- Gonzaga is a +350 favorite to win the 2021 college basketball national title after starting the season 12-0
- Texas (+1600) is on a six-game winning streak following their last-second victory over West Virginia on Saturday
- Senior center Luka Garza is averaging 27.6 points per game for the Iowa Hawkeyes (+1600)
While March Madness usually unfolds in arenas across the country, the entire 2021 men’s basketball championship will take place in the state of Indiana with the Final Four being played in Indianapolis in early April.
That’s not all that’s different about this college hoops season, however, as many of the traditional powerhouses (Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State) are not in contention for the national title. Let’s take a look at the latest odds and find some potential values.
If you need any tips/advice on wagering on college hoops, check out our NCAA basketball betting guide here.
ODDS TO WIN 2021 NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
GONZAGA THE CLEAR FAVORITE
Gonzaga (+350) is still the national title favorite and has a legitimate shot to go undefeated this season. With convincing non-conference wins over Iowa, Kansas, West Virginia, Virginia and Auburn already in the books, the 12-0 Zags are now free to beat up on schools in the West Coast Conference through to the end of February.
After becoming the first team to score at least 85 points in each of their first 12 games since Loyola Marymount in the 1990-91 season, expect Mark Few’s squad to continue their torrid pace for the foreseeable future.
Gonzaga is the only team in Division I with 4 players averaging at least 10 PPG on 50% shooting (Corey Kispert, Drew Timme, Jalen Suggs, Joel Ayayi).
Gonzaga is currently shooting 55.4% as a team, the highest mark through 10 games of a season since 2016-17 UCLA. pic.twitter.com/zoGIClhK2m
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 8, 2021
Baylor (+750) is the next team on the board after winning every game it has played by double-digits. However, the 11-0 Bears only have one Quadrant 1 victory on their resume (an 82-69 win over Illinois), so you may want to hold your bets until you see how they perform in their next three contests against No. 14 West Virginia, No. 18 Texas Tech and No. 6 Kansas.
Undefeated atop the Big Ten, Michigan (+1000) has impressive wins over Northwestern, Maryland, Penn State and Minnesota, who they crushed 82-57 last week, but will receive their biggest test on Tuesday against No. 8 Wisconsin (+1200). Both the Wolverines and Badgers will be battle-tested by year’s end, considering the Big Ten is loaded with nine teams ranked in last week’s AP Top 25 poll.
VILLANOVA STILL ON PAUSE
Villanova (+1200) has not played a game in three weeks due to COVID-19 issues inside the program, but the Wildcats are 8-1 with strong wins against No. 4 Texas, Marquette and Arizona State. Given that Jay Wright’s team is one of the most talented in the nation, there is some definite value here.
Currently on a six-game winning streak after a last-second 72-70 victory over No. 14 West Virginia on Saturday night, Texas (+1600) looks like a strong investment. Shaka Smart’s team has a 3-1 record vs. ranked clubs and junior guard Andrew Jones continues to light it up just three years after receiving a leukemia diagnosis.
On this day three years ago, Shaka Smart told @TexasMBB that Andrew Jones had been diagnosed with leukemia.
Today, @DrewdotCash surpassed 1,000 career points and sunk the game-winner to lift Texas above West Virginia. #AJ1K pic.twitter.com/UR5sudKDGV
— Longhorn Network (@LonghornNetwork) January 9, 2021
Iowa’s Luka Garza continued his Wooden Award campaign with 33 points in a 86-71 home win over No. 16 Minnesota on Sunday. Garza already has five 30-point efforts this season (matching last year’s total) and has improved his three-point percentage, free-throw shooting and offensive rebounding in his senior year.
The Hawkeyes (+1400) have nice wins over Rutgers, Northwestern, North Carolina and Purdue, and can’t be fully counted it with Garza capable of putting the team on his back this March.