Pickswise's 2021 March Madness Handicapper Contest: National Championship Expert Picks and Predictions

Photo of Andrew Ortenberg

Andrew Ortenberg

NCAAB · 1 year ago

Show Bio

I'm an editor here at Pickswise who was raised in a household full of sports fanatics. Since I unfortunately never had LeBron James' jumping ability I wasn't able to make it to the NBA, and chose writing about sports as the next best thing. An avid sports bettor myself, I'm excited to get to write about the industry as it gets set to take off across the country. Buckle up.

It’s all coming to an end. Just over two weeks ago, 68 teams prepared to battle it out in the NCAA Tournament with dreams of being the last one standing. Now, only two remain, and it’s time to buckle up for the last game of March Madness.

Either Baylor or Gonzaga will be crowned national champions on Monday night. But there’s still one game left to play, 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 on the huge game.

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 pick here.

Meanwhile, Rashad has been the master of finding March Madness upsets (there’s a reason they call him Yoda), so find out who he’s siding with to win and to cover in the NCAA Tournament Final.

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.

MeganMakinMoney

Lock of the Day: Baylor +4.5

So naturally, my first thought is to take the Gonzaga Bulldogs and their fabulous undefeated run throughout the season and tournament. I said last week they would put UCLA in their place and it was almost the exact opposite. UCLA played the game of their lives and inevitably lost to the Zags. While they didn’t win, they gave the Baylor Bears phenomenal tape on what it takes to play and possibly beat this juggernaut in Gonzaga.

This Baylor team isn’t just playing for this season. They are playing for the season they were favorites to win from last year, which obviously was taken away. The Zags can carve up any defense, they are undefeated, and a team that has guys that will be playing at the next level. Baylor has the same stout defense, guys that will be playing at the next level as well, and could have potentially gone undefeated if they hadn’t come across the COVID bug.

Baylor has overcome that issue and has been clicking at all cylinders at the right time. They are the best three-point shooting team in the nation, they have an extremely deep bench and haven’t been a ‘dog all season up until this game that should’ve been played in December. I respect the hell out of the Zags and the powerhouse they have been all season. Maybe UCLA woke them up but I’m going to take my chances with Baylor and the points.

Total points scored prediction: 167 points

Ex-player and talent expert Rashad Phillips has called plenty of the big March Madness upsets — does he think the underdog Baylor has what it takes to overcome Gonzaga? Read his thoughts and best bets here.

Matt Marquart

Lock of the Day: Gonzaga -4.5

I’m going with Gonzaga to cover this spread and complete the perfect season. In a way, this sets up as a “buy low, sell high” opportunity in favor of Gonzaga, as they barely snuck by UCLA, while Baylor demolished Houston. However, UCLA played just about a perfect game against Gonzaga, and the Bulldogs were still able to win.

In this matchup, Gonzaga should be able to score at the rim. Gonzaga ranks third in frequency of shots at the rim and first in field goal percentage at the rim, while Baylor ranks just 308th in percentage defense at the rim. Both teams are excellent, so the margin for victory is extremely thin. However, I see the Zags having the slight edge thanks to Drew Timme’s post-ups and Jalen Suggs’ drives, securing the cover for Gonzaga.

Total score prediction: 163 points

CBS analyst and college basketball expert Jon Rothstein is back to give his thoughts on the NCAA Tournament Final! Find out who he thinks will win the national championship here.

Jacob Herr (Pickswise contest winner):

Lock of the Day: Baylor vs. Gonzaga over 159.5

Our college basketball expert, BetsByBob, is back to give his best bet for the NCAA Tournament Final. Find out what it is here.

Pickswise is the home of March Madness Predictions. Check out all of our March Madness Picks, including daily March Madness Parlays throughout the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Virginia Bonuses

See All
PointsBet

$500

Get 5x $100 Risk-Free Bets!

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Make a bet of up to $100 and receive a refund if you lose

Get this offer once a day for the first 5 days you sign up

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

DraftKings

$200

Bet $5 on Any MLB Game, Get $200 if Your Team Wins!

Sign up for a new account with DraftKings Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Bet $5 on any MLB team to win their next game

Win $200 in free bets + any cash winnings from your original wager

Offer valid for new players only. Must be 21 years or older to play. Reward paid in site credit. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim Instant Deposit Match up to $100 + Free $5 game

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

PointsBet

$2,000

Get $2,000 in Risk-Free Bets!

Register for a new PointsBet account & deposit

Receive a free bet refund up to $500 if your first fixed odds bet loses

& a free bet refund up to $1,500 if your first two PointsBetting Wager loses

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

Caesars Sportsbook

$1,500

Get up to $1,500 Risk-Free First Bet!

Sign up for a new Caesars Sportsbook account

Make your first deposit of $50+

If your first bet is not a winner, get it all back as a free bet (up to $1,100) if you lose!

21+. Terms and conditions apply.

BetRivers

$250

Get a $250 Deposit Bonus!

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code PICKSWISE

Make a deposit & get it doubled up to $250 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $100

Must be 21+. Play in IA Only. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS OFF

Unibet

$500

Get a $500 Risk-Free Bet!

Register for a new Unibet account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $500 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $500

New players only. Terms & conditions apply. 21+. VA only.

BetMGM

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new BetMGM & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

FanDuel Sportsbook

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

DraftKings

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Deposit Bonus!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account & deposit

DraftKings will match 20% of your deposit up to $1,000 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $500

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim 100% Instant Deposit Match up to $100!

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

Yahoo DFS

$25

Get $25 in Site Credit With Yahoo DFS When You Deposit $5!

Register for a new account with Yahoo DFS and deposit $5+

Enter a $5 DFS contest

Upon entry, you will receive a bonus $25 in credit into your account!

21+ and new players only. Full terms available from Yahoo DFS.

TVG

$200

Get Your First Single-Horse Win Wager Back Up to $200 if you don't win

Register for a new TVG account and make a deposit

Place your first single horse win-type bet up to $200

If your horse doesn't win you'll get a refund up to $300

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

TwinSpires

$200

Get a $200 Sign-Up Bonus with Twinspires Racebook!

Open your TwinSpires.com account using offer code BET200

$200 bonus cash will be credited in increments of $100 for every $400 wagered

To earn the full $200 bonus players must wager $800 within 30 days

21+. Terms and conditions apply.