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Oregon favored in wide-open Pac-12 conference tournament

Updated March 10, 2020 - 7:49 pm

Oregon is the +175 favorite to win the Pac-12 conference basketball tournament this week at T-Mobile Arena. But eight teams appear capable of claiming the title, with odds of 15-1 or less.

“It’s so wide open, it’s a joke,” William Hill sportsbook director Nick Bogdanovich said. “That’s the theme of the year, and it’s going to be the theme of these conference tournaments, too. Anyone can beat anyone.”

The Ducks won six of their last seven games, including their final four, to close a regular season that saw a record seven teams ranked No. 1.

“I’ve always been a big fan of (Oregon coach Dana) Altman. I think he’s the best coach in the conference,” Bogdanovich said. “They’re starting to play their best basketball. But you just never know. Washington was dead last in that conference and went on the road and beat the top two teams.

“I could see UCLA or Washington making a move in this conference tournament. You peak at the right time and put a few good games together and get a break, it can happen fast.”

The Huskies, who closed their season with wins at Arizona State and Arizona, are 16-1 at the Westgate to win the Pac-12 tournament.

The Bruins, who won seven straight before losing 54-52 to Southern California on Saturday, are 10-1 at William Hill and handicapper Hank Goldberg’s pick to win the tournament.

“UCLA right now is the now team. (Coach) Mick Cronin has done a great job with that team, and they’re playing as well as anybody,” said Goldberg (Vegasinsider.com). “I like Oregon a lot. (Pac-12 Player of the Year Payton) Pritchard is hard to stop. But I think UCLA can go far in this tournament. They’ve won (seven of eight), and they’ve beaten all the top teams.”

UCLA is riding a 10-3-1 cover streak and is 5-0-1 ATS in its last six games.

Arizona State had its seven-game winning streak snapped Feb. 27 on a buzzer-beater by UCLA in a 75-72 loss at Pauley Pavilion. The Sun Devils have lost three of their last four games, but handicapper Brian Edwards thinks they’re worth a shot at 12-1 at the Westgate.

“They’re not in their best form, but only two weeks ago, they were on a seven-game winning streak and UCLA beat them on a last-second shot,” said Edwards (@vegasbedwards, Majorwager.com). “Nobody’s dominant in that league.”

Best bet

Edwards likes Arkansas and Vanderbilt to go over 147½ points Wednesday in their first-round game in the Southeastern Conference tournament.

“The over is on a 17-2 run for Arkansas in its last 19 games,” he said. “They don’t have any rim protection, and Mason Jones (22 ppg) and Isaiah Joe (16.8 ppg) are just big-time scorers. They like to play at a fast pace.”

Vanderbilt is on a 3-0 over run and has gone over in seven of its last 10 games.

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

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