Last Updated on March 14, 2021
Ladies and gentlemen, we have arrived. After COVID-19 shut down last year’s edition, we will finally be able to watch the NCAA Tournament go down for the first time in two years. Conference tournaments have concluded and the bracket, courtesy of CBS’ Selection Show, is now set. Who will go all the way and take become the winners of the Big Dance this year?
While Gonzaga is the top team in the country heading into the tournament, there are a number of Big Ten and Big 12 squads that can make some noise. Let’s take a look at the odds and lines for the first-round matchups and First Four games along with futures bets for the entire bracket.
As always, the NCAA Tournament is essentially unpredictable. Your bracket could be phenomenal, but there’s no shot you’re able to predict all the cinderella stories along with upsets that occur throughout the entire timeframe in which the tournament is taking place.
There’s only a matter of time before the tournament ultimately commences. First Four games will occur this Thursday before the first round is Friday/Saturday and the second round i Sunday/Monday. The sweet 16 is then the following weekend.
Register with DraftKings Sportsbook and snag 64-1 odds on any of the underdogs in the first round by clicking here.
2021 NCAA Tournament Odds
Sixteen games on Friday. Sixteen games on Saturday. It’s arguably two of the best sports days of the year, and without further ado, let’s dive into the odds for each of the matchups.
No. 16 Norfolk State vs. No. 16 Appalachian State (-2, 136.5)
No. 16 Mount St. Mary’s vs. No. 16 Texas Southern (-1.5, 134.5)
No. 11 Wichita State (-2, 139.5) vs. No. 11 Drake
No. 11 UCLA vs. No. 11 Michigan State (-1.5, 138.5)
No. 1 Michigan vs. No. 16 Norfolk State/No. 16 Appalachian State
No. 8 LSU (PK) vs. No. 9 St. Bonaventure
No. 5 Colorado (-5.5, 138.5) vs. No. 12 Georgetown
No. 4 Florida State (-11, 146) vs. No. 13 UNC-Greensboro
No. 6 BYU vs. No. 11 Wichita State/No. 11 Drake
No. 3 Texas (-8.5, 140.5) vs. No. 14 Abilene Christian
No. 7 UConn (-2, 131.5) vs. No. 10 Maryland
No. 2 Alabama (-16, 143.5) vs. No. 15 Iona
No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 16 Mount St. Mary’s /No. 16 Texas Southern
No. 8 Oklahoma (-2, 141.5) vs. No. 9 Missouri
No. 5 Creighton (-8, 140.5) vs. No. 12 UCSB
No. 4 Virginia (-10.5, 132.5) vs. No. 13 Ohio
No. 6 USC vs. No. 11 UCLA/No. 11 Michigan State
No. 3 Kansas (-11, 140.5) vs. No. 14 Eastern Washington
No. 7 Oregon (-5, 138.5) vs. No. 10 VCU
No. 2 Iowa (-15, 144) vs. No. 15 Grand Canyon
No. 1 Baylor (-25.5, 142.5) vs. No. 16 Hartford
No. 8 UNC (-1, 139.5) vs. No. 9 Wisconsin
No. 5 Villanova (-6.5, 137.5) vs. No. 12 Winthrop
No. 4 Purdue (-8, 126.5) vs. No. 13 North Texas
No. 6 Texas Tech (-4, 132.5) vs. No. 11 Utah State
No. 3 Arkansas (-9.5, 157.5) vs. No. 14 Colgate
No. 7 Florida (PK) vs. No. 10 Virginia Tech
No. 2 Ohio State (-17, 154.5) vs. No. 15 Oral Roberts
No. 1 Illinois (-23, 144.5) vs. No. 16 Drexel
No. 8 Loyola-Chicago (-2, 127) vs. No. 9 Georgia Tech
No. 5 Tennessee (-8.5, 136) vs. No. 12 Oregon State
No. 4 Oklahoma State (-9.5, 146.5) vs. No. 13 Liberty
No. 6 San Diego State (-2, 137.5) vs. No. 11 Syracuse
No. 3 West Virginia (12, 138.5) vs. No. 14 Morehead State
No. 7 Clemson vs. No. 10 Rutgers (-1, 129)
No. 2 Houston (-18.5, 135.5) vs. No. 15 Cleveland State
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March Madness Betting Trends
Now listen, predicting a bracket is indeed tough. Upsets occur, teams don’t show up as much as their opponents, and Cinderella stories shock the world. So when choosing your teams to win or betting on certain teams, there are a number of things to take into perspective.
What should help you out, however, is getting accustomed to different betting trends for the first round of the tournament.
Which trends should you keep in mind?
- Take the 7-seeds to defeat the 10-seeds: It’s understandable if you think the “7 vs. 10” games are tough to predict and bet on — the seeds are close together and it’s not impossible for the 10-seed to come up big and pull off an upset en route to advancing to the second round. Nonetheless, the 7-seeded teams have historically been successful, having notched a record of 85-55 up to this point (60.7% winning percentage).
- Hammer the spread for the underdogs when the 8-seed takes on the 9-seed: Likely the hardest games in the pick in the round of 64 is the “8 vs. 9” matchups. The difference in seeding can’t be any closer and either squad could be a tough matchup for the 1-seed they’ll probably play in the second round (barring a major upset in the “1 vs. 16” game). In these “8 vs. 9” matchups, the underdog has covered 59.1% of the time in the last 11 tournaments. The 9-seed, however, is 72-68 outright all-time against the 8-seed.
- The first-round games provide a great deal of context for the eventual championship winner: In the last 18 tournaments, the eventual national champion has gone 14-4 against the spread in their first-round games. Thus, if you’re going to bet on a team to eventually win the title now, I’d wait until the round of 64 has concluded to do so.
2021 NCAA Tournament Winner Odds
As was previously mentioned, Gonzaga is the top team in the country and one of the No. 1 seeds in the tournament, so the Bulldogs possess great odds to win the Big Dance. However, Baylor is additionally a phenomenal program and teams like Michigan and Illinois will be in the mix. Alabama and Arkansas out of the SEC should make some noise as well.
|San Diego State||+5000|
|Mount St. Mary’s||+100000|
|UC Santa Barbara||+100000|
Let’s take a look at the odds for the 2021 NCAA Tournament Winner.