Current Big East Conference Win Odds: Updated 02/25/21
|St. John’s Red Storm||+5000||+4000|
|Marquette Golden Eagles||+1500||+8000|
|DePaul Blue Demons||+15000||+50000|
The Big East Conference Tournament is annually one of the best in college basketball. Our most recent memory is the first game of last year’s event that got to halftime in the Quarterfinals between St. John’s and Creighton and then stopped. That was basically the end of sports for upwards of two months.
This year, the Tournament will hopefully go off without a hitch, but fans will not be in attendance at Madison Square Garden. Family and select friends will get tickets direct from the participating schools, but the general public will not be invited due to continued COVID restrictions.
The best are often the best in March and that is a starting point here because Jay Wright’s Villanova Wildcats have been making a move over the last few weeks. The Big East is down a little bit overall this season, but that will simply create more drama in the rounds leading up to the semifinals and the Championship Game. Villanova and Creighton stand head and shoulders above the rest and the odds are a reflection of that.
Xavier has endured a couple different COVID pauses, but is still the third co-favorite with UConn. You have a massive drop-off in the odds after that point and those could very well be the teams that you want to attack with any futures wagers that you are looking to place.
Villanova is a deserving favorite. Creighton is a great team, but a jump-shooting team in a venue notoriously bad for scoring. Unders have been a good bet with these college kids at MSG and a mostly empty building will make the cavernous arena seem even larger.
Villanova has been in five straight Championship Games and is 4-1 in those. Taking the Wildcats is not a bad idea, as it seems unlikely that anybody will beat them on the road to the Finals.
However, you can avoid Villanova and catch a long shot price at the bottom of the bracket. A team like Marquette or Providence could go through the bottom and take out a fairly weak #3 seed, whether that is UConn, Seton Hall, or maybe even Xavier. That would be the preferred strategy. At the bottom, even a team like St. John’s, who has something of a home court advantage here with shorter travel and easier accommodations than anybody else, is live in a tournament like this.
The Johnnies actually have one of the conference’s most potent offenses and also force the most turnovers on defense. Depending on how the bracket sets up, if you can take a long shot like St. John’s or Providence and avoid Villanova until the Finals, a futures price or a money line rollover are not bad ideas.
A money line rollover is to bet on a team in its first game and then wager your payout from that game in the next game and to continue that process. That often pays out higher than a futures price.
Big East Conference History:
The first Big East Men’s Basketball Tournament took place in 1980. Since then, the conference has gone through many changes with the most notable one coming a few years ago when it was split into the “new” Big East and the AAC. As it stands, the Big East has 10 teams in it who play a regular-season schedule before competing in the Big East Men’s Basketball Tournament.
As with the other conference tournaments, the winner of the Big East tournament wins their spot in the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball tournament. Georgetown and UConn pace the Big East with seven championships each while Villanova has five.
The Wildcats are the clear favorites to win the 2021 Big East tournament. If that happens, Villanova has a shot at winning its third NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament in five years. They beat North Carolina in 2016’s championship game and then knocked off Michigan in 2018. Villanova has won the Big East tournament in four of the past five years. The odds would suggest that bookmakers have a great amount of respect for Villanova in 2021.
Win Count All-Time in The Big East Tournament