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2021 Sweet 16 Betting Predictions

Mar. 23, 2021
by VI News

2021 Sweet 16 Predictions and Picks

The 2021 Sweet Sixteen is set as bettors will have eight games to wager on this weekend in the 2021 NCAA Men's Tournament.

The matchups and nationally televised schedules are listed below:

Saturday, March 27, 2021

  • Oregon State vs. Loyola-Chicago (CBS, 2:40 p.m.)
  • Villanova vs. Baylor (CBS, 5:15 p.m.)
  • Oral Roberts vs. Arkansas (TBS, 7:25 p.m.)
  • Syracuse vs. Houston (TBS, 9:55 p.m.)

Sunday, March 28, 2021

  • Creighton vs. Gonzaga (CBS, 2:10 p.m.)
  • Florida State vs. Michigan (CBS, 5:00 p.m.)
  • UCLA vs. Alabama (TBS, 7:15 p.m.)
  • Oregon vs. USC (TBS, 9:45 p.m.)

2021 Sweet 16 Future Odds

Prior to the NCAA Tournament, Gonzaga was the top betting choice and the school out of Spokane, Washington remains the overall favorite.

The Bulldogs were listed at 2/1 odds per BetMGM sportsbooks and they're now a 3/2 choice (Bet $100 to win $150).

According to the oddsmakers, Baylor remains the toughest competition at 9/2 odds (Bet $100 to win $450).

Oral Roberts, a No. 15 seed, remains the largest long shot at 100/1 odds but give credit to the school since they were 250/1 prior to the tournament starting.

Check out our Futures Market daily and throughout the remainder of the NCAA Tournament.

Odds To Win 2021 National Championship (4/5/21)
Team Current Pre-Tournament
Gonzaga +150 +200
Baylor +450 +500
Michigan +900 +600
Houston +900 +1600
Alabama +1000 +1600
Loyola-Chicago +1400 +4000
Arkansas +1600 +3500
Florida State +2000 +2000
Creighton +2500 +2500
USC +2500 +3500
Oregon +3000 +5000
Syracuse +3000 +8000
Villanova +3000 +4000
UCLA +5000 +12500
Oregon State +5000 +15000
Oral Roberts +10000 +25000

2021 Sweet 16 Predictions

VI College Basketball enthusiast Thom Cunningham provided us with his pre-tournament Sweet 16 selections for the 2021 NCAA Tournament and he correctly picked (see below) eight of this year's Sweet 16.

Considering we have six seeds listed at 10 or higher, it's not too bad of a job.

Plus, all of the schools he selected are still alive in his Regional Best Bets video.

Now that we know this year's Sweet 16 field, we've asked him to provide his Score Predictions and Best Bets for this weekend's eight matchups.

No. 12 Oregon State vs. No. 8 Loyola-Chicago

Score Prediction: Loyola 65 Oregon State 64

This is a Sweet 16 matchup between two 'Cinderella' schools, each expected to fall before reaching this round. Oregon State will look to combat Loyola's big man Cameron Krutwig with their own in Roman Silva. Look for the Ramblers to try and shut down Beavers' leading scorers Ethan Thompson and Jarod Lucas.

No. 5 Villanova vs. No. 1 Baylor

Score Prediction: Baylor 74 Villanova 66

Baylor is reminding everyone just how good they are, as many forget this is a team that has only lost twice over the past year or so. Villanova has proven doubters wrong without star Collin Gillespie, but now reach their toughest opponent of the tournament to date. Baylor is a massive leap in talent from both Winthrop and North Texas.

No. 15 Oral Roberts vs. No. 3 Arkansas

Score Prediction: Arkansas 86 Oral Roberts 74

Oral Roberts is looking to reach the Elite Eight, becoming the second 15 seed ever to reach the Sweet 16. Arkansas is a team that has gotten better as the season has progressed however, one of the elite scoring teams nationally. ORU has busted many brackets already, but one constant with both schools is they score a ton of points.

No. 11 Syracuse vs. No. 2 Houston

Score Prediction: Houston 72 Syracuse 65

Syracuse will put their offensive momentum to the ultimate test, taking on the best defensive team remaining in the tournament. Houston allows the second-fewest points per game nationally, so the three-point shooting must be electric for the Orange. Houston is also the best offensive rebounding team in the nation, so Syracuse must play big on defense.

No. 4 Florida State vs. No. 1 Michigan

Score Prediction: Michigan 73 FSU 69

Michigan hasn't missed a beat without star player Isaiah Livers, who may come back for the Wolverines. FSU has been able to play a slow-tempo game against both Colorado and UNC-Greensboro, but this game will be much faster in terms of pacing. The key matchup will be Michigan's center Hunter Dickinson vs the FSU length and size.

Gonzaga's Drew Timme has had a great tournament and he's a serious contender to win this year's MOP award. (AP)

No. 5 Creighton vs. No. 1 Gonzaga

Score Prediction: Gonzaga 84 Creighton 70

Gonzaga is the only team in the country to average over 90 points per game, and they also feature the 13th-most efficient defense. Creighton is a team that relies on the three-pointer, which Gonzaga will more than likely limit. Creighton also struggles against teams with a dominant big man, lacking one themselves. Look for Drew Timme to have a good game in this one.

No. 7 Oregon vs. No. 6 USC

Score Prediction: USC 72 Oregon 68

There are two big differences between these schools - defense and size. Oregon plays bigger than they actually are, but USC has Evan Mobley who should have a field day with the undersized Ducks. USC is also much better on defense, which is most likely due to their substantial length advantage against most teams. Due to this, USC typically wins the rebounding battle as well.

No. 11 UCLA vs. No. 2 Alabama

Score Prediction: Alabama 77 UCLA 72

Alabama, for some reason, plays much better at night than during the daytime - as shown through the Crimson Tide's first two games. UCLA can keep pace with Alabama if both Johnny Juzang and Jaime Jaquez are on fire, but Alabama has a Top 20 defense nationally in terms of efficiency. UCLA has the talent to keep pace with Alabama's high-scoring offense but can they break the deceivingly dangerous Crimson Tide defense?

Sweet 16 Best Bets and Predictions

  • Sweet 16 Best Favorite: Baylor
  • Sweet 16 Best Underdog: Oregon State
  • Sweet 16 Best Over: Oregon-USC
  • Sweet 16 Best Under: Syracuse-Houston
  • Sweet 16 Best Future Value: Most Outstanding Player - Drew Timme +600

Cunningham (Pre-Tournament Selections)

East Region

1) Michigan
2) FSU
3) BYU
4) Alabama

Midwest Region

1) Illinois
2) Oklahoma State
3) West Virginia
4) Houston

South Region

1) Baylor
2) Purdue
3) Texas Tech
4) Ohio State

West Region

1) Gonzaga
2) Creighton
3) Kansas
4) Oregon

Most Popular March Madness Tools

Sweet Sixteen Odds Market

Prior to the NCAA Tournament starting, FanDuel Sportsbook offered Sweet 16 "Yes or No" odds on select teams for this year's NCAA Tournament.

We've highlighted the "Yes Winners" on this betting market below and you can see that only nine (33%) of the 27 schools offered were able to connect and advance to the Sweet 16.

Odds Order - Yes/No

Gonzaga -1500 +790
Kansas +112 -138
USC +134 -164
Wisconsin +410 -590
Alabama -154 +124
BYU +198 -250
Colorado +164 -205
Florida +370 -520
Florida State -110 -110
Oklahoma State +134 -164
Oregon +310 -420
Purdue +116 -142
San Diego State +180 -225
Tennessee +116 -142
Texas +146 -180
Texas Tech +146 -180
Virginia -106 -114
Virginia Tech +490 -750
West Virginia -115 -105
Arkansas +118 -144
Baylor -340 +260
Creighton +154 -192
Illinois -210 +240
Iowa -250 +298
Michigan -290 +225
Ohio State -162 +132
Oklahoma +920 -2000

Odds per FanDuel - Subject to Change

How to read the Odds:

Bet $100 Yes on Gonzaga -1500 to win $6.67
Bet $100 No on Gonzga +790 to win $790

The 2021 Sweet 16 will take place on Saturday March 27 and Sunday March 28 from two venues:

  • Bankers Life Fieldhouse
  • Hinkle Fieldhouse

It gets the name because this will be when the final 16 teams of the college basketball season face off. This means there will be a total of eight games, four on Saturday and four on Sunday.

Where are the Sweet 16 Games in 2021?

Normally, the Sweet 16 games which are also known as Regional Semifinals, take place in different geographical regions of the country but this year's event will take place from Indianapolis, Indiana.

The winners of each of the Sweet 16 matchups will then meet on Monday and Tuesday in the Elite Eight. The winners here then advance to the Final Four, which will take place on Saturday, April 3 at Lucas Oil Stadium from Indianapolis, Indiana.

Who Will Make the Sweet 16 in 2021?

With how chaotic this year has been, it’s a pretty tough task to predict who will make the Sweet 16 before the brackets are announced. Keeping an eye out for teams that have performed well throughout the year but may get high number seeds because of their conference affiliation.

Also use the NCAA Basketball Futures Odds to get an idea of who the favorites are going into the tournament.

Having said that, College Basketball expert Thom Cunningham has provided his early predictions for teams that could make some noise in the NCAA Tournament and make the Sweet 16.

We don’t know which teams will be assigned to which region yet, so here’s 4 teams from each part of the country that we are keeping our eye on as we get closer to Selection Sunday:

What is Sweet 16 Betting in the NCAA Tournament?

The NCAA Tournament is one of the most frenetic times for sports betting in the United States. Each tournament round incites intense levels of wagering across the nation. Elite 8 betting and Sweet 16 betting are some of the most popular events in the basketball calendar.

Despite the now-defunct federal sports ban, March Madness betting has become a springtime staple in America. Millions of people join the NCAA bracket betting pools every year, competing to predict the Sweet 16 bracket and beyond.

Sweet 16 betting generates significant press coverage and analysis. Sweet 16 betting Is a veritable national obsession.

After the regular NCAA season ends, the NCAA tournament begins. The tournament sees 64 teams from all the regions and conferences in the NCAA face off in a single-elimination bracket. That means 64 teams become 32 after the first round, held on two different days.

The second round sees the field cut from 32 to 16 teams. That’s when the Sweet 16 betting action really picks up. March Madness betting is hot throughout the NCAA tournament. The final rounds, though, like Sweet 16 betting and Elite 8 betting, see most of the action.

While teams only need to win two games to make it to the Sweet 16 betting brackets, it’s no easy feat. The teams are tough, the seeding is merciless, and very few low-seeded teams rarely make it to this phase.

The lowest seed to make it to the Sweet 16 bracket was #12, and it has only happened once. A handful of #11 seeds have made it to this round of the tournament, but it’s exceedingly rare. The Sweet 16 bracket is dominated by the top-seeded teams every year.

After the Sweet 16 games, Elite 8 betting begins. The Elite 8 face off in the Regional Finals, before the Final Four play the National Semifinals. A couple of days later, the NCAA Championship Game determines the national champion.

NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Betting Odds

There are many Sweet 16 betting markets you can play in. The odds tend to be pretty favorable overall, though they depend a lot on what betting markets you’re playing.

First, there are outright markets, such as Sweet 16 betting brackets and office pools. For these, the odds depend on how many players you’re competing with. If you can submit multiple NCAA brackets, it’s a good idea to do so. Each increases your odds of winning.

If you do submit multiple brackets, you need to be smart about it. You want diversity, and insurance against surprising Sweet 16 scores. You also want realistic brackets that each have a good chance of being precise. Cover your angles, but don’t just submit mirror opposite brackets.

Odds for Sweet 16 betting on specific matches will be available only after Selection Sunday and rounds 1 and 2 are finished. Until then, the bracket is still undetermined, and bookmakers will provide no odds.

After the match-ups are clear, Sweet 16 betting odds will be available at every online sportsbook. Odds tend to be pretty tight for most matches, as teams are usually well-paired. The odd game with a favorite will show large spreads and big payouts on the underdog.

Sweet 16 Schedule & Dates

In 2021, the NCAA bracket, seeds, and field will be revealed on Selection Sunday (March 14). The First Four games will take place on March 18. The first and second rounds will play out between March 19 and March 22, at seven different venues.

At this point, the field will be down to the top 16 teams, and Sweet 16 betting can begin in earnest. The Sweet 16 games, or Regional Semifinals, will go down on Saturday, March 27, and Sunday, March 28.

The venues will be Bankers Life Fieldhouse and Hinkle Fieldhouse, home of the NBA 's Indiana Pacers and Big East's Butler Bulldogs respectively.

Sweet 16 scores then determine which teams move on to the Elite 8, the Regional Finals. March Madness betting peaks at this point. Sweet 16 betting, Elite 8 betting, and Final Four betting are the most popular markets in the tournament.

Sweet 16 Bracket

The Sweet 16 phase of the tournament has a predetermined bracket structure. To reach the Sweet 16, teams need to win their first and second-round games. Since the seeds determine who faces off with who, they also define the Sweet 16 bracket.

During the first round of the tournament, every region has 16 teams, seeded from #1 to #16. Opening games are between the first and last seed, the second and second to last, third and third to last, and so on.

It works out like this: #1 vs #16, #2 vs #15, #3 vs #14, #4 vs #13, #5 vs #12, #6 vs #11, #7 vs #10, #8 vs #9. In the second round, the process is repeated. The winner of the #1/#16 game vs the winner of the #8/#9 game, and so on.

The bracket ends up looking like this: 1/16 vs 8/9, 2/15 vs 7/10, 3/14 vs 6/11, 4/13 vs 5/12. That means that the first game of the second round could be a first seed facing a 9th seed, a 16th seed facing an 8th seed, or any other combination of these.

The Sweet 16 games bracket has the 1/8/9/16 bracket winner facing the 4/5/12/13 bracket winner, and the 2/7/10/15 winner playing the 3/6/11/14 winner.

Sweet 16 Prop Bets

Sweet 16 prop bets let audiences feel the excitement of the tournament with unique betting markets. Prop bets cover very specific events, either in specific matches or through the round of 16.

Some prop bets can be rather likely to hit, with consequently good odds. Others are downright wacky, with sometimes astronomical odds.

Types of Bets

Some popular Sweet 16 prop bets include whether any players will make a game-winning shot at the buzzer (or whether they won’t). Others involve specific players winning the tournament's MVP award, or specific Sweet 16 scores.

Even mascots are part of the prop bet market. Oddsmakers provide odds on whether teams with animal mascots make it through the Sweet 16. There are odds for #1 seeds reaching the Final Four (or not doing so), odds for low seeds to make it in, and many other specific bets.

Past Sweet 16 Tournaments

The 2019 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Sweet 16 was played on March 28-29, 2019.

The East Regional semifinals were held in Washington, D.C., with #1 seed Duke facing #4 seed Virginia Tech, and #3 seed LSU facing #2 seed Michigan State. Both top seeds won their matches, with Duke narrowly beating Virginia Tech 75-73 and Michigan State beating LSU 80-63.

The West Regional semifinals were held in Anaheim, California. #1 seed Gonzaga faced #4 seed Florida State, and #3 seed Texas Tech faced #2 seed Michigan. Gonzaga prevailed over Florida State, 72-58, while Michigan fell against Texas Tech, 44-63.

In the South Regional semifinals, in Louisville, Kentucky, #1 seed Virginia faced massive underdog and #12 seed, Oregon, while #3 seed Purdue faced #2 seed Tennessee. Virginia eked out a 53-49 victory over Oregon, while Tennessee lost 94-99 to Purdue.

The Midwest Regional, held in Kansas City, Missouri, saw #1 seed North Carolina face #5 seed Auburn, while #3 seed Houston faced #2 seed Kentucky. Auburn managed an upset win 97-80 over NC, while Kentucky prevailed over Houston 62-58.

Duke, Michigan State, Gonzaga, Texas Tech, Virginia, Purdue, Auburn and Kentucky would go on to make up the Elite 8.

Final Thoughts on Sweet 16 for March Madness 2021

This 2021 March Madness will likely see considerable betting action and many dramatic games. As the tournament heats up and reaches the more advanced stages, bookmakers will provide odds on a number of markets.

Favorites this year include Gonzaga and Baylor, the two powerhouse schools that will likely enter the tournament undefeated.

Whether you’re filling out brackets or placing prop bets, nothing beats the thrill of March Madness and Sweet 16 betting!

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