Pac-12 Basketball Tournament Bracket Predictions, Odds & Best Bets for 2023: UCLA favored but USC can challenge
It’s the most wonderful time of the year for college basketball fans. Automatic berths in the NCAA Tournament are already being handed out, major conference tournaments are about to tip off, this week concludes with Selection Sunday and then the Big Dance will take center stage starting next Thursday.
The Pac-12 Tournament gets going on Wednesday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. National title contenders UCLA and Arizona lead the way but could be challenged by USC. Meanwhile, it’s a very important week for Oregon and Arizona because those 2 teams currently find themselves on the bubble.
Let’s take a look at the odds and the best bets to be made on the upcoming festivities in Las Vegas.
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Pac-12 Tournament odds to win
UCLA is a considerable favorite to cut down the nets in Las Vegas. In fact, “UCLA or the field?” is a fair question since the Bruins are just about even money to take the title (+110). However, Arizona (+210) cannot be discounted. After that, there is a big drop-off, going all the way down to the third favorite (USC at +800).
Here is the full list of outright odds:
Arizona State +1500
Washington State +2000
Oregon State +50000
Best bet: USC Trojans +800
UCLA is the best team in the conference and I would happily throw a futures bet down on the Bruins at +900 to win the National Championship. At +110 to win the Pac-12 Tournament, however, they don’t have much value. As such, I’ll roll with USC at +800. The Trojans are 11-4 in their last 15 games, a stretch that includes a 13-point victory over UCLA on January 26. They are 5-1 in their last 6 and have not lost to anyone other than Arizona since February 11. Guard Boogie Ellis (18.1 ppg) is averaging 25.8 ppg over the past 6 contests. Being in the opposite half of the bracket from UCLA is also favorable for USC.
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Best longshot play: Washington State Cougars +2000
This is a no-brainer. Washington State has a good draw in the half of the bracket that has only 1 of the top 3 teams (UCLA). Arizona and USC are on the other side. Moreover, the Cougars are positively on fire right now. They have won 6 games in a row and haven’t lost since brutal road stretch in early February when they faced USC and UCLA in the span of 3 days. Guard TJ Bamba and forward Mouhamad Gueye have been awesome over the past month; if they can stay hot, Wazzou just might cut down the nets in Vegas.
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