Pickswise's 2021 March Madness Handicapper Contest: Monday Elite Eight Expert Picks and Predictions
The stakes in the NCAA Tournament are now higher than ever, as the fun continues on Monday with the start of the Elite Eight.
Following a thrilling two days of Sweet 16 action, we have two more games to salivate over and our expert judges are here to give you their locks of the day and best bets for the Pickswise $10,000 Capper Contest! With the likes of Megan Nunez and Bets By Bob all participating, make sure you find out who the best bettors around are backing before placing your own bets.
Also involved in the contest are top college basketball insider Jon Rothstein, and ex-player and talent expert Rashad Phillips. Make sure you also check out Jon’s picks here.
Incredibly, Rashad was able to successfully predict ALL THREE upsets of Abilene Christian to beat Texas, Oral Roberts to beat Ohio State, and Ohio to beat Virginia. Rashad then followed that up by once again picking Oral Roberts to get the job done, this time against Florida. Read all of Rashad’s picks for today’s games here.
Here at Pickswise, we specialize in providing free expert picks and predictions, and you can find all of our picks on the side and total for every game throughout March Madness.
Lock of the Day: Oregon State +8
How can I stop the Beaver fever now? This team has been counted out every single matchup of the tournament and they took that personally. The Beavers are shooting 41.8 percent from three, have stepped it up defensively, and are playing cohesive basketball that wins games. Houston will probably the toughest team the Beavers have faced all season, and the Cuogs will get the better of the Beavers on the glass. This is the same script I’ve been writing the last three weeks with this Beavers team and it’s just too many points. They aren’t going to quit now, they will adjust to the Cougars’ pace, and rely on the team play they have this entire tournament to cover the eight points.
Be sure to check out our full game preview for Oregon State Beavers vs. Houston Cougars.
Additional Bet: Baylor -7
The Bears came out cold against a very well coached Villanova team and roared back after half to let the Wildcats have it. This Arkansas team is going to be a bit more of a challenge but nothing Baylor can’t handle. No shade to Oral Roberts but Arkansas should’ve sawed through them as it was their second meeting, however Oral Roberts could’ve easily won that game and that showing from Arkansas doesn’t convince me they are capable of handling this Baylor team. I’m going to keep taking the Bears as they seem to be playing at an entirely different level.
The king of March Madness upsets, Rashad Phillips, is back with more picks for the Elite Eight! Read his predictions here.
Lock of the Day: Baylor -7
Baylor is the 2nd-best team in this tournament, has an explosive offense, and a defense that’s re-emerging as elite. Arkansas is very good but struggled to defend Max Abmas this weekend and now faces Baylor’s guard quartet of Jared Butler, Davion Mitchell, Adam Flagler and MaCio Teague. Seven points is a lot in an Elite Eight game but this Baylor squad has the two-way dominance to cover and I don’t like how Arkansas matches up with the Bears. Roll with -7 in this one.
Additional Bet: Oregon State +8
The Beavers are playing tremendous basketball over the past few weeks and I expect this to be a low-scoring affair. The Cougars may very well win but I can’t give them eight points against this Oregon State team.
CBS analyst and college basketball expert Jon Rothstein has been on a roll with his picks lately, and is looking for even more success! Read his predictions for Monday’s Elite Eight games here.
Lock of the Day: Arkansas +7
The Hogs have been playing nail biters and this is what we have here — a nail biter. We have a team 12-4 ATS in their last 16 games. This team just had 18 offensive rebounds leading to more possessions which they will need to upset #1 Baylor. The Bears have not been playing great and have relied on the three-way too much. Moses Moody will be the key player and is unlikely to go 4-20 again, and Arkansas will almost definitely improve on their 1-9 three-point shooting. These teams are mirror images of each other and if you are giving me seven points in a game that will be coming down to the wire, I will take it every time.
Be sure to check out our full game preview for Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Baylor Bears.
Additional Bet: Arkansas vs. Baylor under 149.5
So, we went from 158 down to under 150 here. Why? Because these teams are playing defense and tighter D, tighter shots, bad three-point shooting means we are going to have a lower-scoring game. In the six games Arkansas and Baylor have played in the tournament so far, only one has gone over this number and that was against the Razorbacks’ game against Colgate, which is an awful defensive team and that was only 153. Arkansas’ length will affect Baylor’s shooting just like Villanova’s length did, making Baylor shoot 16% from three-point land. You have two top-30 adjusted defensive efficiency teams going at it. This game will stay in the low 70’s and that means we get the under. We will win a 73-69 type of game.
Lock of the Day: Baylor -7
I’m taking Baylor in this game, as I don’t see Arkansas being able to continue to come back from double-digit deficits. Arkansas has started slowly in each of their last three games, but used their athleticism and offensive rebounding to eventually come back and win the game. Baylor is just as athletic as Arkansas, and should be able to maintain a double-digit lead if they were to get one.
Another concerning aspect of Arkansas’s recent games has been their shot selection. Against Oral Roberts, the Razorbacks took 39 of their 77 shots from the mid-range. This is not a recipe for success against a Baylor team that has re-found its stride on defense. On the other end, Baylor has the depth to maintain margin in this game, as they bring Matthew Mayer and Adam Flagler off the bench, each of which are capable of double-figure scoring every game.
Additional Bet: Houston -8
Oregon State has had a fantastic run to make it to the Elite Eight, but the time has come for their run to end. I don’t mean to diminish their success, but Oregon State has been somewhat fortunate to make it this far. In their three NCAA Tournament games, the Beavers are shooting 38.9 percent from three, while their opponents are shooting just 23.1 percent. Houston’s defense is going to be able to change that, as Houston has held opponents to just 29 percent this year from three. Typically I would say that is a bit of luck, but Houston has ranked in the top 70 in three-point field goal defense each of the last six years.
Our college basketball expert, BetsByBob, has been on a serious roll with his picks lately. Find out his best Elite Eight bets here.
Jacob Herr (Pickswise contest winner):
Lock of the Day: Houston -8
Additional Bet: Baylor -7
Bet $1, Win $100 Gonzaga or Baylor to win!
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