Texas basketball March Madness odds, best bets, and season recap
March Madness is less than a month away, and this time it’s actually happening (barring any last-minute disasters, of course). It’s going to be a lot different in 2021 with the entire NCAA Tournament in one location, but having been cancelled in 2020 the players are going to be even more enthused than usual and the bettors will be especially eager. With the regular season wining down, it’s time to start looking ahead at the teams that can expect to be serious National Championship contenders. We’ll be breaking them down one by one, and our series continues with the 14th-ranked Texas Longhorns.
Texas basketball schedule – The season so far
In early January, Texas was 10-1 and ranked No. 4 in the nation. The Longhorns were also 4-0 in the Big 12 at the time. They boated wins over North Carolina, Kansas, and West Virginia with a loss only to Villanova by four points. However, things have taken a turn for the worse since those opening 11 games. The ‘Horns are now 13-6 (7-5 Big 12). They have lost to Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Baylor, Oklahoma State, and West Virginia. None of those setbacks are bad, but they suggest that Texas is not a top-tier team in the nation. It had a chance to cement itself as a serious contender when it faced one of the country’s top two programs in Baylor, but the Bears had no trouble taking care of business 83-69 on Feb. 2.
The Longhorns may not be great, but none of the above is to say that they aren’t very good. They are. Aside from the Baylor result, Texas’ other five losses have come by a combined nine points in regulation. This team can clearly hang with anyone in the land other than Baylor and Gonzaga, and perhaps on a good day it can even compete with those two elite teams. Head coach Shaka Smart’s squad is incredibly deep, with 11 different players averaging double-digits in minutes per game. Four are scoring in double-figures, including Andrew Jones at 15.6 ppg and Courtney Ramey at 14.1 ppg. Particularly impressive on defense, the ‘Horns are allowing only 68.5 points per contest.
Texas can make a real late-season statement with upcoming games against Kansas (on Tuesday) and Texas Tech.
Sportsbook betting odds for Texas to win the NCAA Tournament
Beyond Baylor and Gonzaga, who are the undisputed and heavy top-two favorites to win the National Championship, odds fluctuate wildly at most sportsbooks. Texas is the 11th choice (tied) at +2300 per FanDuel. At DraftKings, the Longhorns are eighth at +1700 to cut down the nets in Indianapolis.
Odds are also available for the Big 12 Tournament, in which Texas is a +600 second choice at FanDuel. At DraftKings, however, UT is the fourth favorite at +700. Baylor, Kansas, and West Virginia are ahead of the ‘Horns at DraftKings. There is a significant discrepancy in terms of Texas’ chances to reach the Final Four, as well. Smart’s squad is +230 at FanDuel to make it to college basketball’s promised land, but at DraftKings you can get the Longhorns at +350. They are +3000 at DraftKings to snag a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Best Texas March Madness bets
Texas’ recent woes actually give this club good value across the board. The Longhorns have lost close games left and right, which inflate their odds as a team that is now outside the top 10 while also not looking bad at all; those losses haven’t looked bad on paper and they haven’t looked bad according to the eye test.
Of the bets mentioned above, I like the Final Four at +350 the best. I am hesitant to tip the ‘Horns as Big 12 champions simply because they have dropped so many recent games to their biggest rivals. And to win the National Championship, they would likely have to go through Baylor—and we all saw how that turned out earlier this month. But this team is deep enough and talented enough to make at least some sort of run in the Big Dance, so a Final Four trip is a worthwhile wager.
March Madness team-by-team guides
Be sure to check out the rest of our March Madness team guides, providing everything you need to know ahead of the huge college basketball tournament!
- Gonzaga Bulldogs
- Baylor Bears
- Villanova Wildcats
- Alabama Crimson Tide
- Michigan Wolverines
- Iowa Hawkeyes