WAC Tournament Opening Odds: New Mexico State Is Overwhelming Favorite

NM State Aggies basketball
The New Mexico State Aggies are heavy favorites entering the WAC Tournament after running the table in conference play and boasting a 19-game win streak. Photo via @NMStateMBB (Twitter).
  • The Western Athletic Conference Tournament takes place from March 12-14 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas
  • New Mexico State had a perfect conference record and is riding a 19 game win streak as the -220 tournament favorite
  • See the full field odds and best bet for the tournament below

Championship week leading up to the NCAA Men’s Tournament is in full swing, and pretty soon the Western Athletic Conference will be able to add its champion into the mix.

The WAC Tournament will run from March 12-14 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, where eight teams will vie for an automatic bid into the coveted 68-team March Madness field that includes some of the top schools from the 2020 National Championship odds.

New Mexico State is the overwhelming favorite, and for good reason. The Aggies have won 19-straight games (which includes the entire conference schedule). Here’s a look at the odds for each school:

2020 WAC Tournament odds

Team Odds at MyBookie
New Mexico State -220
Seattle +600
Missouri-Kansas City +850
UT Rio Grande Valley +1200
Utah Valley +1300
Cal State Bakersfield +1500
Grand Canyon +2200
Chicago State +9000

Odds taken March 10

WAC Tournament Bracket

WAC bracket 2020
Grand Canyon lurks for the Aggies in a potential second round matchup

Aggies Are on Fire

New Mexico State’s win streak dates back to Dec. 18. Their most recent loss is Dec. 14 and their only double-digit losses came on Nov. 17 and Nov. 12. In other words, it’s been smooth sailing for quite some time.

As a prospective WAC Tournament bettor, it should encourage you to know that the Aggies didn’t just beat their conference opponents — they decimated them, for the most part.

NMSU won nine of its 16 WAC games by 14 or more points and finished the season with four consecutive double-digit wins. The Aggies did have a couple close calls (a two-point win over Utah Valley and a three-point win over UMKC, for example), but nobody’s perfect, right?

Actually, by WAC standards, New Mexico State is perfect.

NMSU’s Biggest Competition Is Sitting This One Out

There are nine teams in the WAC, but only eight in the conference tournament. And that helps NMSU even more.

California Baptist, which is in its second season transitioning to NCAA Division I basketball, is ineligible for the NCAA Tournament. And it just so happens that the Lancers had the second-best conference record (10-6) and may have had the best chance at upsetting NMSU.

Then again, the Aggies won both matchups with Cal Baptist by a combined 48 points this year…so maybe not.

Cause for Concern

In an effort to see this from both sides, here’s a concern about NMSU: they aren’t really battle-tested.

The Aggies have faced only two KenPom top-100 teams all season. They got trounced by Arizona in November (a 30-point loss) and they edged out Mississippi State in December (a six-point win).

None of their WAC opponents even rank inside the top-200 on KenPom. So what happens if something goes wrong in the conference tournament? It’s a nit-picky thing, but the Aggies haven’t had a chance to show how they handle situations of adversity.

Don’t Overthink It

Take your risks elsewhere. This is absolutely New Mexico State’s tournament to lose and they deserve every bit of the heavy-favorite odds they’re receiving.

Dating back to last season, the Aggies have won 34 consecutive WAC games. There’s no such thing as a lock in college basketball, but NMSU is as close as it gets.

Pick: New Mexico State (-220)


SBD’s NCAA conference tournament coverage: 

Author Image
Discussion

Let's have fun and keep it civil.