Upcoming Match-ups

Conference USA Tournament Opening Odds Favor La. Tech & North Texas

Jake Mitchell

by Jake Mitchell in College Basketball

Mar 10, 2020 · 11:25 PM PDT

Ford Center at the Star in Frisco, TX
The Ford Center at the Star in Frisco, TX, will host the 2020 C-USA tournament. Photo by Danazar (wikimedia commons).
  • Louisiana Tech (+180) and North Texas (+190) are the favorites to win the Conference USA Tournament
  • Only three teams have odds better than +1000. Can a Cinderella emerge from a large field of longshots?
  • Read on for a deeper look at the Conference USA Tournament odds and analysis

With Selection Sunday under a week away, the last of the conference tournaments are set to begin, including the Conference USA Tournament, which runs from March 11th through 14th in Frisco, Texas. There’s a big gap in the odds between the top three teams and the rest of the field, but there is always potential for a Cinderella to emerge in March.

2020 Conference USA Tournament Odds

Team Odds
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs +180
North Texas Mean Green +190
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers +400
Charlotte 49ers +1000
Marshall Thundering Herd +1800
Old Dominion Monarchs +1800
FIU Panthers +1500
UAB Blazers +3000
UTEP Miners +3500
Rice Owls +4000
Florida Atlantic Owls +4200
UTSA Roadrunners +5000

Odds taken Mar. 10.

Trio at the Top

There is a definitive split in the Conference USA Tournament odds. Louisiana Tech (+180), North Texas (+190), and Western Kentucky (+400) are at the top, and there is a significant jump to Charlotte’s +1000 odds. When the phrase “top heavy” is used to describe a conference, this is exactly what they mean.

North Texas won the regular season Conference USA title on the strength of a 14-4 conference record, but they are a slight underdog to the Louisiana Tech. That is due in part to the fact that on February 22nd, the Bulldogs went into Denton and took down the Mean Green in a close, 73-71 affair. The Bulldogs also had a better overall record than North Texas this season, going 22-8.

Western Kentucky is intriguing as well. They swept Louisiana Tech and split with North Texas in the season series, which certainly makes them an attractive value at +400 against the sub +200 numbers for the two favorites.

Is There a Cinderella in the Conference USA?

The biggest opportunity that the conference tournaments provide is obviously the chance to lock up a spot in the NCAA Tournament. For the winner of each conference tournament, the season will continue with a chance to etch a spot in March Madness history.

It will be a tall task to go all the way against a loaded field in the 2020 National Championship odds, but winning a game or two in the big dance has a championship-like feel for mid-major teams that get there.

One potential cinderella team is Charlotte. The 49ers finished 10-8 in the conference, and pulled off upsets against both North Texas and Western Kentucky. They did show warts in losing four of their final six, but Ron Sanchez’ team has shown an ability to win the big one.

Marshall is exciting as well. They won six of their last eight matchups, and during that stretch the Thundering Herd defeated Louisiana Tech. Dan D’Antoni’s team also has that key aspect that always gets mentioned in March; “guard play”.

The Herd have a great pair of guards, with Taevion Kinsey averaging 16.1 points per game, 4.2 assists, and 4.9 rebounds, and Jarrod West posting 14.4 points, 4.1 assists, and 4 rebounds.

The odds highlight three big favorites at the top, but that just opens the window of value for bettors. The Mean Green are hot as can be, and they have experience in the right spots.

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