Mar. 30, 2021
Elite Eight Predictions
Prior to the NCAA Tournament, VegasInsider.com College Basketball expert Thom Cunningham filled out his Bracket for the 2021 NCAA Tournament and he still has five of his pre-tournament Elite Eight predictions alive in this year's tournament.
As we head into the Sweet Sixteen this weekend, Cunningham has posted his Sweet 16 Picks and he believes the Elite Eight matchups will set up this way for next Monday and Tuesday.
2021 Elite Eight Picks (Cunningham's Pre-Tournament)
Bettors can view Cunningham's top selections for the rest of the NCAA Tournament below:
Most Popular March Madness Tools
2021 Elite Eight Predictions
VI College Basketball expert Thom Cunningham provided us with his pre-tournament Elite Eight selections for the 2021 NCAA Tournament and he correctly picked (see below) six of this year's Elite Eight.
Plus, all but one of the schools he selected are still alive in his Regional Best Bets video.
Now that we know this year's Elite Eight, we've asked him to provide his Score Predictions and Best Bets for this week's matchups.
No. 12 Oregon State vs. No. 2 Houston
Score Prediction: Oregon State 62 Houston 70
Houston's defense won't scare Oregon State, as the Beavers are coming off a win against the nation's top defense in Loyola-Chicago. However, the huge difference between Loyola and Houston is offensive rebounding. Houston is the best team nationally in offensive rebounds, so if Roman Silva is beaten on the glass it might not matter how many shots Ethan Thompson can create. Oregon State's magical run continues if they win the glass game, which is unlikely.
No. 3 Arkansas vs. No. 1 Baylor
Score Prediction: Baylor 79 Arkansas 73
Although this game features two of the most prolific offenses in the nation, Arkansas has gone UNDER the point total in five straight games. A bit understandable considering oddsmakers have set extremely high totals for Arkansas (saw 160 in first round vs. Colgate). The bet here is to take the generous 149.5 point total and go against Arkansas' recent grain and take the OVER here. Baylor should win and is the clear cut second-bet team in the country, but the total has more conviction with a low line and two high=scoring offenses.
No. 6 USC vs. No. 1 Gonzaga
Score Prediction: Gonzaga 83 USC 72
Gonzaga will finally face a school that can match the size of Drew Timme. However, USC might not have the fire power to keep up with Gonzaga's offense. Make no mistake, USC has the weapons to play with Gonzaga's guards and the size to play in the paint. USC can win this game, but it will take foul trouble on Gonzaga's part along with a woeful shooting performance. This game will come down to second chance points, as Timme vs. Mobley is the quite possibly the b best matchup to watch in the Elite Eight.
No. 11 UCLA vs. No. 1 Michigan
Score Prediction: Michigan 74 UCLA 66
This might be a three-point frenzy game, as the typical Michigan UNDER bet seems to be anything but a lock here. Why? Well, Johny Juzang, Jaime Jaquez and Tyger Campbell are scoring points at a highly efficient rate - with the first two names seemingly unable to miss from three. The difference between Alabama and Michigan are two things - Michigan won't go 11-for-25 from the free throw line like Alabama did to lose in the Sweet 16. Also, Michigan is actually hitting their three-pointers. Both Mike Smith and Eli Brooks have monstrous three-point numbers inside Indiana venues, specifically Lucas Oil Stadium.
Elite Eight Best Bets and Predictions
Elite Eight Odds Market
Prior to the NCAA Tournament starting, FanDuel Sportsbook offered Elite Eight "Yes or No" odds on select teams for this year's NCAA Tournament.
We've highlighted the schools that are still alive heading into the Sweet 16. Of the 18 schools that had markets available, eight of them are still alive and there are some generous odds available on a couple teams to put forth another 2-0 effort.
Odds Order - Yes/No
Arkansas +370 -520
Odds per FanDuel - Subject to Change
How to read the Odds:
Bet $100 Yes on Gonzaga -355 to win $28.17
What is the Elite Eight Tournament?
The NCAA Tournament is one of the most exciting events in the world of basketball. It’s a time of avid wagering. March Madness betting and Elite Eight Betting are among the most popular forms of sports betting in the country.
The Elite Eight gathers the finest teams from each NCAA bracket and places them in a single tournament. Only Final Four betting is comparable to the action operators see during Elite Eight betting season.
Today, we’ll review the basics of the Elite Eight tournament, March Madness betting, and the more intricate details of Elite Eight betting.
The Elite Eight is the official nickname for the NCAA basketball national quarterfinals. It owes its name to the fact that 8 teams participate in this stage of the yearly tournament.
For Division I and III, they are the top two teams from each of the four regional championships. For Division II, the Elite Eight consists of the eight winners from each of the eight regions.
The Elite Eight was originally the name for the final eight teams of the Illinois High School Boys Basketball Championship. The IHSA trademarked the term Elite Eight in the 90s, and the trademark is shared today with the NCAA tournament.
On an average year, 75% of #1-seeded teams make it to the Elite Eight. Very few low-seeded teams have ever made it that far in the NCAA tournament. Elite Eight brackets typically represent the best of the best that NCAA basketball has to offer.
Elite Eight brackets are also considered the halfway point for the NCAA tournament. To reach the national quarterfinals, teams must win three games, and have three games ahead to win the entire NCAA bracket.
Picking the Elite Eight
Teams that make it into Elite Eight betting pools are generally among the highest-ranked in the tournament. Elite Eight scores and brackets are the subject of intense speculation all over the nation. “Bracketologists,” or NCAA bracket experts, make their predictions annually.
Picking the Elite Eight and the Final Four is an extremely popular outright betting pool. Offices and friend groups across the nation participate in the yearly ritual.
Famous bracketologists have included Barack Obama, who would share his Elite Eight betting picks and Final Four betting picks many of the years he was in office. In 2015, though, Mitt Romney’s Elite Eight scores and bracket predictions bested Obama. He got 6 out of 8 teams, and the winner!
There is much fanfare around Elite Eight picks every year. Major sports networks run constant coverage with relevant information to predict Elite Eight scores and brackets. March Madness betting takes the nation by storm every spring.
After the onslaught of the first half of the tournament, the Elite Eight gives way to the Final Four betting pools. Thousands of players compete to get the teams and scores right, for payouts and prizes ranging from modest to formidable.
Elite Eight Schedule & Dates
While Elite Eight betting starts long before the actual Elite Eight are selected, this stage of the tournament is very short-lived. The Elite Eight exists for a mere 24 hours before becoming the Final Four.
Since the 2021 NCAA Tournament will be taking place from Indiana, the dates were moved around for this year's event.
The Elite Eight is the final round before the Final Four and will pit eight schools that have started the tournament with perfect 3-0 records.
In previous NCAA Tournaments, these games would have been scheduled for Saturday and Sunday matchups.
All four of the games will take place at Lucas Oil Stadium and the action will begin in the evening at 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
You can expect Elite Eight betting to reach a frenzy shortly before these dates. The tournament itself will begin with Selection Sunday, on March 14, revealing the full tournament field, brackets, and seeds.
After the Elite Eight, the Final Four will face off on April 3 before the NCAA Championship game and all three of those games will take place at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana as well.
Another notable stage of the competition preceding Elite Eight betting, the Sweet Sixteen, will take place between March 27 and 28.
Elite Eight Bracket
Elite Eight brackets are eight-way single elimination brackets filled out by bettors with their picks for the Elite Eight. Elite Eight brackets are typically printed blank and handed out among Elite Eight betting pools.
In a blank Elite Eight bracket, you have eight empty lines to determine your 8 picks. You also have to get the matches right (meaning, who is playing who). You then select the winners from those matches to make up your Final Four, then the Championship match, and the actual Champions.
Building the NCAA brackets has become a national pastime every March. Major sports networks offer expert insight, analysis and advice on the picks. Celebrities and professional athletes weigh in on the brackets with their own picks and thoughts.
Elite Eight brackets are one of the most common types of Elite Eight betting available. Many groups of coworkers, classmates and friends pool together for the Elite Eight betting season. The nation is brought together by a craze of March Madness betting.
How to Bet on the Elite Eight?
There are many ways to join in on all that Elite Eight betting action. For starters, Elite Eight bracket betting pools are extremely popular at many workplaces and schools around the nation. An Elite Eight betting bracket is essentially an outright bet on 8 teams in specific positions.
However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Elite Eight betting. Every match of the Elite Eight is hotly contested between strong, dominant teams. These matches attract enormous amounts of interest from bettors all over the country.
Most of that betting interest translated into a lot of illegal gambling. That was until 2018, when the PASPA ruling struck down the federal ban on sports betting. Since then, several states have regulated sports betting, and there are now many legal options in several states.
In states like New Jersey or Pennsylvania, where online and mobile sportsbooks are legal, Elite Eight betting is straightforward. You can place moneyline bets on winning teams, bet against the spread, or make special prop bets.
If you’re feeling particularly confident, you can even place complicated parlay bets on the Elite Eight. Pick multiple winning teams, players to score and many more combinations.
Past Elite Eight Tournaments Winner
The 2019 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship Selection Sunday was March 17, with Elite Eight matches on March 30 and 31. Final Four matches were held on April 6, with the Championship Game on April 8, at the US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
In the East Regional Tournament, #1-seed Duke lost in a thrilling match against the #2-seed Michigan State. The West Regional final saw favorite #1-seed Gonzaga lose by 6 points to Texas Tech, the #3-seed.
The South Regional final saw #1-seed Virginia dominate #3-seed Purdue by a short margin of 5 points. In the Midwest Regional final, Auburn, the #5-seeded team, defeated #2-seed Kentucky by 6 points.
In the Final Four, #3-seed Texas Tech dominated #2-seed Michigan State by 10 points. #1-seed Virginia won an extremely tight match against #5-seed Auburn, 63-62.
In the National Championship Game, Virginia went on to conquer the title with an 8 point lead over Texas Tech.
Final Thoughts on Elite Eight for March Madness 2021
In 2021, the Elite Eight is shaping up to be as exciting as ever. It’s far too early to be making predictions about which teams will face off, since we don’t even know the field yet. Seeds and brackets are still far off in the distance.
However, there are a few teams that will be likely contenders for the Elite Eight in 2021. Teams like the Gonzaga Bulldogs and Baylor Bears are the favorites to make an appearance in the Sweet Sixteen or the Elite Eight.