Kentucky, Miami among best plays for CBB regular-season title futures

The next week in college basketball could feature a few major swings in the power-conference title races.

Tuesday's ACC showdown between Miami and North Carolina is vital to the success of either squad in the pursuit of Duke, who the Hurricanes beat in Durham two weeks ago.

The SEC regular-season title will come into focus on Wednesday and Saturday, when Kentucky visits Texas A&M and Auburn.

Miami and Kentucky come into Tuesday with some of the best conference winner value on the odds board at DraftKings Sportsbook because of their positions in the standings and the opportunities in front of them.

Those situations inspired me to take a look at each of the six power-conference regular-season title races to see where the best value lies as of Tuesday morning.

ACC: Miami (+1000)

Miami comes into Tuesday on top of the ACC standings, but it is third on the conference futures board.

Duke is the obvious favorite to win the conference and North Carolina is second on that list.

Miami won its sole regular-season meeting with Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium on January 8 and its only clash with North Carolina is at home on Tuesday night.

Miami's prospects of winning the ACC increase a ton if it beats the Tar Heels on home soil to gain the second of the valuable head-to-head tiebreakers.

The Hurricanes also host Florida State and Notre Dame, both of whom have two conference losses. Wins in those contests put the Canes in an even better position to win the ACC.

Big East: UConn (+800)

The Big East is Villanova's conference to lose.

The Wildcats already swept Xavier, split with Creighton and beat Seton Hall on the road. They can create more separation by beating Marquette at home on Wednesday.

Xavier sits at a decent price, but its two losses to Villanova put it at a disadvantage. Providence and UConn both have two games left versus Jay Wright's side.

That makes the Friars and Huskies the more advantageous futures bets. They both have two chances to take down the top dog in the Big East.

All four of those matchups occur in February after Villanova goes through an easier streak of games. Two wins over Villanova might be required to take the regular-season crown when February 1 hits.

UConn also has two games left against Xavier, which helps its potential to reach the top of the conference and knock out another rival.

Providence and UConn play each other one more time. The Friars won the first meeting in December. The difference between the two programs will be a backlogged schedule. Providence had its last three games postponed and a few three-game weeks could slow down its steam in the title race.

Big Ten: Purdue (+280)

Get Purdue at this price while you can.

The Boilermakers delivered a statement on the road at Illinois on Monday afternoon and they have a favorable schedule in place to take control of the Big Ten standings.

Purdue gets Ohio State and Illinois at home and its other two games against ranked opposition occur near the end of the regular season versus Michigan State and Wisconsin.

Matt Painter's team needs to beat Northwestern, Michigan, Maryland, Rutgers and Indiana at home and pick up one or two other road victories to feel safe going into its Michigan State-Wisconsin stretch.

Purdue is only going to get better with Jaden Ivey leading the scoring and Zach Edey improving with every game in the paint.

If Purdue wins one of its next two road games against Indiana or Iowa, it will be in even better shape to land the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten tournament.

Big 12: Baylor (+210)

Baylor's two-game losing streak is good news for bettors that wanted to catch some value with the Bears on the Big 12 title market.

Baylor needs to get back on track with a road win over West Virginia on Tuesday. A win in Morgantown and a victory in Norman on Saturday put the Bears back in a good position to top the Big 12.

Scott Drew's team still has to face Kansas twice and it plays Texas on two occasions. It should feel a bit wary about the road trip to Lubbock on February 16, but Texas Tech should drop at least one loss in that column before that game since it visits Kansas on January 24.

You could make the case for Texas or Texas Tech at a higher number, but Baylor has more quality and title-winning experience in its squad and you have to think it will not lose many more games in conference play.

Pac-12: Oregon (+1000)

How could you not be intrigued by Oregon's chances to win the Pac-12 after the last week?

Oregon went into California and defeated both UCLA and USC to throw its name back into the Pac-12 title discussion.

The Ducks have a chance to double up the Bruins and Trojans when they come to Eugene at the end of February. Those contests come one week after Dana Altman's squad goes down to Tuscon to face Arizona.

Arizona is two games ahead of Oregon in the loss column, but the Wildcats face UCLA twice and USC before the Ducks come to the McKale Center.

Oregon would love to see multiple Arizona defeats in that stretch, but it really just needs one to make the February 19 clash for the conference lead.

Prior to that game, Oregon can build up steam by beating some of the weaker teams in the conference. The road games in that stretch come against Colorado, Utah and Arizona State, all of whom are struggling this season.

SEC: Kentucky (+350)

Kentucky has an absolutely massive week in front of it.

The Wildcats visit Texas A&M on Wednesday and then take a trip to Auburn on Saturday.

Two wins by the Wildcats put them on top of the SEC standings with a favorable schedule left in front of them.

John Calipari's team played much better basketball in the last few weeks. That was emphasized by its 107-79 trouncing of Tennessee on Saturday.

Kentucky needs to win at least one of its road games this week, preferably the one at Auburn, to stake its claim in the SEC title race.

After Saturday, the Wildcats have two games against the ranked programs in the conference. One is against the Tennessee team they just blew out and the other is at home versus LSU.

Wins in those two contests, plus one over Auburn, would set up the Wildcats in a terrific position to claim the SEC regular-season crown.

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