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2021 NCAA Tournament March Madness Picks


Apr. 5, 2021
by VI News

After three weeks of betting action and over 60 games played, we've seen the field for the NCAA Tournament get sliced from 68 to 2 schools.

March Madness will continue its single-elimination tournament on Monday with the National Championship game and the top two betting contenders lived up to the projections made by the oddsmakers.

Gonzaga will meet Baylor and in Monday's NCAA Tournament finale and the Bulldogs and Bears were listed at 2/1 and 5/1 respectively in pre-tournament futures markets.

Heading into the final, Gonzaga is now a -200 (Bet $100 to win $50) in the championship while Baylor is a short underdog at +160 (Bet $100 to win $160).

Championship Picks

Below, you'll be able to check out VegasInsider’s expert March Madness picks, odds, and up-to-date NCAA Basketball news.

Plus, find the best online sportsbooks for March Madness betting.

NCAA Tourney Picks Betting Results

As the tournament begins, we'll be updating the Straight Up (SU), Against the Spread (ATS) and Over-Under Total (O/U) results for all played games of the 2021 NCAA Tournament.

Bettors have wagered on 65 games so far and the best return so far has been on 'under' tickets for total bettors.

2021 NCAA Tournament Overall Betting Results
Wager Favorites-Underdogs
Straight Up 42-23
Against the Spread 31-34
Over-Under 23-42

Betting News & Resources

The stable of College Basketball experts have been covering the action all season long with their betting preview and prediction pieces. They'll be providing analysis for all 67 games in the 2021 NCAA Tournament.

All of the NCAA Tournament previews and picks can be found in our Daily Predictions headlines feature.

What are the current March Madness odds?

The NCAA Tourney Picks Odds for the Final Four have been updated in the latest Futures Markets and to no surprise, the No. 1 overall seed Gonzaga Bulldogs remain the top betting choice.

March Madness Final Four Contenders

Gonzaga -200
Baylor +160

Odds provided by BetMGM - Subject to Change

NCAA Tourney Picks & Predictions

After a few days of research, our College Basketball experts handicapping stable provided their top selections to win earn a trip to this year's Final Four, plus they offered up their top NCAA Tourney Pick to win the 2021 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.

Be sure to view the Consensus Tourney Picks from 26 of our college basketball experts.

Consensus Picks - Final Four Champion

  • Gonzaga 10
  • Illinois 8
  • Texas 2
  • Baylor 2
  • Alabama 2
  • Michigan 1
  • Iowa 1

The Michigan Wolverines are one of four No. 1 seeds and our VI experts aren't buying the Big Ten school to win the NCAA Tournament. (AP)

Consensus Picks - Region

Along with our experts, VI College Basketball enthusiast Thom Cunningham is offering up his top selections on the Sweet 16, Elite Eight, Final Four and Championship games.

Final Four Picks
Championship Picks

His pre-tournament selections for the Final Four include:

  • Gonzaga
  • Alabama
  • Baylor
  • Houston

NCAA Tourney Picks - Handicapping News

The Editorial Staff have dug up some great angles to help you with your handicapping for the first weekend of action, plus they're looking ahead to future wagers too.

These four pieces are quick reads that will give you even more rationale to fire away with confidence on your NCAA Tourney Picks this March.

Tourney Props - Best Bets
Favorites & Sleepers Picks
Tourney Regional - Best Bets
March Madness Team Trends

Lastly, don't forget to check out our College Basketball Free Picks page. The media crew is at it again with a ton of quick hitting videos to get you through the opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament.

Featured Betting Resources


All of your NCAA Tournament betting wagers can be followed throughout March Madness on the College Basketball Scores. The Scores are easily followed once you understand how they’re displayed and the role of each betting feature. All College Basketball Scores start with the Matchup, which has a designated home and away team.

All Games are listed in order of Rotation that are set by the sportsbooks. The Rotation numbers are assigned to each team and it identifies the bet that is being placed at an online sportsbook or in a casino. Those numbers eliminate any confusion between the bettor and the sportsbook. Along with rotation numbers, games are also listed by time and the College Basketball Scores show the Game Time in Eastern Standard Time Zone (ET).

Next to the rotations are the Teams that are playing, followed by the Betting Odds. The College Basketball Scores uses a consensus line that is created by multiple Las Vegas and Global sportsbooks. The Betting Odds display which team is the favorite in the matchup and that can be determined with a minus (-) sign followed by a number.

The March Madness scoreboard is updated as the games tip and you'll be able to track all your winning wagers for the 67 upcoming NCAA Tournament games.

College Hoops Tournament Overview

2021 NCAA College Basketball Tournament Dates

Each day of March Madness provides unique matchups and props to bet on and this year's event will be very unique as all games will take place from the state of Indiana, which is a legal betting state.

Bettors will have a total of 67 games to wager on from Thursday March 18, 2021 through Monday April 5, 2021 and the championship game will take place at Lucas Oil Stadium from Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Final Four - Saturday, April 3, 2021
  • NCAA Championship Game - Monday, April 5, 2021

With so many games over the three-week March Madness, you may find yourself needing a college ball cheat sheet for your basketball picks. What is March Madness anyway?

A popular annual NCAA men's basketball tournament, the event takes place over a three-week period. Unsurprisingly, the betting action on the NCAA Tournament brings in record handles for sportsbooks.

The tournament is a single-elimination format that consists of 68 teams. The schools that made the cut are announced on Selection Sunday – which is an event in itself. The 2021 selection show takes place on Sunday, March 14, 2021, at 6:00 p.m. ET and is televised nationally on CBS.

Pundits often try to predict the full bracket before the event and the term “Bracketology" is used in many sports betting circles. The brackets are divided into four regions, split up geographically in the United States. All of the March Madness games are played on neutral courts and the regional final takes place at a large venue. Sound like a real bracketologist in your March Madness pools with our expert NCAA tourney picks and top college basketball insights.

NCAA Tournament Format

The First Four games will take place on Thursday this season. This year’s games are scheduled for March 18th and they will be played at neutral locations in Indiana from Mackey Arena and Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

Eight teams will go head-to-head and the winners will advance to the field of 64 while the other four teams are sent packing.

The First Round action on Friday and Saturday is geared for both novice and professional bettors. The wagering opportunities are limitless with 16 games scheduled for both days and they’re broken up into four different sessions, with the opening tip beginning just after 12:00 p.m. ET.

As the field gets cut in half from 64 to 32, those winners will move onto the Second Round, which takes place on Sunday March 20th and Monday, March 21st. This round has been known to produce plenty of upsets.

The Sweet Sixteen is the next stage and bettors will have four games to follow on Saturday and Sunday, this year's matchups taking place on March 27th and March 28th.

The Sweet 16 venues in Indiana will take place at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and Hinkle Fieldhouse, home to the Indiana Pacers of the NBA and Butler Bulldogs of the Big East respectively.

The winners of those games will then meet on Monday and Tuesday in the Regional Finals or what’s better known as the Elite Eight, which will take place at Lucas Oil Stadium from Indianapolis, Indiana.

Four schools will advance and another four will be eliminated.

Earning a trip to the Final Four is a major accomplishment in itself, considering there are over 350 eligible teams that are given the same opportunity. The 2021 Final Four will go down at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Another name for the Final Four is the national semifinals and those games are tentatively scheduled for Saturday, April 3, 2021.

The two semifinal winners will get a day off before meeting in the National Championship on Monday, April 5, 2021, at the same venue.

March Madness Picks

March Madness Bracket Schedule

The full NCAA Tournament bracket is set and you can watch all of the games for the upcoming event and four networks in the United States.


Monday, Apr. 5

NCAA Tournament - Final Four

Baylor vs. Gonzaga (CBS, 9:00 p.m.) produces its own Live Viewable Brackets. This is a necessary betting resource for March Madness. For desktop users that prefer to fill out their bracket, you can do so with the VegasInsider Printable Bracket.

Keep an eye on the latest odds to win the 2021 NCAA men's college basketball tournament to learn which teams are the favorites when you fill out your bracket.

Win Your March Madness Bracket

Betting in the office pool? Dominate your friends using our VI Expert March Madness picks. With our seasoned handicappers, get key insights for all your NCAA bracket betting odds. From Final Four picks on who will win the NCAA, to this year’s underdog, make sure you’re ready for any March Madness upsets!

March Madness Betting

First, make sure to check out how to bet on March Madness. Now then, it’s important that you’re in a state that has legalized sports betting. Even better, bet on March Madness online in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and West Virginia!

So, which sportsbook should you bet with? While there’s always an element of personal preference, certain online sportsbooks offer better welcome bonuses than others.

In our experience, DraftKings, FanDuel, and PointsBet are top 3 contenders for online basketball betting. Check out our full reviews for the lowdown on why you should bet with these excellent sportsbooks.

College Basketball Betting Types

  • Money-line: This is an easy one. Simply pick which team will win outright. Say Notre Dame is up against San Diego State in a Final Four matchup – pick one team over the other to bring home the win. New bettors especially bet on the money-line as it's the simplest way to bet on a game.
  • Point Spread: Like money-line, here you choose a team to win or lose outright. However, the difference lies in guessing how much they win/lose by. This number is a specific points total set by the sportsbooks. Our advice? Check out the team’s average points per game over the season.
  • Totals: Also called over/under, this bet determines whether the final score will – combined – will be over or under what the sportsbook thinks.
  • Props: Oftentimes these are in-play bets. They can relate to brackets and player stats, or even fun things like a halftime show or what the mascot will do.
  • Futures: Feeling the itch to bet already? Futures can be placed weeks or sometimes months ahead of the game. For example, maybe you think Ole Miss will bring it home this year. Place a bet now ahead of Selection Sunday to get in on the ground floor. Just pay attention as the odds can change, and your choice can even be knocked out!
  • Parlays: Called accumulator bets in the UK, parlays are a series of bets. March Madness is the perfect time for parlays, where you can lay down a small bet of say $10 across five games. Win all five and you could be looking at a hefty return.

March Madness Expert Picks, Predictions & Tips

The College Basketball stable of experts will be ready to fire up selections for the 2021 NCAA Tournament.

Get the Full March Madness Package

Looking to improve your March Madness odds? Here are some key things that can make a difference when betting on the NCAA Tournament.

Everyone Loves an Underdog

A good comeback story is nothing to shake a tail at. Undoubtedly, these “Cinderella" teams make the college basketball season extremely popular. Since underdogs show up each year, consider placing a bet on some underdogs.

A Sure Thing is Never Certain

Down and out now that your Final Four choice lost in round one? Don’t sweat it, upsets happen all the time – remember this year’s Super Bowl? As long as all your picks don’t turn into an upset, there is always a chance to make it to the finals.

Top Teams Bleed Blue

Across the US, the top NCAA College Basketball teams are called “Blue Bloods". Usually, they can be a safe bet during March Madness. That said, Blue Bloods don’t always win, so watch out! However, they usually stay in the tournament until the final rounds.

NCAA Tournament Memberships is offering great opportunities to see a variety of NCAA Tournament predictions from all of our college basketball experts.

March Madness Betting FAQ

Below, our team at VegasInsider has collected some common questions about the 2021 NCAA Men's Tournament.

Which teams are in March Madness this year?

Until Selection Sunday, the final 68 teams are still up in the air. Make sure to tune in March 14th, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. ET to find out!

How do I set my March Madness bracket?

Well, by using our VegasInsider March Madness bracket, of course! View it online and print out the paper version for your office pool or friendly competition. After Selection Sunday, dive into the lineups and put your best guess forward.

Want an edge? Get a Tournament Picks Package from a VI Expert for great insights across all of March Madness.

Where can I bet on March Madness?

Without a doubt, the top online sportsbooks for college basketball betting are DraftKings, FanDuel, and PointsBet. As you know, DraftKings and FanDuel paved the way for DFS and fantasy basketball in the US, and have used that experience to offer top-tier sportsbooks to US bettors. Likewise, newcomer PointsBet has a unique points betting system and close ties to pro basketball players that makes betting on March Madness with them a no-brainer. Plus, every top sportsbook offers an excellent mobile app for sports betting. So, make sure to download the app after signing up for a welcome offer!

Odds Subject to Change - Per BetMGM

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