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M. Weaden | Thu 11/03/2021 - 10:56 EST

Preseason NCAA Basketball Futures Picks

Preseason NCAA Basketball Futures Picks
Check out the 2020-21 season betting picks. Who will win the College Basketball National Championship this time?

After the 2020 NCAA Tournament was cancelled — a first in college history — the 2021 season is started on Wednesday, November 25. Who will cut down the nets come March Madness time? We dive deep into that topic in this article, looking at the prime schools you should have some money on right now.

With March Madness almost here, everyone has their own preseason NCAA Basketball futures picks, including online oddsmakers. At the current moment, these teams are pegged with the best chance to win it all come March Madness:

BetOnlineBovadaMyBookieGT Bets
Gonzaga Bulldogs+250+200+250+250
Baylor Bears+300+300+300+300
Michigan Wolverines+290+300+300+300
Illinois Fighting Irish+1000+1000+1000+1000
Ohio State Buckeyes+1450+1500+1500+1500
Villanova Wildcats+1800+1800+1800+1800
Iowa Hawkeyes+1800+1800+1800+1800
Kansas Jayhawks+3000+3000+3000+3000

As you can tell, bookmakers vary in their opinion. A lot. Expect this to continue throughout the year, as future odds swing wildly in all directions based on results and injuries. 

Outside of betting lines, sites like MyBookie and BetOnline are also offering sign-up bonuses at the moment, each worth up to $1000 in free play. The award is earned upon sign-up and depositing money into your own account. Really, it's that easy! 

A grand in free money goes a long way, not only when making NCAAB futures picks, but also game-to-game picks. It would be smart of you to use these killer promotions to bankroll your college basketball betting for the entire season!

Moving on to our March Madness 2021 picks, we're going to break this up into a few categories based on your preference — if you need a favorite, an underdog, or a team that's a little bit of both. Let's get started:

The Favorite Among The Favorites

Atop the college basketball food chain on an almost yearly basis are a select few schools — namely Gonzaga, Baylor, Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio. We call these programs "blue bloods" and 2021 is no different with all of them, sans the Tar Heels, as viable contenders again. 

If you had to choose only one of them to lay a futures bet on, who is it this season? For us, the pick is Gonzaga, who is unbeaten this season. 

The Bulldogs have beenn a top-five team in the NCAA Basketball Division I throughout the season, no matter what happened in the opening few weeks of college ball. They went out and took down teams like Iowa, Virginia, West Virginia, and Kansas, which meant they solidified themselves as top contenders this year.

Gonzaga has one of the strongest offences in the league. They are putting up 87+ points against five teams who will be sure to feature at March Madness 2021. These kinds of domineering performances are why the Bulldogs are opening the odds at the top of the table. They have faced strong defensive units in the form of Virginia and put up close to 100 points. The only weakness we could find maybe in defence, but that's a stretch.

Betting pick to make: Gonzaga (+250)

The Darkhorse Program

All eyes are seemingly on Iowa in the Big 10. However, a program we think could surprise people this season and make noise in the postseason is none other than Illinois

We get it, the Fighting Illini haven't made the March Madness tournament since way back in 2013. And betting sites like BetOnline are giving them a +1000 chance at winning it all. But hear us out!

Illinois was really starting to turn the corner a year ago in Brad Underwood's fourth season as head coach. They have performed very well this season and go 20-6 overall this season, sitting second in the Big 10. They enter March Madness on a 4-game win streak. 

Heading into 2021, the core of its team remains intact in Kofi Cockburn and Ayo Dosunmi. Both were the team's top two scorers a year ago and the two initially declared for the NBA Draft before deciding to return to the Illini. Progress should be expected for the duo, which will spearhead Illinois into title contention.

Betting pick to make: Illinois (+1000)

The Team That Finally Gets Over The Hump

What if you don't want to bet on a proverbial favorite like Gonzaga? What if a team like Illinois is too under the radar for your dollar? Is there a team that's sort of in the middle and worthy of betting action?

Yes, in fact, this category is tailor-made for one all-too-familiar program — Michigan. Here's a school that's been consistent in the NCAA Basketball tournament. Here's a team that's regularly an offensive juggernaut. Here's a team that leads the Big 10 standings and enters March Madness with a record of 19-3 overall.

But as always with Michigan, the question remains: is this the year the Wolverines finally "get over the hump?" Well, one thing is for certain: few teams across the nation will be more talented or better coached than the Wolverines.  

That reason alone is why it would be smart to throw some money Michigan anyway. They reached the NCAA Final Four in 2013 and 2018, but haven't won a title since 1989. Will this be their year?

Betting pick to make: Michigan (+350)

Alright, that covers it for us. We just gave you three programs that have a real shot of running the table from now until March. Whether you follow our advice or not is on you from here on out.  

If you want to lock in an NCAAB 2021 championship pick, visit any one of the online sportsbooks below. Beyond futures, they'll also have betting lines for conference championships, season-opening games, and a whole lot more!

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