NCAA Tournament Odds: Bettors Select 2 Mid-Majors, Only One No. 1 Seed For Final Four

Bettors have started picking who they think will emerge from each region and some of their picks are surprising
Kyle Newman
Wed, March 24, 11:24 AM EDT

NCAA Tournament Odds: Bettors select two Mid-Majors, only one No. 1 seed for Final Four

NCAA Tournament bettors have settled on four favorites to win the tournament. One school from each bracket has begun to stand out in betting patterns since the Sweet Sixteen matchups have been set.

Gonzaga National Championship Odds (+155)

In the West, Gonzaga is expected to reign supreme. The Bulldogs are the lone unbeaten team in the country. They’re looking for the first unbeaten championship run in the NCAA since Indiana in 1973, and bettors expect them to pull it off. Since the end of Round 2, 28.9% of bets placed on the NCAA Tournament winners have been placed on Gonzaga, by far the most in the field. They’re also the favorite among oddsmakers, they’ve been given +155 (click to bet) odds or an implied 39.2% chance to win the tournament.

Florida State National Championship Odds (+2500)

In the East, it’s Florida State who is expected to come out on top. The Seminoles have arguably the toughest road of any team that bettors have chosen for the final four. They have to take on No. 1 seed Michigan and if they pull off that upset their reward is a likely matchup with No. 2 seed Alabama. That doesn’t scare off bettors though. Since the end of round two, 10.4% of bets placed on NCAA Tournament winners have been placed on Florida State. That’s good for third most in the field. Oddsmakers aren’t anywhere near as bullish. Florida State is given +2500 odds or an implied 3.8% chance of winning the tournament. That’s third out of the four remaining teams in the East and 8th in the field.

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Arkansas National Championship Odds (+2100)

In the South, offense will lead the way as Arkansas is the bettors’ favorite. The Razorbacks have been one of the NCAA’s best offensive teams all year, and it’s led to wins. In their last game against Texas Tech, it was their defense that got the job done though. That ability to win, even without their best offense, has earned the bettors’ favor. No longer do they believe that #1 seed Baylor will make it out of their region. Instead, 11.1% of bets since the end of the second round on NCAA Tournament winner have been placed on Arkansas. That’s the second most in the field. Oddsmakers aren’t quite as sure. Arkansas has been given +2100 odds or an implied 4.5% chance to win the tournament. That’s good for second in their region and 7th in the field.

Loyola-Chicago National Championship Odds (+1600)

In the Midwest, efficiency is the name of the game as Loyola-Chicago is the expected cream of the crop. Loyola is looking to make it two Final Four appearances in four years. They have the best scoring defense in the country, the third most efficient defense in the country and an efficient offense. After dominating the ACC and Big-10 champions, Loyola is the bettor’s favorite. Since the end of the second round, 9.6% of bets on the NCAA tournament winner have been placed on Loyola-Chicago. That’s good for fourth in the remaining field. Oddsmakers are bigger fans of Loyola than Florida State and Arkansas. They’ve been given +1600 odds or an implied 5.9% chance to win the tournament. That’s good for second in their region and 6th in the field.

NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Betting

There are two surprises here and two that feel right. Gonzaga and Loyola seem like the favorites in their regions given their domination over their competition.

Meanwhile, Florida State has a difficult path that would honestly be surprising to see them surmount. Arkansas has shown they can play with anyone in the country if their offense is up to the task. Can they get it going against Baylor? It’s possible, but it won’t be as easy as running over Colgate and escaping Texas Tech.

 The biggest surprise is the lack of support for Baylor, who has seen significantly fewer bets than Arkansas to this point. Baylor hasn’t looked vulnerable during the tournament, so it’s hard to see why bettors have Arkansas as the favorite.

2021 NCAA Tournament Winner Odds

School Odds (Click to bet) Implied Probability
Gonzaga +155 39.2%
Baylor +450 18.2%
Houston +900 10%
Michigan +900 10%
Alabama +1200 7.7%
Loyola-Chicago +1600 5.9%
Arkansas +2100 4.5%
Florida State +2500 3.8%
USC +2800 3.4%
Villanova +3500 2.8%
Oregon +4000 2.4%
UCLA +5500 1.8%
Creighton +6000 1.6%
Syracuse +6000 1.6%
Oregon State +8000 1.2%
Oral Roberts +12500 0.8%
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