March Madness Picks 2021

Pickswise is the home of March Madness picks. Here you will find the experts involved in the Pickswise Capper Contest. You will get free March Madness expert picks from the likes of Jon Rothstein, Rashad Phillips, Jeff Nadu, and more as they battle it out in a $10,000 winner takes all handicapping contest. We have more free March Madness picks on all 67 games throughout the three-week-long tournament. Head over to our March Madness predictions page for game previews from Pickswise’s expert handicappers.

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To Win National Championship, 2021 NCAA Tournament
To Win National Championship Pick
Illinois
Odds
Bonus

Reasoning

With Oklahoma State having lost to Texas in the Big 12 Tournament championship game, the two hottest teams going into the NCAA Tournament are…wait for it…the top two overall seeds. Given Gonzaga’s short +205 odds, it’s hard to justify picking them against a field of 67 other teams by winning six games—at least five of which would come against legitimate opponents. Illinois at +700 has far better value. The Fighting Illini are 14-1 in their last 15 games with a ridiculous four top-10 wins in their last five. You aren’t going to find a better resume than that—not even from Gonzaga. And it doesn’t take a genius to figure out why the Illini are so good. Ayo Dosunmu may be the best guard in the country, Kofi Cockburn is a force down low, and both Trent Frazier and Andre Curbelo haven been playing their best basketball of the season in recent weeks.

To Win National Championship, 2021 NCAA Tournament
To Win National Championship Pick
Texas
Odds
Bonus

Reasoning

How about winning the Maui Invitational, the Big 12 Tournament, and the NCAA Tournament?!?! That would be something. And that is what Texas is aiming to accomplish as it heads into the Big Dance. The Maui triumph propelled the Longhorns to a 10-1 record through 11 games before they endured an alarming 3-5 stretch. But it was only a matter of time before they would get back on track. After all, five of their first six losses (with Baylor being the only exception) came by a combined nine points in regulation. Texas has won six in a row, with four of those victories coming against top 20 opponents. Head coach Shaka Smart’s squad is led by Andrew Jones, Matt Coleman, Courtney Ramey, Greg Brown, and Jericho Sims. They have the experience and the talent to go all the way.

To Make Final Four, 2021 NCAA Tournament
To Make Final Four 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 month after trailing by 20 less than 15 minutes into the game. The ‘Noles went 11-4 in the ACC and advanced to the conference tournament final before losing to a red-hot Georgia Tech team that has won eight straight heading into the Big Dance. Florida State finds itself in the softest region (the East), where a banged-up Michigan squad is the No. 1 seed. The table is set for the Seminoles to make a run.

To Make Elite 8, 2021 NCAA Tournament
To Make Elite 8 Pick
Texas Tech
Odds
Bonus

Reasoning

Texas Tech played in the most recent National Championship game (lost to Virginia in overtime). Last season’s tournament was cancelled, of course. Two years later the Red Raiders obviously look a lot different, but they are still more than capable of making another surprising run. They are battle-tested, having played in what many consider to be the second-best conference in college basketball (the Big 12), and they have not lost to anyone outside of the current top 25 this entire season. With a decent draw in which his team would probably have to get past Arkansas and Ohio State, Mac McClung can lead the way to a spot in the Elite Eight.

To Make Sweet 16, 2021 NCAA Tournament
To Make Sweet 16 Pick
USC
Odds
Bonus

Reasoning

The Trojans are led in part by the Mobley brothers. Evan, a 7-footer, is one of the best freshmen in the nation. Isaiah, a sophomore, gives USC even more size at 6’10’’. With Tahj Eaddy and Drew Peterson manning the backcourt, this is a well-rounded squad. Head coach Andy Enfield’s squad does not shoot the ball particularly well, but it gives up only 65.1 ppg and is ranked 30th in the nation in rebounding. Given that the Trojans have beaten only one top 25 team in 2021, it’s hard to see them getting to the Final Four. But they face the winner of a play-in game in the first round (Wichita State or Drake) before a potential date with Kansas—which isn’t typical Kansas this season. That is a navigable path.

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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.

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.

March Madness FAQs

Our 2021 March Madness Outright Winner Pick is the Illinois Fighting Illini. The Fighting Illini are 14-1 in their last 15 matches and have four top-10 wins in their last five. That resume stacks up with anyone, even runaway favorites Gonzaga. Ayo Dosunmu may be the best guard in the nation, Kofi Cockburn is a force and both Trent Frazier and Andre Curbelo have played lights out in recent weeks. Take the Fighting Illini at +700.

Our best value March Madness Final Four Pick is the Florida State Seminoles at odds of +900. Florida State is raw, but head coach Leonard Hamilton has loaded up with a ton of incredible athletes. When the ‘Noles play up to their potential, they can be scarily good. Just ask Virginia who were trailing by 20 less than 15 mins into the game in their 81-60 blowout loss to FSU last month. The ‘Noles went 11-4 in the ACC before losing to a hot team in Georgia Tech and find themselves in the softest region. The bracket is set for the Seminoles to make a run.

Our Best pick to make the March Madness Elite Eight is the Texas Tech Red Raiders at odds of +400. The Red Raiders lost in the most recent National Championship game back in 2019 and while a different team now but look capable of making a somewhat surprising run. They are battle-hardened from playing in what most consider the second toughest conference in college basketball and with a decent draw they look a value wager to make the Elite Eight. 

Our best March Madness Sweet Sixteen Pick in the USC Trojans at odds of +150. The Trojans are a well-rounded squad led in the main by the Mobley brothers with Evan a 7-footer and one of the best freshmen in the country and Isaiah bringing more size at 6ft 10. The Trojans rebound very well, sitting in 30th in the Nation and while they don’t shoot particularly well, they only give up an average of 65.1ppg. They play the play-in winners Drake in the opening round and then could face Kansas, who aren’t the typical Kansas team this season and both of these games would be winnable for USC.

Our March Madness upset pick is the Texas Longhorns at odds of +3300. The Longhorns look to try and with the Maui Invitational, the Big 12 Tournament, and the NCAA Tournament which would be some feat. The Maui triumph propelled Texas to a 10-1 record through 11 games and while they hit a 3-5 patch midseason, it was always a matter of time before they found their groove once more. Those losses came by a combined total of nine points in regulation and now enter March Madness having won six in a row, four of which were against Top-20 opponents. They have the talent and experience to cause an upset.

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).