Wed 24/02/2021 - 09:26 EST

    March Madness 2021 Picks and Analysis

    March Madness 2021 Picks and Analysis

    With the NCAA March Madness just days away, we look at who the top online sportsbooks are lining as the most likely champions. Gonzaga and Baylor quickly jump out as the co-favourites and then there's a long list of potential champs. We'll examine with our March Madness picks and analysis what these odds are.

    But for now, here are the odds to win the NCAA March Madness Tournament:

    2021 March Madness Winner sports-interaction spin-palace-sports betonline

    Gonzaga Bulldogs

    3.53 3.50 3.70

    Baylor Bears

    4.57 4.00 4.75

    Michigan Wolverines

    7.19 7.50 7.00

    Villanova Wildcats

    15.00 12.00 15.00

    Ohio State Buckeyes

    19.00 18.00 19.00

    Illinois Fighting Illini

    19.00 19.00 19.00

    Iowa Hawkeyes

    21.00 18.00 17.00

    Alabama Crimson Tide

    21.00 20.00 23.00

    Houston Cougars

    25.00 21.00 23.00

    Florida State Seminoles

     25.00  25.00 34.00

    March Madness Championship: Best Picks

    We won't be breaking down all of the contenders on here, but we'll go with a three-tier approach:

    • The Favourites - the top-two teams most likely to win
    • Overrated - teams whose odds are too low given their talent and; 
    • Value Picks - underrated teams whose odds are too high for their potential 

    Let's start with the two teams you'll be seeing in most brackets this March:

    The Favourites

    Every NCAA tournament, there will always be the favourites. Heck, you got four 1-seeds so you have to have favourites. But this time, we have not one but two legitimate favourites who could win the entire March Madness (odds via BetOnline):

    Gonzaga Bulldogs (3.70)

    The undefeated 'Zags are the only team to have a top-five offense and defense by KenPom.com's ratings. They have a bluechip prospect in Jalen Suggs leading the way in stomping on everyone including four Top 25 teams. 

    If there's any reason to doubt Gonzaga, it's that they haven't really been "tested" enough this season. But it could also be because they make everything look easy. The 'Zags have a nice depth of chemistry and skill. They are rightful favourites heading to the tournament. 

    Baylor Bears (4.75)

    Not far behind is Baylor. Like Gonzaga, they're also unbeaten and have a prolific offense and stalwart defense. Baylor is arguably even deeper than the 'Zags boasting four double-digit scorers along with two players, guards Jared Butler and Davion Mitchell, who are projected to be taken in the first round of the NBA Draft. 

    Baylor plays in the loaded Big 12 but has beaten every ranked opponent and won by double-digits in all but one game (against Texas Tech). It is plausible they will meet Gonzaga in the Finals in a battle of undefeated teams.

    Overrated Picks

    There are a ton of teams with odds that are too good for them and it's most likely because they're popular. Do they have a shot at winning the title? Of course. But it's definitely not as close as their odds indicate:

    Iowa Hawkeyes (17.00)

    The Hawkeyes are getting a lot of love thanks to having the best offense and the best player in senior center Luka Garza who is posting a whopping 24.7 points on 56 percent shooting. But the Hawkeyes aren't even the best team in their conference. They're not even the second or third best team.

    Iowa has lost six times, five against conference rivals including against unranked opponents Minnesota and Indiana (twice). And in the tournament, all it takes is for them to run into another top-25 defense and that could be it.

    Ohio State Buckeyes (19.00)

    Sticking to the Big Ten we have OSU, which seems to always be a popular bet simply because of their household name. But the Buckeyes are overachieving and are peaking already. And just like Iowa, this is a team that can score in bunches but struggles on the other side. 

    That's usually not the type of build you look for in an NCAA champion. This is a team that's been exposed by Illinois and Purdue (twice), two top-25 defensive teams.  

    Other overrated picks: West Virginia (29.00), Creighton (34.00), Florida State (34.00)

    Value Picks

    Opposite to the overrated teams are the underrated ones whose odds are a bit too big for the potential they have. We're not saying these teams will win the tournament, but they have a legitimate shot and the payout is lucrative: 

    Houston Cougars (23.00)

    It's crazy that Houston remains greater than a 20-1 longshot to win the tournament. I would still take the top-four teams to beat them, but the Cougars are too good to be priced like this. So what if they play in a cupcake conference where they've lost three games? 

    The Cougars have a top-20 offense and defense, a bonafide star in junior guard Quentin Grimes, and most of their starters returning from last season. This is a team that has chemistry and defensive intensity and can go very deep in the tournament. 

    Alabama Crimson Tide (23.00)

    Speaking of defensive intensity, Bama has that in spades. The best team in the SEC has the second-best defense in the nation and a streaky offense that can lay waste to any squad. Losing to non-conference opponents like Clemson and Stanford points to a flawed team. 

    True, this team can be boom or bust, especially with its offense. But the Tide have a championship-caliber defense that can carry them deep into April even if their shots aren't falling.

    Other underrated picks: Illinois (21.00), Wisconsin (34.00), Tennessee (41.00)

    When choosing the best online sportsbooks to pick your NCAA March Madness teams, be sure to keep an eye not the changing odds. Sign up for more than one book and poach the best odds while availing of the many signup bonuses and promotions the books offer for Canadians.

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      Category : Sports News

      Tag : March Madness Picks

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