Let the madness begin! I’m ecstatic the NCAA Tournament is back and I’m ready to bet every game!
I’m here to tell you how to bet each first round game of the 2021 NCAA Tournament. I’m confident as I begin my career picking games here for SportsFormulator. LFG!
How to bet the East Region – Round 1:
LSU vs. St Bonaventure – LSU got disrespected and is a GREAT 8 seed. I would have had them at more of a 5 or 6 seed. They were a missed layup away from winning the SEC tournament and will win this game easily. LSU -1 ½ is a LAIN’S LOCK.
Georgetown vs. Colorado – Georgetown is on a roll. They beat Creighton by 25 in the championship of the Big East tournament. They are going to pull off the annual 12-5 upset here. I’m taking Georgetown +5.
Florida State vs. UNC Greensboro – Florida State is a very good team. They have some very athletic, strong guys who can defend at a very high level. Offensively they have had lapses where they couldn’t get baskets, but I’m taking the Seminoles in this game. I’m taking the under 145.
Texas vs. Abilene Christian – Texas has really impressed me this year. They have some very quick guards who can shoot very well. They also have very good big men who can really make an impact for the Longhorns. Texas will beat Abilene Christian easily. I’m taking over 140.
UConn vs. Maryland – I have UConn winning this game because they have the better player. I think this game will be very close but James Bouknight will win the first round game against the Terrapins. I’m taking UConn -3.
Alabama vs. Iona – Alabama is arguably a top 7 team when they are hitting shots. Herb Jones is a lengthy defender and they have 3 guys who could hit 8 3’s on any given night in Jahvon Quinerly, Jaden Shackelford, and John Petty. Alabama will win this game easily. I’m taking Iona +16 ½ though.
How to bet the Midwest Region – Round 1:
Illinois vs. Drexel – I love this Illinois team. They have too many offensive threats to not make the elite eight. They also have an elite rim protector in Kofi Cockburn. I believe the Illini will make a run to the final four. I’m taking the Over 145.
Loyola Chicago vs. Georgia Tech – Loyola Chicago in March is just different. Watch for them to make a run in this year’s tournament. Their coach has done this before and knows how to win in the tournament. I’m taking Loyola Chicago -2 ½.
Tennessee vs. Oregon State – Tennessee is a great team. Keon Johnson and Jaden Springer are elite on the offensive end. They will turn it on for the tournament and will win at least 1 game. I’m taking over 131 ½.
Oklahoma State vs. Liberty – This Oklahoma State team is not losing in the first round. They have the best player in college basketball and will win this game easily. I’m taking Oklahoma State -7 ½.
Syracuse vs. San Diego State – I have Syracuse pulling off this upset. Buddy Boeheim has been shooting the lights out and this team was 1 shot away from beating Virginia in the ACC Tournament. Their coach has done this for many years and will get his team ready to win this game. I’m taking Syracuse +3.
West Virginia vs. Morehead State – West Virginia got bailed out with a 3 seed and has an easy ride to the Sweet 16. I’m taking the under 137 ½.
Clemson vs. Rutgers – Clemson will win this game. They can shoot 3’s very well and with Rutgers being 15-11, I feel like Clemson has a great shot at winning this game. I’m taking Clemson +1.
Houston vs. Cleveland State – Watch out for Houston. After winning their conference championship by 37, they are coming into the tournament with extreme confidence. They also have an elite player in Quentin Grimes who can win games for Houston. Watch for them to make a run. I’m taking Over 135.
How to bet the South Region – Round 1:
Baylor vs. Hartford – Baylor is a great team and will win easily. If they can finish out games and play 40 minutes, they will have a chance to play for a National Championship. Baylor will win this game by at least 20 points. I’m taking over 140.
Wisconsin vs. North Carolina – I think this will be a very good game. I think Wisconsin will win just because I think D’Mitrik Trice can control the game and win. Wisconsin has impressed me in their games against Iowa, and I think they make a run. I’m taking the over 139 ½.
Winthrop vs. Villanova – I have Winthrop winning this game outright. Villanova is just not the same team without Collin Gillespie. Winthrop has had a magnificent year and it will continue with a victory over Villanova. I’m taking Winthrop +6 ½.
Purdue vs. North Texas – Purdue will win. North Texas shouldn’t have beat Western Kentucky to win the conference tournament. Purdue will win this game easily. I’m taking Purdue -7 ½.
Texas Tech vs. Utah State – Texas Tech will win because they have the better players and can defend at a high level. Mac McClung will have a great tournament and win this game easily. I’m taking Texas Tech -5.
Arkansas vs. Colgate – If you want a great game to watch, this is it. This will be an up and down game with a ton of points scored. I have Arkansas winning though because they have a great player in Moses Moody and I believe they have the better coach. I’m taking Colgate +9.
Florida vs. Virginia Tech – Florida will win. Tre Mann is great at controlling games and will lead his team to victory. Scottie Lewis is elite at scoring at the rim. Florida will win this game but it will be close. I’m taking the under 137.
Ohio State over Oral Roberts – OH-IO! I love this Ohio State team. Duane Washington Jr. can hit shots from anywhere on the court and EJ Liddell can score at will. Watch for Ohio State to make a run to the Final Four. I’m taking the under 156 ½.
How to bet the West Region – Round 1:
Oklahoma vs Missouri – This is possibly the most intriguing matchup of the first round. Both of these teams have been incredibly inconsistent this year. Missouri has some great wins on their resume, including wins over Oregon, Illinois, Arkansas, Tennessee and Alabama. They also have some bad losses including Mississippi State, Auburn and Ole Miss twice. They are better now than what their record reflects though, because they went on a horrible stretch without their starting center, Jeremiah Tilmon.
Oklahoma on the other hand, has some very good wins and some very bad wins. They have some bad losses to Xavier, Kansas State, and lost 2 in a row to Oklahoma State. They are entering the tournament losing 5 of their last 6, and that win is over Iowa State, who is absolutely terrible. I have Oklahoma winning this game, but I think it will be very close. I’m taking Oklahoma -2.
Creighton vs. UCSB – Creighton is a very good team. If they are hitting shots, they are going to be a very tough out in this year’s tournament. I think UCSB is a good team against their competition, but Creighton is a team unlike anyone they played this year. I believe Creighton will win this one rather easily. I’m taking Creighton -6.
Virginia vs. Ohio – This is a very interesting matchup. Virginia, coming off a COVID break, is a very good team. They have been inconsistent, but I believe they are the better team by far, If they would get a week of practice and preparation. Ohio on the other hand, has very good guards, and is red hot, coming off a conference tournament championship. I am going to take Virginia in this one, but I think it will be a close game. I’m taking Ohio +7.
Kansas over Eastern Washington – Kansas is coming off a COVID break, and is traveling without 3 players. Kansas has proven to be a deep team this year, and Eastern Washington isn’t a great team, so I think it doesn’t matter who Kansas puts on the floor, as long as they have 5 guys, they will win easily. I’m taking over 144 ½.
Oregon over VCU – Oregon, finishing 20-6, played a way better schedule than VCU, and has won against some very good teams. VCU, finishing 19-7, possibly could have not even made the tournament, and they haven’t played near as good of a schedule as Oregon. Oregon will win this game. I’m taking Oregon -5 ½.
Iowa over Grand Canyon – This one is easy. Iowa is a veteran team with very good players, and a great coach. Luka Garza has proven that it doesn’t matter who is guarding him, he will score 20+ points a game. Jordan Bohannan and Joe Wieskamp are great players who can score at will. Grand Canyon has had a great year, but it will come to an end on saturday. Iowa wins easily. I’m taking over 145 ½.
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