We’re arriving at the meat of Championship Week. All the power conference leagues tip off their sectional as well as plenty more mid-major leagues. Here’s a quick rundown of the future odds for the remaining league tournaments. And, we have a five pack of picks afterwards. We might even add another future or two as we go along. We played four futures on some of the mid-major tournaments over the weekend. Three of our teams made it to the finals, but only two won. But we still have a profit to play with. Manhattan, +500 and Wofford, -120 cashed while William/Mary +250 and Monmouth +800 did not. Because of that Jaspar win, however, we’re four units to the good. Since a gambler’s money knows no home, let’s reinvest it……

MID AMERICAN CONFERNECE TOURNAMENT ODDS

BUFFALO, +135

CENTRAL MICHIGAN, +250

TOLEDO, +500

KENT, +1200

BGSU, +1600

AKRON, +1600

WESTERN MICHIGAN, +2500

EASTERN MICHIGAN, +2600

AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERNECE

SMU, +160

CINCY, +390

UNCOON, +400

TEMPLE, +675

TULSA, +800

MEMPHIS, +1200

TULANE, +16000

HOUSTON, +25000

ECU, +35000

UCF,  +100000

USF, +15000

CONFERENCE USA

LA TECH, +165

OLD DOMINION, +250

UTEP, +365

UAB, +700

WKU, +1700

MTSU, +2300

UTSA, +400

CHARLOTTE, +800

NORTH TEXAS, +11000

RICE, +11500

FIU, +19000

MARSHALL, +27500

PAC-12

ARIZONA, -250

UTAH, +200

OREGON, +1300

UCLA, +1750

STANFORD, +3000

ASU, +6500

COLORADO. +6500

CAL, +25000

WASHINGTON, +25000

OREGON ST, +27500

WASU, +70000

USC, +100000

BIG 12

KANSAS, +255

IOWA STATE, +360

OKLAHOMA, +375

BAYLOR, +550

WEST VIRGINIA, +850

TEXAS, +875

OKALHOMA STATE, +1700

KANSAS STATE, +3300

TCU, +5500

TEXAS TECH, +22500

MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE

SAN DIEGO ST, +195

BOISE ST, +260

COLORADO ST, +460

UNLV, +550

WYOMING, +850

UTAH STATE, +2100

NEW MEXICO, +2300

FRESNO ST, +6500

AIR FORCE, +17500

NEVADA, +125000

BIG TEN

WISCONSIN, -125

OSU, +550

MSU, +650

MARYLAND, +800

IOWA, +1400

PURDUE, +2500

ILLINOIS, +2800

INDIANA, +3000

MINNESOTA, +6500

MICHIGAN, +12500

NORTHWESTERN, +40000

PSU, +45000

NEBRASKA, +50000

RUTGERS, +250000

ATLANTIC 10

DAVIDSON, +250

VCU, +365

DAYTON, +450

RHODE LSIAND, ++725

GEORGE WASHINGON, +750

ST BONNY’S, +3300

LASALLE, +4500

UMASS, +4700

ST JOE’S, +13500

DUQUENSE, +60000

GEORGE MASON, +60000

FORDHAM, +125000

SAINT LOUIS, +12500

BIG EAST

VILLANOVA, -130

GEORGETOWN, +525

BUTLER, +700

ST JOHN’S, +1000

XAVIER, +1000

PROVIDENCE, +1100

CREIGHTON, +6500

SETON HALL, +7000

MARQUETTE, +14500

DEPAUL, +40000

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE

KENTUCKY, -345

ARKANSAS, +1200

LSU, +1450

GEORGIA, +1700

VANDERBILT, +1800

FLORIDA, +2300

OLE MISS, +3000

TEXAS A/M, +3700

TENNESSEE, +7000

SOUTH CAROLINA, +10000

ALABAMA, +15000

MISSOURI, +150000

AUBURN, +200000

MISSISSIPPI ST, +250000

 SOUTHLAND

STEPHEN F AUSTIN, -180

SAM HOUSTON STATE, +180

TEXAS A/M CC, +2500

NORTHWESTERN ST, +2600

MCNEESE ST, +20000

NICHOLLS ST +30000

NEW ORLEANS, +35000

SE LOUSIANA, +100000

BIG WEST CONFERENCE

IC IRVINE, +300

UCSB, +315

UC DAVIS, +350

LONG BEACH, +525

HAWAII, +750

CAL POLY SLO, +1150

UC RIVERSIDE, +3100

CS FULLERTON, +8000

SUN BELT CONFERENCE

GEORGIA STATE, -130

GEORGIA SOUTHERN, +380

UL LAFAYETTE, +475

UL MONROE, +1200

TX ARLINGTON, +2800

LITTLE ROCK, +3000

TEXAS ST, +7000

SOUTH ALABAMA, +12500

BIG SKY

EASTERN WASHINGTON, +170

MONTANA, +180

NORTHERN ARIZONA, +750

SAC STATE, +975

NORTHERN COLORADO, +1550

IDAHO, +1600

PORTLAND STATE, +1700

WEBER ST +2000

WESTERN ATHLETIC CONFERNECE

NEW MEXICO STATE, -275

SEATTLE, +650

UM-KANSAS CITY, +900

CS BAKERSFIELD, +900

UTAH VALLEY, +3800

CHICAGO ST, +5500

TEXAS PAN-AMERICAN, +7000

 

Phew, that’s a lot of leagues and they’re all basically tipping off today.  Here are some futures from that board that we’re playing…..

 

Butler, +700……..It’s hard to pick anyone against Villanova. The Wildcats racked up a second straight 16-2 conference record. They’ve proven to be head and shoulders better than everyone else in this league over the last two years. They aren’t that chalky of a play at -130. We got away with playing that kind of chalk with Wofford in the Southern Conference. But the Terriers were playing for their lives in a single bid league. Who knows what motivation the Wildcats–or any top ranked team in these events for that matter–really have this weekend? They lost in the quarterfinals of last year’s league tournament. Besides, we’re here to come up with sleeper picks. Hopefully we’ll hit one and then spend all summer bragging about it. The five next teams in the standings behind Villanova all look dead even, ranking between 21-39 on KenPom. We’re going with the #3 seed Butler Bulldogs at 7/1 odds. It’s always feels comfortable to be backing a good Bulldog squad in the month of March. They play their typical Bulldog defense. They’re 11th nationally in defensive efficiency and it remains difficult to get and make good shots against this club. And they’re demons on the defensive glass. It’s March. It’s a tournament game. Expect Butler to grab every defensive board, a skill that’s driven many Butler upsets over the years. They have the outside shooting with Kellen Dunham and Alex Barlow and a point guard in Roosevelt Jones who is much better than any of his say.  They split with quarterfinal foe Xavier, which each winning by double digits on their home floor. I don’t know if Xavier has a postseason ready defense. They might match with Georgetown, a team they’ve played three times already, in the semifinals. The Hoyas won two of three games, but only won the aggregate score by a deuce. In this hypothetical match, Butler evens the series mostly because Dunham and Barlow will outshoot D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera. That’s enough to get them into the title game. They didn’t beat Nova this year, they did lose a heartbreaker to them three weeks ago in the closing seconds. It will be a recurring theme, but with 7/1 odds all Butler needs to do is make the finals and we can hedge our way to some profit. Unless we let it ride. Always a possibility. We like to live dangerously.

Toledo, +500….Homer Pick Alert. The Rockets probably are disappointed they didn’t get the double bye into the semifinals. But we’re buying on some pretty solid odds on a team that’s only really cared about this week all season. Buffalo has been hot and Central has been a bugaboo for Toledo. I don’t care. In Todd Kowalczyk We Trust.

Old Dominion, +250…..The Monarchs finished two games behind first place Louisiana Tech and are this tournament’s third seed. But they’re also the highest ranked team on Ken Pom (56th to the Bulldogs 72nd). We’re on board. They have been killing people down the stretch, winning six in a row all by double figures. That includes wins over Tech and 4rth seed Western Kentucky. Possible semifinal foe UTEP was the last team to beat them, but that was in El Paso. With the way ODU is playing now, they’ll win a neutral court rematch with the Miners.  They have an interesting at large resume, owning non conference wins over LSU and VCU when the Rams were at full strength. It wont matter. They’ll ride this streak to the automatic bid.  Trey Freeman controls games on both ends. None of them other contenders can hang with the Monarchs on the boards. And I don’t think any of them do anything well that ODU doesn’t also. In a week’s time, Old Dominion will be scaring the pants off a higher NCAA seed. Just like the old days when they were advancing out of the Colonial.

Oregon, +1300…….Arizona is an overwhelming favorite in this field. It’s hard to argue that. But consider the Wildcats losses this  year are to average UNLV, Oregon St and Arizona St clubs. Maybe they sleepwalk through an early round and don’t even make the finals. Let’s be honest, there’s an element of wishful thinking to every bet you make. However this has not been the top seed’s event. The #1 seed has not won this sectional since 2008 and has only cut the nets down three times in the 13 years since the event’s restart in 2002. There are a couple legit NCAA Tournament teams on the other side of the bracket, so why not take one and the sweet odds that come with it. To that end, we’re on the Ducks. The 13/1 payout is just too attractive for this event’s #2 seed. I’ve had a hunch all winter that Utah was a little overrated. They are blowing the doors off people at home, but this event is not in Salt Lake City. The Ducks beat them once before and I like the way this team has come together over the course of the last four months. Do they really stand a chance against the Wildcats if they meet in the Finals? Probably not. Arizona trounced the Ducks in two meetings this season. But at those odds, it’s worth a stab and should the Ducks make the championship game, there ought to ample opportunities for a hedge bet that ensures some profit either way.

Davidson, +250…..It almost seems impossible that Davidson could win both the A10 regular season and conference tournament in their first year in the league. They were in the Southern Conference a year ago and jumped to a league that was 22 spots higher in KenPom’s conference rankings a year ago. Seth Curry’s senior team could not get an at-large bid, but this Davidson team will get the team’s first ever at-large bid should they not win this field. But they wont need it. This offense is on fire and, despite the solid defensive profiles that many of the A10 teams have, I don’t think any of them can stop and keep up with these Wildcats. They’ve won 9 in row, six by double figures. They crushed VCU and won at Rhode Island during this run and previous to this streak beat Dayton by 17. Their side of the bracket is looking a little rickety with a reeling and banged up VCU squad or the consummate overachieving Richmond program as likely semifinal foes. Dayton and Rhode Island is a toss-up on the other side of the bracket, but I feel good that Davidson can at least get into the title game to give this bet a chance. The Wildcats have a major edge in the 3-point scoring department. They are one of the best shooting teams in the land, but are also one of the best at limiting their opponent’s 3-point offense. That proves hard for these A10 to keep up with this weekend.