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It's been another crazy year in the Pac-12 with no team separating itself throughout the regular season. Oregon is the top seed in the tournament with UCLA, Arizona State, and USC also earning first-round byes. All the parity in the Pac-12 means there is value beyond Oregon for bettors to exploit.
Mick Cronin has done a fantastic job in his first season with the Bruins. After a slow start, UCLA closed the season on a 7-1 run and finished second in the Pac-12. The Bruins don't rank highly in many key statistical categories and only one player averages double digits in scoring (Chris Smith, 13.1), but as always, Cronin gets the most out of his team.
UCLA has been undervalued all season and that continues into the conference tournament. Despite being the No. 2 seed and the hottest squad in the Pac-12 over the last month, three other schools have shorter odds to win the championship. UCLA is in the easier part of the bracket without Oregon, Arizona, or USC. Strong defense has always been a staple of Cronin's teams and after struggling early in the year, the Bruins allowed an average of 64 points over their last 14 games and gave up fewer than 60 points seven times in that span.
Oregon (+180) has the conference's top player in Payton Pritchard and deserves to be the favorite, but UCLA +750 is the best value on the board in a wide-open tournament.
Big things were expected from the Huskies this year. They opened the season in the top 20 thanks to one of the nation's most-hyped freshman classes, highlighted by future lottery picks Isaiah Stewart and Jaden McDaniels. However, things went south in a hurry. Starting point guard Quade Green only played 15 games before being suspended for the rest of the year and Washington stumbled to a last-place finish in the Pac-12.
While Mike Hopkins' squad endured a disappointing regular season, this is still a dangerous team capable of making a run in the tournament. Stewart and McDaniels are arguably the most talented one-two punch in the conference, combining to average 29.7 points and 14.5 rebounds per game. The Huskies blew a ton of second-half leads this season and are ranked as the unluckiest team in the country by KenPom.
Washington closed the year by winning of three of four. If the Huskies can eliminate mental mistakes late in games, they'll be a dangerous team at juicy 75-1 odds.
Arizona is one of those teams that looks good on paper but can't always translate it to the court. Though the Wildcats rank in the top 40 in both offensive and defensive efficiency, they dropped four of their final five games to finish 10-8 in the conference. Led by forward Zeke Nnaji (16.3 ppg) and guard Nico Mannion (14.0), Arizona has the talent to make a title run, but inconsistency on offense and poor free-throw shooting has hurt the Wildcats in close games - eight of their losses came by six points or fewer.
Arizona is one of seven or eight teams with a legitimate shot at winning the Pac-12 Tournament, but at +350, its odds are too short. With other teams offering more value, it's hard to trust Arizona at that price.
Thomas Casale is theScore's supervising editor of sports betting. He's been following the sports betting industry for almost 30 years. A devoted fan of the wishbone offense, Thomas bets on all sports but specializes in college football, NFL, and college basketball. Find him on Twitter @TheTomCasale.