Vegas Odds: Conference Tourneys – SEC, Big Ten, ACC, Atlantic 10Posted by rtmsf on March 13th, 2013
Yesterday we ran through the current Vegas odds for four of the major conference tournaments getting under way early in the week. Today we’ll take a brief look at the remainder — the ACC, Atlantic 10, Big Ten, and SEC. The SEC tips off tonight with the rest lacing them up on Thursday afternoon. As usual, there are some disparities between overall public perception and the mathematics that Vegas assigns to these teams — we’ll note some of those differences below (all odds reported from 5dimes.com on Tuesday night).
It’s no surprise that the Gators are a heavy favorite in Nashville this week, but #6 seed Missouri coming in with the next highest odds might be. The Tigers would have to win four games in four days, which is always difficult but not impossible. Vegas has little faith in #3 seed Ole Miss and #4 seed Alabama, as exhibited by their relatively low odds. The bottom line is that this tournament is Florida’s to lose, but after that it’s pretty wide open.
#1 seed Miami (FL) may have won the regular season by a game in the ACC standings, but that doesn’t mean Vegas has to oblige with the notion that the Hurricanes are better than #2 seed Duke. The Blue Devils are a significant favorite over the rest of the field in Greensboro, and the odds realistically only give the top half of this league any kind of a chance. One team to watch is #5 seed NC State, who will have to win four games in four days — Vegas is still relatively high on the Wolfpack despite an incredibly inconsistent season.
The Big Ten Tournament promises to be a slugfest this year, but the top-seeded Indiana Hoosiers are a solid favorite in Chicago. Perhaps surprisingly (or not), Thad Matta’s #2 seed Ohio State team have overcome both #3 seed Michigan State and #5 seed Michigan in the oddsmakers’ eyes, if not the national rankings. And look at #4 seed Wisconsin, a team that Vegas likes but isn’t willing to go out on a limb for despite already slotted into a bye position on Friday.
Finally, we have the wild and crazy Atlantic 10. It’s nearly a dead heat between the top two seeds, St. Louis and VCU, but nearly every team in the field has a better-than-zero shot at this thing. #5 seed Butler, by virtue of its extra game on Thursday, still receives a reasonable odds placement given that fact. After that, a cluster of good-not-great teams are given a shot, regardless of seeding.