What happens in Las Vegas doesn’t necessarily stay there when it comes to March Madness. For starters, the Mountain West Tournament champions earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Can Colorado State win what oddsmakers see as a wide-open tournament?
The Rams carry a 24-4 record (14-4 Mountain West) into Thursday’s quarterfinal matchup against either Utah State or Air Force. Colorado State finished second in the regular season — one game behind Boise State.
San Diego State (21-7, 13-4 Mountain West) joins Boise State and Colorado State among the favorites in the Colorado sports betting market. Wyoming and UNLV aren’t all that far behind on the boards, meaning any of the five schools have a reasonable shot at the title.
But wide-open tournaments can lead to upsets, so expecting the unexpected may be the best approach when determining your betting strategy. Here’s a look at the odds as of early Wednesday afternoon at DraftKings Colorado, Caesars Colorado, and BetRivers Colorado.
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Mountain West Tournament Odds
While oddsmakers have three teams bunched closely at the top, with two others in striking distance, the remaining six schools are also broken into two groups.
Utah State and Fresno State aren’t far removed from Wyoming and UNLV in the eyes of oddsmakers. When it comes to Nevada, New Mexico, San Jose State, and Air Force, their visits to Sin City are likely to be brief.
|Mountain West Conference Tournament||DraftKings||Caesars||BetRivers|
|San Diego State||+330||+310||+350|
|San Jose State||+50000||+15000||+15000|
Oddsmakers View Top Three Teams In Similar Light
Boise State (24-7, 15-3) is favored with odds between +250 (BetRivers) and +280 (DraftKings) as of this writing. San Diego State’s odds sit anywhere from +310 (Caesars) to +350 (BetRivers).
The Rams are as low as +350 at BetRivers and as high as +400 at Caesars. DraftKings has Colorado State at +360.
With odds bunched that tightly just about anything from an injury to a star player getting in foul trouble can be the difference.
Granted, any team can get on a roll and pull a huge upset in a conference tournament, but parity lessens the chances in this case. When one team’s a huge favorite, it only takes one upset to open the door for an underdog.
With three teams in the mix, it’s hard to imagine all three of them getting upset. Wyoming and UNLV stand the best chances at pulling an upset. And being at home in the Thomas & Mack Center also gives the UNLV an edge in that regard.
Assessing Colorado State’s Mountain West Tournament Chances
The good news for Colorado State is that it beat Boise State in both regular-season meetings. The Rams won in overtime at Boise State and then won by three points at home. Things haven’t come as easily against San Diego State, however.
The Aztecs handed the Rams a 79-49 loss, but Colorado State rallied for a one-point win in Fort Collins, Colo. Wyoming, meanwhile, beat the Rams in overtime at home before Colorado State won by six on its home court.
If there’s a team Colorado State may not want to face in the championship game, it’s UNLV. The Rams lost both regular-season matchups, falling by 14 points at home and 21 on the road.
The Rams are led by a trio of guards. David Roddy averages 19.5 points per game, Isaiah Stevens adds 14.8, and John Tonje contributes 9.7 points per game.
If those three get some help offensively, the Rams certainly have a shot at winning the Mountain West Tournament.