There are 353 men’s college basketball teams across 32 conferences, and to get a bid into March Madness, a team must win the conference tournament at the end of the regular season. Below is our NCAAM basketball betting guide and a futures preview of all 32 conferences along with the best sportsbooks to legally and safely bet on the 2018-19 college basketball season.
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2018-19 Division I Men’s College Basketball – Odds to Win Conference
Currently, there aren’t any basketball future betting odds at online sportsbooks for futures regarding who will win each one of the 32 conferences. However, we went ahead took the liberty of giving you a brief preview of each college basketball conference while they prep those odds and who we expect to come out on top, snagging those all-important automatic bids to March Madness in the process. There are some futures bets regarding who will win the NCAAM championship in 2019, and you will find those listed on our March Madness page.
America East Conference
2017-18 Conference Tournament Winner: UMBC Retrievers
Following up the biggest upset in March Madness history is no easy feat, but after nearly doubling the salary of head coach Ryan Odom, UMBC will attempt to prove last season was no fluke as they come in to this season and every season from this point forward as “the first No.16 seed to ever beat a No.1 seed.”
AAC – American Athletic Conference
2017-18 Conference Tournament Winner: Cincinnati Bearcats
Cincinnati returns much of their roster from a season ago and is expected to have one of the best defenses in the country again, which helped them last season handily win the conference and nearly make the Sweet Sixteen, losing by only two points to a talented Nevada team.
Atlantic 10 Conference
2017-18 Conference Tournament Winner: Davidson Wildcats
Davidson got the automatic bid to March Madness by winning the Atlantic 10 tournament last season but graduated their best player, Peyton Aldridge. George Mason and Saint Louis are expected to be contenders to win the conference tournament with the slight edge going to George Mason.
ACC – Atlantic Coast Conference
2017-18 Conference Tournament Winner: Virginia Cavaliers
After being the first-ever No.1 seed to lose in the first round, Virginia will attempt to bounce back and try again this season. However, Duke and North Carolina hauled in impressive recruiting classes and will challenge Virginia this season with both being likely contenders to knock the Cavaliers from the top spot in one of the toughest college basketball conferences in the country.
ASUN – Atlantic Sun Conference
2017-18 Conference Tournament Winner: Lipscomb Bisons
Lipscomb and Florida Gulf Coast have gone back and forth in this conference for the past couple years and last year Lipscomb get their first berth in the NCAA tournament, which is why many are picking them to repeat this season.
Big 12 Conference
2017-18 Conference Tournament Winner: Kansas Jayhawks
Kansas has won the conference tournament five times this decade, and head coach Bill Self has yet another talented recruiting class with Quentin Grimes, Devon Dotson, and David McCormack all having huge upside potential.
Big East Conference
2017-18 Conference Tournament Winner: Villanova Wildcats
The defending national champions come into this season as the obvious pick to win the conference even after losing four starters to the NBA Draft. However, head coach Jay Wright has recruited another talented class led by 5-star recruit Jahvon Quinerly, so expect Villanova to win the conference and make a serious run at defending their national title this season.
Big Sky Conference
2017-18 Conference Tournament Winner: Montana Grizzlies
Montana will return four out of the five starters who were apart of easily the best team in the conference and even played well defensively against Michigan in the first round, so look for this team make another trip to the big dance this season.
Big South Conference
2017-18 Conference Tournament Winner: Radford Highlanders
After winning the conference and getting their first NCAA tournament victory in the First Four, Radford is predicted to win the conference this season following UNC Asheville’s head coach joining Middle Tennessee.
Big Ten Conference
2017-18 Conference Tournament Winner: Michigan Wolverines
Michigan came out of nowhere last season and pulled off an extraordinary late-season, 14-game win streak before losing in the national championship. However, Michigan State is the favorite this season led once again by Tom Izzo, one of the greatest college basketball head coaches of all time.
Big West Conference
2017-18 Conference Tournament Winner: CSU Fullerton Titans
While CSU Fullerton could repeat as conference champs, many experts peg UC Santa Barbara as the favorites to win the conference due to Joe Pasternack getting another talented recruiting class since becoming head coach.
Colonial Athletic Conference
2017-18 Conference Tournament Winner: Charleston Cougars
Last season, Charleston ran away with the conference with only Northeastern coming close throughout the season. However, the race for the automatic bid to March Madness will be a bit tighter this season with Hofstra, UNC-Wilmington, and William & Mary Tribe all expected to contend as well.
C-USA – Conference USA
2017-18 Conference Tournament Winner: Marshall Thundering Herd
Marshall narrowly beat Western Kentucky in the conference tournament final last season and both teams are predicted to be far and away the two best teams in the conference this season.
2017-18 Conference Tournament Winner: Wright State Raiders
Wright State struggled a little bit during their conference schedule last season but still managed to win the conference tournament. Wright State will look to defend their conference title from Northern Kentucky and UIC, who have emerged as the most likely contenders.
2017-18 Conference Tournament Winner: Pennsylvania Quakers
This conference would have easily gone to Penn this season, but reports surfaced in the offseason regarding bribes to former Penn head coach Jerome Allen to a Florida businessman’s son into the school. If the NCAA sanctions on Penn, then it could open the door for Harvard or Yale with both being strong contenders to with the league before the news surfaced.
MAAC – Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
2017-18 Conference Tournament Winner: Iona Gaels
Iona is starting to make a habit out of winning the MAAC title, winning the past three conference tournament titles, so betting against them to repeat again and get another automatic bid to March Madness this season is not a wise decision.
MAC – Mid-American Conference
2017-18 Conference Tournament Winner: Buffalo Bulls
After pulling off one of the biggest upsets of the NCAA tournament last season with a dominating 21-point win over No.4 seed Arizona in the first round, Buffalo enters this as the heavy favorites to repeat as conference champions.
MEAC – Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
2017-18 Conference Tournament Winner: NC Central Eagles
NC Central finished the regular season as the No.6 seed in the conference tournament before upsetting teams on their way to winning the conference title. However, Bethune-Cookman, Hampton, Savannah State, North Carolina A&T, and Norfolk State are all predicted to be among the conference favorites this season.
MVC – Missouri Valley Conference
2017-18 Conference Tournament Winner: Loyola-Chicago Ramblers
After dominating the conference and shocking everyone by making it to the Final Four last season, the Ramblers return three starters from last year’s Cinderella team and will try to make another run at winning it all before the clock strikes midnight.
MWC – Mountain West Conference
2017-18 Conference Tournament Winner: San Diego State Aztecs
San Diego State may have won the conference tournament last season, but Nevada is the heavy favorites to not only win the conference but the national championship as well after adding McDonalds All-American Jordan Brown to a roster who were already considered to have one of the best offenses in the country.
NEC – Northeast Conference
2017-18 Conference Tournament Winner: LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds
LIU Brooklyn upset their New York City rival Wagner in the conference title game to make the NCAA tournament for the first time in five years. However, the team graduated Joel Hernandez, and Wagner is predicted to be the clear favorite to finish what they started last season.
Ohio Valley Conference
2017-18 Conference Tournament Winner: Murray State Racers
The conference was a two-team race last season with Murray State and Belmont finishing the year with similar records but saw the Racers cross the finish line first and win the conference title. The two teams are predicted to be the heavy favorites again this season with Murray State once again being slight favorites.
PAC – Pac-12 Conference
2017-18 Conference Tournament Winner: Arizona Wildcats
Arizona was on its way back to becoming an elite college program again before the scandal broke last season involving an FBI wiretap revealing the school paid top recruit Deandre Ayton $100,000. As a result, several top recruits de-committed from Arizona and both UCLA and Oregon are predicted to be the top two teams to win the conference.
Patriot – Patriot League
2017-18 Conference Tournament Winner: Bucknell Bison
After rolling through and winning the conference tournament, Bucknell nearly managed to upset No.2 seed Michigan State in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The Bison enter this season as the clear favorite following their 25-win season and near upset.
SEC – Southeastern Conference
2017-18 Conference Tournament Winner: Kentucky Wildcats
Kentucky recruiting three to five 5-star players each season is nothing new to head coach John Calipari, adding potential NBA stars Keldon Johnson, E.J. Montgomery, Ashton Hagans, and Immanuel Quickley to the roster. However, the conference is getting tougher each year with Tennessee, Auburn, LSU, Mississippi State, and Florida all capable of knocking off Kentucky this season.
2017-18 Conference Tournament Winner: UNC Greensboro Spartans
UNC Greensboro took Gonzaga to the limit in the first round of the NCAA tournament last season but lost by a 4-point margin. The Spartans trounced through the conference, and while they will likely repeat as champions, East Tennessee State may have a chance to upset them this season.
2017-18 Conference Tournament Winner: Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks
After finishing with an overall record of 28-7 a season ago, the Lumberjacks are the likely choice to repeat as conference champions. However, Nicholls State and SE Louisiana are expected to be much better this season, giving the Lumberjacks more competition to try and chop down to win the conference title.
SWAC – Southwestern Athletic Conference
2017-18 Conference Tournament Winner: Texas Southern Tigers
In a conference that featured no 20-win teams and only one team with a winning record a season ago, Texas Southern managed to come out on top and win the conference tourney. Gambling State should be the favorite, as they were the favorite and only team with a winning record last season, but it’s safe to say this isn’t a sure bet.
2017-18 Conference Tournament Winner: South Dakota State Jackrabbits
The Jackrabbits have hopped to the front of the pack in the conference in the past three seasons, winning the conference tournament each year. While the South Dakota Coyotes will likely be on the prowl all season, it’s hard to bet against the recent success of South Dakota State in the conference.
Sun Belt Conference
2017-18 Conference Tournament Winner: Georgia State Panthers
Even though Georgia State returns many of their best players from a season ago, the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns are predicted to win the Sun Belt following an upset loss to UT-Arlington in the conference tournament a season ago.
WCC – West Coast Conference
2017-18 Conference Tournament Winner: Gonzaga Bulldogs
Gonzaga has owned this conference ever since head coach Mark Few took over in 1999, winning 15 WCC tournament titles over that span. Look for Gonzaga to dominate the conference against this season and make another run at their first national title.
WAC – Western Athletic Conference
2017-18 Conference Tournament Winner: New Mexico State Aggies
The Aggies dominated the conference last season and took No.5 seed Clemson to the brink in the first round, coming up just short. New Mexico State has won the conference tournament in each of the past five years, making them one of the surest bets to win the conference out of all the ones mentioned above.