2023 NCAA Tournament Odds: Which Conference Cuts Down The Nets?

Can the Big Ten or Pac-12 ends its men’s basketball championship drought?


It’s too bad the various sportsbooks don’t put out a prop ahead of college football betting season on which conference will win the national championship. That would be easy money: SEC. Then again, the books know how dominant the SEC has been, so there’s no money to be made by posting that prop.

The NCAA Tournament is obviously a very different animal as no conference has dominated in men’s basketball for the most part, although it should be noted that no school from outside a current Power 6 league – ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC – has won the tournament since UNLV way back in 1990 when it was in the Big West (The Rebels are now in the Mountain West). The Big East is a power league in basketball only as it is no longer in the business of football.

This year’s national title game is from NRG Stadium in Houston on April 3. The last time it hosted, Villanova beat North Carolina in an epic 2016 final, but neither of those bluebloods are in the 2023 Big Dance. Let’s break down the odds at the top-rated sports betting sites for which conference the champion comes from.

Alabama Or Bust For SEC?

The SEC got eight teams in and the Big 12 got seven, and they are the co-favorites in college basketball betting odds at +350 to be where the 2023 champion comes from. Both also have No. 1 seeds: Alabama of the SEC is the No. 1 overall seed and atop the South Region, while defending champion Kansas of the Big 12 is the No. 1 in the West.

Each of the past five national champions have been No. 1 seeds, and 12 of the past 15. But it has been since Louisville in 2013 when the No. 1 overall seed won it all. If the Tide don’t get it done, is there another SEC team good enough to win it? Tennessee might have been before it lost starting point guard Zakai Ziegler to a season-ending injury recently. Kentucky is nowhere near what it usually is. The last SEC team to win the NCAA Tournament was UK in 2012.

The Big 12 was the best league from top-to-bottom this year and has probably three legitimate title contenders in Kansas, conference tournament champion Texas and Baylor. A Big 12 team has won the past two NCAA Tournaments.

The AAC is going to look a lot different next season when Houston and a few other teams leave for the Big 12, and the Cougars are the only reason the AAC is +450 on this prop. The other league team to make the Dance was Memphis.

Amazingly, the Big Ten (+600) hasn’t had a champion since Michigan State in 2000 and three of the conference’s usual top teams, Michigan, Ohio State and Wisconsin, all missed the Dance. If East No. 1 seed Purdue doesn’t win it, the Big Ten probably won’t yet again despite eight teams in. Last year, none of the nine Big Ten teams selected advanced past the Sweet 16.

The Pac-12 (+650) hasn’t had a champion since Arizona in 1997, but the Wildcats and regular-season champion UCLA both could win it this year.

Maybe the best value is the Big East at +900 as you get Marquette, UConn, Xavier and Creighton. Arguably no league has a better quartet. The ACC is way down this season and is only +1500 on this prop. Few teams are playing  better currently, however, than Duke.

Other options: Gonzaga’s West Coast Conference (+1200), Mountain West (+3500), Atlantic 10 (+50000) and any other league (+6500).

James Guill

James Guill is a former professional poker player who writes fro GambleOnline.co about poker, sports, casinos, gaming legislation and the online gambling industry in general. His past experience includes working with IveyPoker, PokerNews, PokerJunkie, Bwin, and the Ongame Network. From 2006-2009 he participated in multiple tournaments including the 37th and 38th World Series of Poker (WSOP). James lives in Virgina and he has a side business where he picks and sells vintage and antique items.

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