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2021 NCAA Championship Betting Picks

Apr. 1, 2021
by VI News

NCAA Tournament Championship Predictions

Prior to the NCAA Tournament beginning on Thursday Mar. 18, College Basketball expert Thom Cunningham believed that Gonzaga would run the table and win six straight games in the state of Indiana.

After watching close to 50 games and seeing the field go from 68 to the Sweet 16, Cunningham is still buying the Bulldogs to cut down the nets on Monday April, 5, 2021.

His NCAA Championship Matchup, Analysis and Prediction are below:

Gonzaga over Baylor

Assuming the Final Four picks of Gonzaga and Baylor are correct, expect the Bulldogs to beat the Bears. Gonzaga has looked like the better team this tournament, despite Baylor playing more difficult competition. However, Baylor has shown signs of inconsistency while Gonzaga hasn't missed a beat. Baylor might not have an answer for Drew Timme either, our projected Most Outstanding Player recipient at +350 (started +600). The Bulldogs are seemingly more consistent as a team and less reliant on just one player, as Baylor has been leaning on Davion Mitchell all tournament long.

2021 NCAA Tournament Winner: Gonzaga Bulldogs

NCAA Tournament - Consensus Picks

Prior to the NCAA Tourney, we leaned on our College Basketball experts handicapping stable to help you with your picks and predictions.

The majority of our experts have responded with the winner of each NCAA Tournament Region, plus they've selected their champion that will be crowned on Monday, Apr. 5, 2021.

Based on the 26 VI college basketball experts that responded, the top choice to win this year's NCAA Tournament is Gonzaga.

Consensus Picks Breakdown

Consensus Picks

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

After Gonzaga, Illinois was the most popular selection to win this year's NCAA Tournament. (AP)

What is the NCAA Championship Tournament?

The NCAA Tournament is the hottest event in US college basketball. March Madness betting takes over the nation every year in an incredible frenzy. And the big-ticket event always draws the most action. NCAA Championship betting is the crown jewel of the event.

Starting in March, millions of people across the United States fill out the NCAA brackets. It’s a sports betting event that’s made its way into the mainstream.

The NCAA Tournament is a 68-team championship event. The winner reigns supreme above all Division I men’s basketball teams in the nation. Teams from conferences across the United States face off in a single-elimination tournament, where everything is at stake in each game.

The NCAA Tournament has been held yearly since 1939, drawing growing audiences every year. March Madness betting has grown into a tremendous phenomenon. Office betting pools form all over the nation with everyone’s NCAA bracket picks.

The committee seeds the NCAA basketball championship according to complex factors, including previous NCAA championship scores and performance over the season. Top-seeded teams tend to dominate the quarters and semifinals, though surprise upsets happen every once in a while.

Despite being a collegiate event, the NCAA basketball championship draws audiences rivaling those of leagues like the NBA and NFL. NCAA Championship betting and general March Madness betting action have a lot to do with that popularity.

Major sport news networks cover the NCAA basketball championship extensively, including CBS Sports, ESPN, and Fox Sports. NCAA Championship betting is even popular in states where it’s technically illegal.

The popularity of the NCAA brackets among coworkers and groups of friends make most state authorities turn a blind eye to these casual wagers.

Most Popular March Madness Tools

Picking the NCAA Championship Teams

Selecting the teams to fill out your NCAA Championship betting bracket is almost an art form. All the major US sports networks, from CBS Sports to Fox Sports and ESPN, offer countless hours of analysis and advice.

Pundits suggest strategies, top picks, secret insider information, and more. Each phase of the tournament has its own betting frenzy. The coverage of each phase in the media is extensive as well.

Even US politicians join in on the action. Every year he was in office, President Barack Obama released his NCAA bracket picks to much fanfare. After leaving the Oval, the former president continues to share his picks every year. He’s not alone, either.

Millions of people join in on Elite 8 betting and NCAA Championship betting every year. Hundreds of websites publish extensive NCAA Championship scores to orient audiences filling their brackets. No one has ever had a perfect bracket, but some people have been pretty close.

The best streak anyone has ever shown in NCAA Championship betting history was from neuropsychologist Gregg Nigl, during the 2019 tournament. Nigl went 48 for 48, correctly predicting every team in the Sweet Sixteen.

NCAA Championship Schedule & Dates

The NCAA Championship is often referred to as March Madness, as it is mostly played during that month. However, the tournament spills over into April towards the end.

The 2020 NCAA Championship will begin on March 14, 2021, with Selection Sunday. The official 68-team field, bracket, and seeds are revealed on this date. The First Four games take place on Thursday March in the 2021 NCAA Tournament,

Round 1 of the tournament will take place between Friday March 19 and Saturday, March 20. Round 2 will play out on Sunday, March 21 and Monday, March 22.

Next up, the Sweet 16 teams face off on Friday, March 26 and Saturday, March 27. That’s when the NCAA Championship betting and Elite 8 betting really pick up steam. The Elite 8 teams face off on Sunday, March 28 and Monday, March 29.

The Final Four square off in the semifinals on Saturday, April 3. The finals, the 2020 NCAA Basketball Championship game, will be held on Monday, April 5, in Indianapolis, Indiana.

NCAA Championship Bracket

The NCAA brackets are one of the most popular forms of sports betting across the United States. They enjoy a curious de facto legality since most states that technically ban sports betting or gambling, in general, don’t enforce the law for March Madness betting.

Office pools are an extremely common occurrence around the NCAA Championship. Even major corporations join in on the action. World-famous billionaire investor Warren Buffet has promised millions of dollars to any employee of his who correctly picks the Sweet 16.

No one has come close so far, though. Taking into account the countless variables that affect the outcome of a game, it’s a very difficult feat, requiring both skill and luck. Knowing old NCAA championship scores and results is barely scraping the surface.

The NCAA Championship betting brackets involve vast amounts of statistical information and analysis. So-called “bracketologists” spend hundreds of hours studying game tape, player stats, simulations, and projections.

While it may seem like they have NCAA brackets down to a science, the truth is, not a single person has ever gotten a perfect bracket. It’s possible no one ever will. The NCAA estimates the odds are between 1 in a couple billion and 1 in a few quintillion.

How to Bet on the NCAA Championship?

NCAA brackets are in essence an outright parlay bet, with 63 or 67 (including the First Four) picks on a single ticket. In most office pools, the winner is whoever gets the most correct picks by the end of the tournament.

But brackets are far from the only way to get in on NCAA Championship betting and Elite 8 betting action. There are many ways to bet on the NCAA tournament. After the PASPA ruling in 2018, multiple states have moved to legalize and regulate sports betting.

States like New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Iowa now have their own mobile sports betting operations and platforms. Many NCAA Championship betting markets are available. They include mone-yline, point spread, handicap, over/under, prop bets and parlays.

If sports betting is legal in your state, all you have to do is visit your favorite online sportsbook, register for a player account, and make a deposit. Once you credit your deposit, you can start betting on your favorites for every match.

Some states have a “tethered mobile” registration system. If you are in one of those states, you will have to register your mobile account for the first time at a casino or retail sportsbook.

Past NCAA Championship Tournaments

2019’s NCAA Basketball Championship kicked off on March 17, with Selection Sunday. The First Four games happened on March 19 and 20, in Dayton, Ohio.

First-round took place on March 21 and 23, in Hartford, Des Moines, Jacksonville, and Salt Lake City. Round 2 took place on March 22 and 24, in Columbia, Columbus, Tulsa, and San Jose. The Sweet Sixteen faced off on March 28 and 29, with Elite 8 games on March 30 and 31.

The Final Four featured Michigan State (beating #1-seed Duke in the East Regional final), Virginia (beating Purdue in the South Regional final), Texas Tech (beating #1-seed Gonzaga in the West Regional final) and Auburn (beating Kentucky in the Midwest Regional final).

The National Semifinals and Championship games were held at the US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In the Final Four, Texas Tech won comfortably against Michigan State, while Virginia barely scraped by against Auburn in a tight semifinal game.

Virginia went on to conquer the tournament, defeating Texas Tech in the 2019 NCAA Championship Game.

Final Thoughts on NCAA Championship

The NCAA Tournament is one of the most thrilling times in basketball, and NCAA Championship betting makes it that much more exciting. NCAA Championship betting brackets, pools, and wagers continue to take the nation by storm every March.

The legalization of sports betting across several states in the Union will only help to cement the NCAA Championship betting as America’s favorite spring pastime.

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