The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is named March Madness for a reason – all sorts of mad things happen in this championship.
Even in the 2021 edition of March Madness, we’ve already seen many crazy upsets, even though the tournament has started only a couple of days ago (March 18). For instance, Oral Roberts (#15) beat Ohio State (#2) in South Regional despite the fact that the pre-game odds on the Golden Eagles were as long as +1150.
Nevertheless, you shouldn’t forget about the 2021 March Madness odds. Although favorites don’t always win, odds can surely give you an idea which teams should you pay attention to.
2021 March Madness Odds
- Gonzaga Bulldogs (+160)
- Baylor Bears (+450)
- Michigan Wolverines (+900)
- Houston Cougars (+900)
- Alabama Crimson Tide (+1200)
- Loyola-Chicago Ramblers (+1400)
- Arkansas Razorbacks (+1800)
- Florida State Seminoles (+2000)
- USC Trojans (+2600)
- Villanova Wildcats (+3100)
- Oregon Ducks (+3500)
- Creighton Bluejays (+4000)
- Syracuse Orange (+5000)
- UCLA Bruins (+5000)
- Oregon State Beavers (+6000)
- Oral Roberts Golden Eagles (+10000)
Sweet 16 (Regional Semifinals) Matchups
At the moment of writing, the 2021 March Madness is at the stage of Sweet Sixteen. This is an unofficial name for Regional Semifinals, which are going to be played over the weekend. The matchups we’ll see on Saturday are the following:
- Baylor (-265) vs. Villanova (+225)
- Arkansas (-625) vs. Oral Roberts (+485)
- Loyola-Chicago (-255) vs. Oregon State (+215)
- Syracuse (+220) vs. Houston (-260)
A day later, the following games of the Sweet Sixteen round are to be played:
- Gonzaga (-1000) vs. Creighton (+650)
- USC (-116) vs. Oregon (-105)
- Michigan (-167) vs. Florida State (+140)
- UCLA (+200) vs. Alabama (-244)
2021 March Madness Regional Odds
The teams that win in Sweet Sixteen will get to play for the Regional title in a round nicknamed Elite 8. There are four titles up for grabs and here’s how teams are faring:
Odds to Win Midwest Regional
- Houston (+110)
- Loyola-Chicago (+150)
- Syracuse (+650)
- Oregon State (+800)
Odds to Win South Regional
- Baylor (-170)
- Arkansas (+250)
- Villanova (+450)
- Oral Roberts (+2000)
Odds to Win West Regional
- Gonzaga (-250)
- Creighton (+1000)
- USC (+1000)
- Oregon (+1000)
Odds to Win East Regional
- Michigan (-175)
- Alabama (+250)
- Florida State (+400)
- UCLA (+900)
The Elite 8 round is scheduled to take place on March 29-30, after which the Final Four will commence. The four Regional champions will meet in the National Semifinals. The first semifinal will be played on April 3, the second one, two days later.
The culmination of the 2021 March Madness will happen with the Championship Game, which will take place on April 5 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN.
Oddsmakers believe it’s the Gonzaga Bulldogs who will celebrate that day. No surprise there, as they’re the highest-ranked team in the NCAAB. Still, this is March Madness and anything can happen!
Is Gonzaga Really the Best NCAAB Team?
The Gonzaga Bulldogs were the only team to finish the 2020-21 NCAA Basketball season without a single defeat. Their record in the regular season was 25-0. The Bulldogs continued playing well in the postseason, cruising past Norfolk State (98-55) and Oklahoma (87-71).
Knowing all this, it’s no surprise that Gonzaga is the top-ranked team in the AP Top 25 Poll. And it’s been like that since the very start of the NCAAB season, back in November.
The Bulldogs beat several ranked teams in the regular season, with their toughest opponent being Iowa. At the time, the Hawkeyes were #3 in the rankings, but that didn’t mean much as the Bulldogs destroyed them 99-88.
They were also supposed to face the #2 team, the Baylor Bears in early December. Unfortunately, the super-matchup was canceled due to COVID worries.
Still, the two might end up meeting this season. According to bookmakers, Gonzaga vs. Baylor is the pairing most likely to be seen in the Championship Game.
Baylor and Houston – Main Favorites to Win the Right Side of Bracket
Gonzaga is an absolute favorite to win the left side of the March Madness bracket. If the Bulldogs don’t disappoint, they will play with the winner of the right side of the bracket in the Championship Game. The question is, who is it going to be?
If you take a look at the March Madness odds, the two teams that stand out are Baylor and Houston. Baylor’s odds to win the right side of the bracket are +135 at the moment. The odds on Houston are +175.
Knowing that the Baylor Bears are the #2 overall seed and that their record is 22-2, you’d think they would be even stronger favorites. However, there’s one thing going against them in the brackets – they’ll have to face some really tough teams on the road to the Championship Game.
On the bright side, Baylor has some fantastic players on the roster, most notably Jared Butler, who is the second favorite for the Most Outstanding Player Award.
March Madness – Most Outstanding Player Award
Once the 2021 March Madness finishes, a media panel will decide which player will get the Most Outstanding Player award a.k.a. the MOP.
The list of main MOP favorites for the 2021 March Madness goes as follows:
- Corey Kispert (+450) [Gonzaga]
- Jared Butler (+600) [Baylor]
- Drew Timme (+650) [Gonzaga]
- Cameron Krutwig (+800) [Loyola-Chicago]
- MaCio Teague (+1300) [Baylor]
- Davion Mitchell (+1500) [Baylor]
- Herb Jones (+2000) [Alabama]
Usually, the award is given to the player from the winning team of the NCAAB Championship. In fact, the last time a non-champion won the MOP was in 1983 when the award was given to Hakeem Olajuwon.
As Gonzaga is the #1 favorite to win the Championship Game, it’s no surprise that the #1 MOP favorite is the Bulldogs’ forward Corey Kispert.