Gonzaga-Baylor Odds

The 2021 NCAA Tournament bracket is set and although the first round is still a few days away, its never too early to preview our NCAA Tournament predictions. An irregular regular-season followed but an NCAA Tournament played in the same location is sure to impact the results in a wide variety of ways, which makes making NCAA Tournament predictions for 2021 a bit more tricky. BetRivers.com is proud to provide a wide variety of NCAA Tournament odds, game lines, futures bets, teasers and much more.

If you are looking for the best online sports betting Sportbook, BetRivers should be your first choice. Start betting now with us and win!

Longtime national college basketball writer Rob Dauster, the co-founder of The Field of 68 Network, previews his NCAA Tournament predictions and breaks down the championship futures bets worth a wager.

Click here for the full list of first-round odds and tournament futures.



BAYLOR to win the title (+500)

So here’s my NCAA Tournament prediction: Gonzaga wins this thing in a walk. I don’t think that there is a team that will be able to keep it within single digits against them until at least the Elite Eight, if not the Final Four. If Michigan doesn’t have Isaiah Livers, are they still a threat? Truth be told, I think that, as of this very moment, the only teams that can beat the Zags are Illinois and Baylor. Illinois has the toughest draw of any No. 1-seed in this year’s field, and Baylor has to figure out their defense to be able to have a real shot.

Now, to be fair, Baylor can absolutely do that. Scott Drew told me on Sunday night that his team has had one real practice that wasn’t a walkthrough on the road or a pregame shootaround since their first game back. One! They’ll have had seven practices before they play their first NCAA tournament game. That’s how you shake off the rust.

So if you’re not firing at Gonzaga (+205) to win the title — which, to be frank, is the only national title future I’m going to be taking — then Baylor (+500) to cut down the nets is the best number out there.

IOWA to win the title (+1700)

The only other title future that I’m even remotely interested in is Iowa. The big question with the Hawkeyes is their defense, but since February 6th, they’ve ranked as the eighth-best defensive team in college basketball, according to Torvik’s metrics. If they are going to be able to get stops against Gonzaga — which, honestly, is no guarantee whether they’re improved or not — they have a shot to beat the Zags. And if you can beat the Zags, you can win it all.

TEXAS or ALABAMA to the Final Four (+450); LSU to the Final Four (+1400) and Elite Eight (+750); FLORIDA STATE to the Elite Eight (+350)

My NCAA Tournament prediction about the East Region is that it is as wide open as any due to the injury that Isaiah Livers is dealing with. Michigan has not let any information leak about his status, but I do think that there is a decent chance that he does not play in the tournament this year. If that happens, the door is open for the Longhorns or the Tide to be able to make a run. I’m not too worried about the draw that either of them has in the first weekend, and if one of them is heading to the Elite Eight, they will be looking at a matchup where they are favored by a decent margin to get to the final weekend.

Now, the tricky part is going to be figuring out who can win that game. I think that Alabama has the highest ceiling of any team in this event not named Gonzaga. They have shooters, they have the ultimate defensive stopper in Herb Jones and they can get as hot as anyone from beyond the arc. At the same time, Texas is built for a March run. They have elite point guard play in Matt Coleman, they have a great defensive five in Jericho Sims and they have pros and shooters everywhere in between. I think I’d lean Texas because I tend to gravitate towards teams with anchors at the one and the five, but Alabama is just as dangerous.

Along those same lines, if you think that Michigan can get picked off early, there is a ton of value on the other teams in that region. LSU getting to the Elite Eight is probably my favorite future given the price, but the idea of Florida State drawing UNCG, the Colorado-Georgetown winner and the Bonnies or LSU with a chance to get to the Elite Eight is appealing.

OKLAHOMA STATE to the Final Four (+400)

I have the Cowboys coming out of the Midwest Region. Cade Cunningham is an absolute monster, a competitive freak that can take over a game as well as anyone in the sport. They’re battle-tested. They can win close games because they have one of the best closers in college hoops. Throw in the fact that, in Cade’s absence, they’ve had their supporting cast learn what it takes to be able to carry teams to wins, and OSU is built for a March run.

The concern here is that they likely will draw Illinois in the Sweet 16. That’s a brutal matchup for anyone, especially a team that does not have the size to deal with Kofi inside.

PURDUE to the Elite Eight (+550); NORTH CAROLINA to the Elite Eight (+1200)

I’m listing these teams together because the argument for them making a run is the same: I think they match up pretty well with Baylor. The Bears have not been the same defensively since coming out of their pause, which is a concern here because they do not have anywhere near the size needed inside to deal with these frontlines. That is a mismatch that can be exploited, but only if the Baylor perimeter defense is struggling. If their guards are able to wear people out against after eight days of practice, then the size inside won’t matter. The ball will never get there.

OREGON to the Elite Eight (+800)

So the Ducks are a weird one to me. I don’t like them (-6) against VCU, and I don’t like their matchup against an invigorated Iowa defense. But I believe the talent on that roster is worthy of a top-four or five seed. They are as underseeded as anyone due to the losses they took while coming out of a pause, and getting an underseeded team with a proven track record in March at (+800) to the Elite Eight seems like good value.

And yes, I know the mental gymnastics I need to do to be able to come to that conclusion.