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Eric Uribe | Thu 18/03/2021 - 07:41 EDT

March Madness 2021 Brackets Betting Predictions

March Madness 2021 Brackets Betting Predictions
Hundreds of the best collegiate players. 68 teams. Seven rounds. You know what it is — NCAA March Madness! We're here to cut through all the bracket noise and give you our best bets to cut down the nets! Read this before you make a wager on the tourney!

Everyone and their mother is currently making their NCAA tournament bracket picks and March Madness betting predictions. But folks, we've been at this all year long and at last, we've reached our last gambling picks article of the college hoops season.

Before we dish out our expert advice, it does pay to see how online bookies are forecasting March Madness. Coming out of Selection Sunday, these schools currently have the best odds of winning the NCAA championship:


One last note before we get to our tourney predictions: now is the time to take advantage of the best March Madness contests and promotions. Betting sites across the Internet are offering incredible deals — most of which for free or dirt cheap — to would-be bettors around March Madness.

Want a killer sign-up bonus worth thousands of dollars in free play? Or how about a bracket pick 'em contest with one million dollars up for grabs? Promotions like that, plus more, are all on the table right now and they won't last forever. Be sure to take advantage of them before March Madness officially begins on Thursday, March 18!

Without further ado, let's dive into our favorite teams to wager on for March Madness. We picked one team from three distinct categories — one seed, non-one seed contenders, and dark horses. 

One Seeds

We hate to do this, but we HAVE to take a victory lap here. Way back when the 2020-21 college basketball season began, we penned an article on the preseason favorites to take the NCAA basketball title. In the piece, we hand-picked three teams to wager with — Gonzaga, Illinois, and Michigan.

Fast-forward to now and ALL three teams we chose are one seeds going into March Madness. Joining them atop their regional bracket is also one-seeded Baylor. We could take the easy way out and stick with those three teams again here, but we like a challenge. So for your betting purposes, which is the ONE team we're most confident in to let your bet ride?

That would be the Fighting Illini. In our original article, Illinois was our "darkhorse" pick since most of the country was sleeping on a program that hadn't gone "dancing" since 2013. That was then, but this is now and the Illini are no longer to be overlooked. 

Above all, Illinois is battle-tested. In winning the Big-10 postseason title as they did (they were also second in the regular season standings), they've already survived a grueling gauntlet — which is exactly what lies ahead in the NCAA Tournament. For reference, the Big-10 sent nine teams into March Madness, so yes, what the Illini have already gone through is as tough as what remains.

Don't underestimate a "murder's row" playing a schedule like that of Illinois. Thanks to the pandemic, too many teams across the country had games against top-tier opponents canceled in favor of "a cupcake" reschedule. That will bite them, but help the Fighting Illini in this final stretch. 

Betting pick: Illinois (+650)

Other Contenders

If we're hitching our wagon to a school that's not a lay-up favorite (e.g. a one seed), then we're riding the Razorbacks. Arkansas is the classic "team that's hot at the right time." Under the bright lights of the NCAA tournament, confidence and mental fortitude matter the big time, and the Razorbacks have it in bunches. 

Arkansas has won 12 of its last 14, mostly against a formidable SEC schedule. Its head coach Eric Musselman has completely turned the program around in two years' time — which is not unlike what he did at his previous coaching stop with little-known Nevada, once taking them to the Sweet 16.

But here's why we really love the Razorbacks: playing in the South bracket, it has the "easiest" path to the Final Four. Arkansas' stiffest competition in this region will be Baylor and Ohio State. Of all four one seeds, we feel Baylor is the most beatable. Ohio State, while not pushovers, are the clear third-best team in the Big-10 (after Illinois and Michigan).  

Betting pick: Arkansas (+5500)

March Madness 2021 Darkhorse

By darkhorse, we mean a team that's outside a top-five seeding in any of the four regional brackets. More than anything, treat this as a "prayers bet."

If Arkansas is the good team that's peaking, then Wisconsin is the good team that's currently ice-cold. They finished 2-6 to end the season — though, the losses came against the likes of Iowa (three times), Illinois, Michigan, and Purdue, who are no pushovers. The end-of-year slide is why the Badgers are a nine seed entering the tourney.

Nonetheless, Wisconsin is a veteran team led by a scrappy group of seniors. That experience gives them hope to right the ship and play like the same team that spent a good chunk of the season nationally-ranked. 

Betting pick: Wisconsin (+6600)

That's all we got for you, folks! Look, you can tail our betting picks or fade us, the choice is all yours. The only wrong thing you can do is not wager at all or fail to redeem a March Madness deal that we mentioned at the beginning of the article.

If you need a trusty sportsbook to both handle your bets AND give you a slick deal while at it, then start with the bookmakers underneath. Any one of these sites has you covered for all things March Madness! 

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