March Madness - Which conference will win the championship - Odds and best bets

Florida State seminoles basketball players celebrate a win over the Louisville Cardinals
Photo of Andrew Ortenberg

Andrew Ortenberg

NCAAB· 8 months ago

Show Bio

I'm an editor here at Pickswise who was raised in a household full of sports fanatics. Since I unfortunately never had LeBron James' jumping ability I wasn't able to make it to the NBA, and chose writing about sports as the next best thing. An avid sports bettor myself, I'm excited to get to write about the industry as it gets set to take off across the country. Buckle up.

The college basketball season is winding down, which is bittersweet. On the one hand we won’t have any more regular season games in just a couple of weeks, but on the other that means the start of March Madness. This year’s tournament will be unlike any other, as it’ll take place entirely inside a bubble to prevent COVID-19 complications.

It’s perhaps the best gambling event in all of sports outside of maybe the Super Bowl, and there are always a wide complement of wagers available. One fun prop that some books are offering is betting on which conference will win it all, allowing you to root for a whole handful of teams all the way through.

Let’s look into those March Madness conference odds courtesy of DraftKings, and then talk about a couple of best bets:

Big 12 +110

West Coast Conference +275

ACC +800

SEC +900

AAC +1200

Mountain West +2000

PAC 12 +2000

Missouri Valley +2500

Atlantic 10 +5000

Unfortunately odds for the Big Ten and Big East weren’t available at last check, but we’ll be sure to add those in when we see them. As for the conferences listed, the Big 12 is a resounding favorite with an implied win probability of nearly 50 percent. Baylor is only +250 to win the whole thing at DraftKings, so most of that is coming from them. But other than Baylor, they don’t have any other teams in the top 15 on Kenpom.

They’ve got a lot of teams in that next tier though, with West Virginia, Texas, Kanas, and Texas Tech all bunched closely together. The WCC is at +275, and that literally is all coming from Gonzaga. There’s no difference between betting this prop and just taking Gonzaga outright to win.

Alabama is the great hope of the SEC, but I think they’re the only team in that conference with a realistic shot, so if you like the Crimson Tide I’d rather just take them at 25/1 straight up. As of right now nobody else in the SEC would be higher than a six-seed if you believe ESPN’s latest bracketology projections.

Similarly, I don’t get taking the AAC at 12/1 when you can get Houston at 20/1. SMU and Wichita State are the only other teams that could make the tournament, and they very well might both miss it. Even if they do sneak in, they’ll be 12 seeds without much hope.

March Madness best bets

Of these options, I like the ACC the best at +800. With a couple of the conferences I just broke down above, you’re essentially just pulling for one team. It’s been a down year for the ACC overall, but there are still a number of teams with a plausible path. Both Virginia and Florida State are among the top 12 teams in the country according to Kenpom, and FSU has a good shot to be a two-seed.

Then you’ve got Virginia Tech and Clemson projected as six and seven seeds. The bluebloods are making a late charge, as North Carolina will be in and Duke might sneak in as well. Those programs are such rocks that they could easily make a deep run if they just get in the dance. Louisville’s another one, a lot of teams that have histories and cultures of winning.

If I was going to take a nibble on one of the long-shots, it would probably be the PAC 12 at 20/1. People are sleeping on USC, but they’re legit. They’ve got enough upside to beat any of the country’s elite teams on any given night. Oregon is also a lot better than most people realize, and they’re peaking at the right time now that they’re getting healthy for the first time all season.

March Madness team-by-team guides

Be sure to check out the rest of our March Madness team guides, providing everything you need to know ahead of the huge college basketball tournament!

Pickswise is the home of March Madness Predictions. Check out all of our March Madness Picks, including daily March Madness Parlays throughout the NCAA Tournament.

See All
DraftKings

$200

Bet $5 on the NFL, Get $200!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account

Bet $5+ on the Money Line of any NFL game

If your team wins, you will be issued a $200 free bet bonus!

Must be 21+ located in AZ, CO, CT, IA, IL, IN, MI, NJ, PA, TN, VA, WY or WV to play. Offer valid only for new customers. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

FanDuel Sportsbook

$150

Bet $5, Win $150 CASH on the Cardinals vs. Texans!

Register for a new account with FanDuel Sportsbook and make a deposit of $10+

Bet $5 on the Cardinals vs. Texans

If you pick the winner correctly, you win $150 in CASH!

21+ and new players only. Max bet $5, max reward $150. Must deposit $10+ to be eligible for promotion. Full terms available on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Unibet

$50

Bet $5, Win $50 if Your Team Makes a 3-Pointer!

Sign up for a new account with Unibet and make your first deposit

Bet $5 on any NBA team to win their next game

If your team hits a 3-pointer during the game, you win a bonus $50 - regardless of the game's outcome!

Max bet $5. 21+ and new players only. Full terms available from Unibet.

DraftKings

$200

Bet $5 on the NBA, Get $200!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account

Bet $5+ on the Money Line of any NBA Basketball game

If your team wins, you will be issued a $200 free bet bonus!

Must be 21+ located in AZ, CO, CT, IA, IL, IN, MI, NJ, PA, TN, VA, WY or WV to play. Offer valid only for new customers. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

BetMGM

$200

Bet $10, Get $200 If Your Team Scores A Touchdown!

Register for a new BetMGM account & deposit $20+

Bet $10 on your team to win Money Line

Win $200 in free bets if your team scores a touchdown

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

PointsBet

$200

Bet $20, Get $200 If Your Team Scores A Touchdown!

Register for a new PointsBet account & deposit $20+

Bet $20 on your team to win Money Line (NFL or NCAAF)

Win $200 in free bets if your team scores a touchdown

Caesars Sportsbook

$5,000

Get a $5,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new Caesars Sportsbook account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $5,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose - up to $5,000!

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

BetRivers

$250

Get a $250 Deposit Bonus!

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code PICKSWISE

Make a deposit & get it doubled up to $250 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $100

Must be 21+. Play in IA Only. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS OFF

BetMGM

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new BetMGM & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

FanDuel Sportsbook

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

DraftKings

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Deposit Bonus!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account & deposit

DraftKings will match 20% of your deposit up to $1,000 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $500

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

Unibet

$500

Get a $500 Risk-Free Bet!

Register for a new Unibet account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $500 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $500

New players only. Terms & conditions apply. 21+. VA only.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim 100% Instant Deposit Match up to $100!

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

TVG

$300

Get a $300 Risk-Free Bet with TVG Racebook!

Register for a new TVG account and make a deposit

Place your first single horse win-type bet up to $300

If your horse doesn't win you'll get a refund up to $300

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

BetAmerica Racing

$200

$200 Sign Up Bonus!

Fast, reliable and fast payouts - you'll have your money in 72 hours, if not sooner!

Proud history of providing safe, secure, and fun betting to American patrons

BetAmerica is owned by the iconic Churchill Downs Incorporated, home of 150 years of wagering history and the world-famous Kentucky Derby

Players who sign up using ‘BET200’ code will get a $200 sign up bonus. Offer valid for 7 days after registering on BetAmerica Racing product only. 21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

TwinSpires

$200

Get a $200 Sign Up Bonus with TwinSpires Racebook!

Register for a new Twinspires account using offer code BET200

Make a deposit and start wagering on horse racing

Earn $100 in bonus cash for every $400 wagered!

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.