It should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed college basketball this year that Gonzaga (+200), Baylor (+600) and Michigan (+600) are considered the favorites in betting to cut the nets at the end of the NCAA 2021. Tournament But as is always the case, it’s the other teams below them on the odds board, from sleeping picks to long shots, who are more intriguing than those looking to bet on March Madness (or get guidance for their groups of groups).
Perhaps the highest risk-reward teams on the board are Virginia (+3000) and Kansas (+4200), two powerhouses that withdrew from their respective conference tournaments due to positive COVID testing, but are still expected to compete in the NCAA tournament. They won’t count on the players who tested positive, other than those players’ close contacts, for at least the first two rounds, but they could be in full force after that if they advance. Obviously, their narrow rosters make them more vulnerable in the early rounds, but if they make it to the second weekend, both teams could be considered slight values at their current odds, especially Kansas.
Of course, “value” is one thing; winning your bets is another. That is why Gonzaga is at the top of the odds table at +200. After dominating the regular season en route to a 26-0 record, Gonzaga will look to become the first unbeaten Division 1 men’s college basketball champion since the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers. Despite playing relatively weak in the WCC, the ‘Zags have an impressive resume that includes wins over Kansas, West Virginia, Iowa, Virginia and BYU (three times). They’re the favorites for a reason, although a potentially tough region featuring the aforementioned Iowa and Kansas and Virginia could have some punters fading the ‘Zags’.
Right behind Gonzaga is Baylor (22-2), who lost just once during the regular season (at Kansas) before bothering in the Big 12 tournament against Oklahoma State, and Michigan (+600), whose national title hopes are They were affected when they lost indefinitely to second top scorer Isaiah Livers to a foot injury in the Big 10. However, Michigan has a large following, so perhaps it was still tied for second with better odds of winning. .
MORE: Get Your NCAA Tournament Bracket Printable Here
Updated March Madness 2021 Odds
Gonzaga, Baylor and Michigan might have separated from the rest of the college basketball group this year in many people’s minds, but the advanced statistics site kenpom.com it actually ranked Illinois ahead of Baylor, and that was before Illini defeated Ohio State to win the Big 10 tournament. As such, it’s no surprise that the other No. 1 seed is fourth on the odds table with + 700.
Two other Big 10 teams, Iowa (+1600) and Ohio State (+2400) are among the next four teams, with Houston (+1800) and Alabama (+2100) sandwiched between them. Alabama is the No. 2 seed in the East region, where Michigan is No. 1, so if you think Livers’ injury is enough to crush Michigan’s hopes, Alabama at +2100 is an intriguing gamble.
Many will likely be targeting the East region for their “sleeper” bets, with No. 3 seed Texas (+4200), No. 4 Florida State (+3000), and even No. 5 favorite Colorado (+4800) all. in consideration as “value” options. If you’re looking for real value in that region, you can try blue blood like Michigan State (+10000) or UCLA (+7500), who will meet in an entry game on Thursday. The winner of that game will take on BYU, and given the unpredictability of the eastern region, it has a chance to make some noise as a long shot.
Below is the full starting odds board, courtesy of FanDuel sports betting. These odds will certainly change as bets are placed throughout the week. Also, Rutgers was not included in the big FanDuel board, perhaps due to the New Jersey rule you can’t bet on the team in the state (and the people of New Jersey could bet online).
|State of ohio||+2400|
|State of oklahoma||+3000|
|San Diego State||+4800|
|State of oregon||+18000|
|mount Santa Maria||+24000|
Of course, we know that no team is truly “safe” during March Madness, so betting on multiple teams at a variety of value points makes sense. Obviously you don’t want to bet big on any team in the +20000 range, but trying your luck with some teams in the +4000 to +9000 range usually won’t crush you, assuming you don’t do it all. in and / or do not bet on favorites too.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.