon — Nevada at +8000. It’s currently +6500, and that’s still worth a small dart like our San Francisco bet.

Steve Alford’s motion scheme features a pair of explosive mid-major guards in Grant Sherfield and Desmond Cambridge. It’s underachieved considerably, delivering the league’s eighth-rated AdjO. Nevertheless, that’s baked into the number.

You’re betting on the Wolf Pack’s offense to overachieve in a one-and-done bracket, where upsets are frequent, making this wager valuable.

How Can UNR Advance?

Their path isn’t as daunting as expected. First, they’d go up against the No. 1 seed Broncos if they knock off the Lobos in the first round. Nevada gave Boise State all it could handle in their second meeting this season while their 15-point loss to Leon Rice’s bunch on Jan. 12 followed a near two-week COVID-19 pause.

Moreover, ShotQuality notes that Rice’s half-court defense has outperformed its metrics, which the Wolf Pack’s off-ball action exposed just last week.

They’d then square off versus the Cowboys or Runnin’ Rebels in the semifinals. Nevada’s offense can go toe-to-toe against either on the right day, but it was swept in both regular season series. Alford was forced to navigate his rotation with injuries to Sherfield, Cambridge and center Warren Washington in each game versus UNLV, though.

If the Wolf Pack earn a trip to the MWC championship, the option is there to hedge — a path bettors could take in the semifinals as well — or ride these conference tournament odds out in full.

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Eli Hershkovich Avatar
Written by
Eli Hershkovich

Eli Hershkovich is a lead sports betting writer with TheLines and Catena Media, formerly with Audacy and The Action Network. His goal is to provide you with data and information to lead you to winning bets. Eli is an avid college basketball gambler — among many other sports — and still hasn't forgiven Virginia for ruining his 2018-2019 Texas Tech futures.

View all posts by Eli Hershkovich