NCAA Tournament Futures: Final Four and National Championship Picks & Predictions
The first weekend of the 2021 NCAA Tournament is in the books, and with madness taking over most of the bracket, an updated look at NCAA Tournament futures is in order before the Sweet 16 can begin. Gonzaga remains the heavy betting favorite in all futures categories, and with the No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 seeds all eliminated from the West Region, the Bulldogs path to an undefeated National Championship looks even better than it did before. BetRivers.com has a wide variety of NCAA Tournament futures, game bets, teasers and team markets for all of March Madness.
Longtime national college basketball writer Rob Dauster, the co-founder of The Field of 68 Network, updates his NCAA Tournaments picks and predictions now that we’re headed toward the Sweet 16. Are there any teams not named Gonzaga worth wagering a National Championship futures bet? What darkhorse should you pick to make the Final Four? Read below for our full breakdown of NCAA Tournament futures.
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NCAA Tournament Futures: Final Four and National Championship Picks
GONZAGA to in the title (+155)
This is the only title future that I would seriously consider investing any kind of real money on.
I am still in the camp that the Zags are far and away the best team in college basketball that they are not going to really be tested en route to finishing the season undefeated.
Oklahoma on Monday put together a valiant effort, as a team that won four games against top-ten opponents, this season got a 30-piece from their best player and blocked what felt like a dozen shots and the rim … and still lost by 16 points to the Zags, failing to cover.
Oklahoma never really threatened Gonzaga despite the fact that Gonzaga felt like they threw it into cruise control for the final 12 minutes of the game.
BAYLOR to win the title (+350)
For my money, the Bears are the only team that has a real chance of picking off Gonzaga.
They can match Mark Few’s club guard for guard. Davion Mitchell might be the only defender that will be able to contain Jalen Suggs on a night when Suggs is cookin’. They can eliminate Gonzaga’s ball-screen offense with their switching, and they can exploit the fact that the Zags can be a bit turnover prone and do struggle on the defensive glass at times.
Considering that Baylor gets Villanova without Collin Gillespie and whatever is going to come out of the Midwest region on their side of the bracket, I think this price is worth taking a shot on, especially when you consider where Gonzaga is priced.
SYRACUSE to the Final Four (+500)
Call me crazy, but I think that the Orange actually have a pretty good draw here.
Houston has not been great against zone defenses this season. Part of the reason they have been so good on the offensive glass has been the fact that they play in the American, and while the ACC wasn’t all that much better than the AAC this past season, you don’t get many dudes like Quincy Guerrier, Alan Griffin or Robert Braswell in the AAC.
Loyola-Chicago would, theoretically, be a tougher matchup, but it’s one that Syracuse could win.
EVAN MOBLEY tournament MOP (+3000)
If USC plays the way they did against Kansas — specifically, if the Mobley brothers can continue to dominate the way they did in the first half — then the Trojans actually have a team that might be able to give Gonzaga some real trouble.
Picking them to the Final Four does have some value as well, but I do believe there is more value on betting them to win the title. But think about this: Their title future is (+2500). If they win the national title, is there any chance someone other than Evan Mobley ends up winning MOP?
If there is, it’s very small.
So I would prefer to bet on Mobley as tournament MOP to picking USC to win the title, but both of them are interesting.