March Madness Picks 2021

Pickswise is the home of March Madness picks. Our experts have spent hours looking at the statistics and data to provide the best free March Madness expert picks in the futures betting markets and all 67 games throughout the three-week-long tournament. Our experts look at the trends, team news, and much more to bring you well-researched and free March Madness picks.
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To Win National Championship, March Madness
To Win National Championship Pick
Alabama
Odds
Bonus

Reasoning

Defense wins championships as the old saying goes, and the Crimson Tide have the second-best defensive efficiency in the country per Kenpom. As such an aggressive and physical team, you don’t have to worry about one poor shooting game doing them in like you do with a lot of these teams.

They play at the ninth-fastest pace in all of college basketball and still manage to play elite defense. They can outrun any team in the nation, and I think their style of play is going to serve them very well for March Madness. They’re also ascending at the right time, as nobody took them seriously early on before they took everyone by surprise over the past month or two.

To win the National Championship, March Madness
To win the National Championship Pick
Florida State
Odds
Bonus

Reasoning

As usual, head coach Leonard Hamilton has loaded up with a ton of incredible athletes who will likely be future NBA lottery picks. Florida State is raw, but when this team plays up to its potential it is scary good. Just ask Virginia, which lost to the Seminoles 81-60 last week after trailing by 20 less than 15 minutes into the game. The ‘Noles are 13-3 overall (9-2 ACC), including 8-1 since returning from a two-week coronavirus break. Especially if they can stay hot and grab a No. 1 seed, they will have a realistic path to the national title.

To Make Final Four, March Madness
To Make Final Four Pick
Ohio State
Odds
Bonus

Reasoning

You can get this at +350 at FanDuel right now, and I’ve been very high on this Buckeyes team. They’re arguably a top-five team in the nation right now, and ESPN’s latest bracketology projections have them as a one seed. For this bet to be worth it at +350, Ohio State would only need to make it 22.2 percent of the time. That seems pretty low for a potential one seed.

Oddsmakers continue to disrespect the Buckeyes, and we should take full advantage. Sure they’ve played down to their level of competition at times, and so it wouldn’t shock me if they ultimately headed for an early exit either. But when you’re making a futures bet like this you’re really betting on upside, and Ohio State has a lot of it. They’ve won road games against Illinois, Wisconsin, and Iowa, showing that their ceiling is just as high as anybody’s.

To make Final Four, March Madness

Reasoning

If Illinois can snag the final top seed it will avoid Baylor and Gonzaga until the Final Four. Even being the No. 5 or No. 6 overall seed (which would be good for the second seed in the region) would prevent the Fighting Illini from having to face the Bears or Zags in the Elite Eight. But even if they get stuck with Baylor, the Bears are nothing special down low and would surely have trouble with Illinois big man Kofi Cockburn. Whatever their draw, with Cockburn and Ayo Dosunmu this team can beat anyone on any given day. At +300, Illinois winning at least four games in the Big Dance (one will be a virtual free pass in the opening round) has good value.

To be a no. 1 seed, March Madness

Reasoning

Of the myriad contenders for the final top seed, Villanova has the best value at +400. The Wildcats are 14-3 with losses only to Virginia Tech at a neutral site in overtime and to St. John’s and Creighton on the road. They still have both St. John’s and Creighton on the remaining schedule, so avenging those previous setbacks would be a huge boost. And, of course, it will be much easier to win the Big East Tournament than it will be for teams like Florida State, Ohio State, and West Virginia to triumph in far tougher conferences. If ‘Nova wins out, Florida State loses in the ACC Tournament, and Ohio State fails to win the Big Ten festivities, the ‘Cats could find themselves on the top line.

Moreover, the committee will simply respect the name that is Villanova. After all, this is a college basketball blueblood that has won two of the last four national titles. It’s the same reason why Duke has a realistic chance of getting into this year’s Big Dance even though the Blue Devils’ resume is borderline terrible by their lofty standards.

To win the Conference, Big East
To win the Conference Pick
Villanova
Odds
Bonus

Reasoning

I don’t think Villanova is the fourth-best team in the country, nor do I like those Final Four odds. However, I’m taking a nibble on them at +120 to win the Big East. Don’t overreact to a couple of games, they’ve been the clear best team in the conference all season, and I’d make them a significant favorite in a potential rematch with Creighton.

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A Brief History Of March Madness

The March Madness tournament has been played since 1939 but has not always been the size and scale of the tournament as it is today. In 1939 there were only 8 teams in the tournament which was won by Oregon. March Madness expanded in 1951 to 16 teams, doubled again in 1975 to 32 teams, and once again to the size it is today with 64 teams in 1985.

The term March Madness itself was coined by Henry V Porter who was an Illinois School official in regards to the madness of the tournament. Today the name is apparent as ever with 64 teams all fighting for the title in a single-elimination tournament.

Since the tournament’s inception, UCLA leads the way in terms of National Titles with 11 mainly thanks to winning 7 titles in a row between 1967 and 1973. Their last title was in 1995.

The 2020 March Madness Tournament was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, meaning the 2019 champions in the Virginia Cavaliers enter the 2021 March Madness tournament as reigning champions.

Last 10 NCAA Basketball Champions

We haven’t seen a reign of dominance like the UCLA Bruins’ reign between 1967 and 1973 in recent years, with much more parity amongst recent winners. In the last decade, three teams have won two titles each in Duke, Villanova, and Connecticut, meaning 7 different schools have lifted the title in the last 10 tournaments.

The Last 10 NCAA Basketball Champions are as followed

  • 2020 – Tournament Postponed (Covid-19 Pandemic)
  • 2019 – Virginia 
  • 2018 – Villanova
  • 2017 – North Carolina
  • 2016 – Villanova
  • 2015 – Duke
  • 2014 – Connecticut 
  • 2013 – Louisville
  • 2012 – Kentucky
  • 2011 – Connecticut
  • 2010 – Duke

Where Are The March Madness 2021 Locations?

In a typical year, the March Madness Tournament is played in regional hubs across the United States with Dayton, Cleveland, Greensboro, Omaha, Sacramento, Albany, St. Louis, Spokane, Tampa, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Houston, New York, and Atlanta all due to host games in 2020 before the tournament was canceled due to the Covid 19 pandemic.

2021 is nothing like a typical year, and as a result of the pandemic, all March Madness games in 2021 will be played in the state of Indiana, with the majority, including the National Championship Game being played at Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis.

What Free March Madness Picks Do You Offer At Pickswise?

Pickswise is the home of March Madness picks. Our experts will analyze all of the statistics, data, team news, and more to provide you with the best March Madness tips for all 67 games throughout the tournament. If you’re looking for the best March Madness picks today, we’ve got you covered. 

Do You Have Any Expert March Madness Picks Today?

We offer free expert March Madness picks on every day of the tournament. The experts at Pickswise study the statistics, data, and latest news before selecting their March Madness picks for each of the tournament’s 67 games to help you make the best bets. Player matchups, rotations, injuries, travel schedule and referees, and many other factors are considered when finding the best daily March Madness betting tips. 

Free March Madness Picks Against the Spread

A bet against the spread is a great March Madness pick and the most popular betting line on both basketball and football due to their high scoring nature. When you want to bet on an elite team, but the odds are short, commonplace during March Madness, betting against the spread is often the way to go.

In the early rounds, you could be looking at having to wager $2000 on a team like Kansas or Gonzaga to win $100 and while history suggests it may be a safe pick, it’s a lot of risk for little reward. A bet against the spread levels the playing field, and can be used to have a wager on a big favorite, or similarly on an overlooked underdog that could keep the game closer than the bookmakers suggest.

The great thing about a March Madness picks on an underdog against the spread is that your team can lose the game outright, but your wager can still win if they cover the spread. With the March Madness bracket being single-elimination, teams prioritize winning over winning in style and this can see underdogs close the winning margin late on, and even though they are beaten comfortably, they still end up covering the spread.

Our experts will analyze all of the statistics, trends, and team news ahead of each of the 67 March Madness games to bring you the best free March Madness Pick against the spread.

Free March Madness Picks Over Under Points Totals

A March Madness Pick on the over/under markets is a great option for those closely-fought games that may be tough to call on the Moneyline or even Against the spread.

Instead of betting on the result of the game, betting on either overs or under the total points betting line means every play counts until the final buzzer making each game an exciting watch. Our experts analyze a host of statistics to determine all of our March Madness Predictions and picks, which are particularly pertinent to the points totals markets. A plethora of statistics including offensive and defensive efficiencies alongside a teams’ average tempo directly relate to the viability of a game for hitting the over, or under and our experts consider these key stats and more to provide the best free March Madness Picks on every game.

March Madness FAQs

This year’s March Madness tournament will take place at one centralized location due to the coronavirus pandemic.

March Madness starts on March 16, 2021, and ends on April 5, 2021. The Final Four and NCAA championship game will be played in Indianapolis.

First Four: March 16-17

First and second rounds: March 18-21

Sweet 16 and Elite Eight: March 25-28

Final Four and the championship game: April 3 and 5

CBS, TSB, TNT, and TruTV will all be home to live March Madness broadcasts throughout the tournament.
The First Four games will be exclusively aired on truTV, who also share the coverage of the first and second rounds of March Madness with CBS, TNT, and TBS.

Following the first two rounds, the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games will air on either TBS and CBS, with CBS also having the exclusive rights to the Final Four and Championship Game, which has a tentative date of April 3, 2021, at this point. 

Be sure to check back on our game-by-game March Madness Predictions for up-to-date game information, including where to watch the March Madness action.

Every single March Madness game will air on either truTV, TBS, TNT, or CBS.

Those looking to stream the game online have several options as well. If you receive these TV networks as part of your cable package, then you can log in and stream every game for free using March Madness Live.

Those without a cable subscription have other alternatives as well. They can stream games through services like fuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, and YouTube TV.

Yes, you can play college basketball DFS contests on sites like DraftKings and FanDuel.

The college basketball event is divided into four regions: East, West, Midwest, and South. Each contains at least 16 teams, with four additional teams added as per the selection committee, to produce a playing field consisting of 68 schools. This committee is also responsible for seeding and keeping squads from the same conferences from playing each other until the regional finals. They do this to create an air of fairness. It’s also great for bettors since it makes your wagers way more interesting, especially if you can correctly pick a team to win the NCAA Tournament.

Instead of only involving 16th-seeded teams, the four play-ins will have at least two games between Nos. 11, 12, 13, or 14 seeds. These opening games are now known as the First Four.

The field of 68 is determined on Selection Sunday, which takes place on March 14 this year.

An NCAA selection committee is in charge of rounding out the entire field and deciding which seed each team will have.

Thirty-two teams receive automatic bids into the tournament because they won their conference’s postseason. Regardless of record or anything that took place in the regular season, conference tournament champs get invited to the Big Dance.

The selection committee then decides the final 36 teams that receive an at-large bid. Every teams’ regular-season resume is put under scrutiny to determine the best and most deserving teams to play in March Madness.

The committee will take teams that have been voted into the tournament as at-large teams or have earned the automatic qualifier from their conference, and vote on teams (four at a time) to the seed list. The top four teams on the first seeding vote make up the initial one line (the four No. 1 seeds).