It’s spring break so JP and I decided to share some of our favorite bets for the upcoming tournament. Feel free to use the comments below to shame us or add any you are feeling especially good about.
My best bets for the tournament may have a slightly different definition than others as my goal is typically to add a little fun to the excitement of March Madness while giving myself a chance to turn a few bucks into more than a few bucks. That’s a long-winded (I think I’ve become synonymous with that term) way of saying I typically only bet underdogs, futures or parlays for the NCAA Tournament. This year, I’m following a similar strategy whole trying to take advantage of a few promos from my book of choice (typically Draft Kings). Here’s a sampling.
Iowa +100 to make the Elite Eight
I know, I know, never bet on the Hawks! Or at least hedge your happiness! But Iowa is going to be favored in all their games to get to this point. So I like the idea of taking them +100 here and hedging a bit by betting the other side in say the Sweet Sixteen AND (with fewer units) in the round of 32.
Winthrop +215 over Nova
We know there’s always a 12 over a 5 and this just seems like it has to be the one. Nova is down Collin Gillespie (and possibly Justin Moore), which isn’t a death sentence but is certainly something. Winthrop can score the ball so I’m in on this one, particularly if you’re able to take advantage of the DK promo refunding your bet (up $50) if your team scores at least 75 points (Winthrop averaged just under 80 a game this season). DraftKings was also running a promo at one point this week where you could bet if any 12s would upset a 5 at -125. That’s down from -400 and worth the play as well.
Purdue +100 to make Sweet Sixteen
If you think Winthrop is knocking off Nova, then you think Purdue is going to be favored in their first two matchups against North Texas and Winthrop. You’re essentially parlaying them to win those two games where they’re likely to be in the neighborhood of -335 and -200.
Parlay the 1s and 2s Day 1
Ok, so this isn’t really a best bet, but it’s a personal strategy. The payout here isn’t good. The risk is theoretically high. But in the history of the tournament we’ve had 9 times where a 1 or 2 seed lost round 1. So I like to take my chances here to build a small bankroll on day one that can then be used on more out there bets on day 2. So I’m taking Illinois -10000, OSU -1667, Baylor -10000 and Houston -3335 on a 4-team parlay. It pays 0.11 units per unit wagered, which again is nothing, but it’s enough to get one free long shot bet in day 2. You could just as easily add that to your parlay and likely get better odds, particularly if FanDuel is continuing to honor their policy of giving you your money back on a 6-leg parlay if the last leg gets you (note that you’d need to add in another game, like the 1 and 2 seeds day 2).
OVER OVER OVER
Let’s get after it with some points in the first two days. My favorite over varietals are Iowa/Grand Canyon (145), Arkansas/Colgate (161.5), and Ohio State/Oral Roberts (157.5). Iowa was 7-0 in nonconference over games and I think we see a bit of a return here. With the fear of Garza getting to foul trouble, I can see him trading baskets with Midtgaard for a number of possessions a la LG & Micah Potter. Arkansas & Colgate average a collective 168 points and play at two of the nation’s highest 25 tempos. Oral Roberts has the nation’s leading scorer and plays zero defense against a team that has great offense and plays selective defense.
There are others.
North Carolina -1.5
Roy Williams has won every first round game he’s coached.
Did you guys hear? Roy Williams is 29-0 all time in first round games pic.twitter.com/kbnl7o1Rf4— chaz luckwick II (@IiLuckwick) March 19, 2021
Lay the extra point and ride history.
UNDER BECAUSE MIGHT AS WELL
I’ve already gotten burned with the most obvious under of all time, (Tom Izzo, what is you doing) but hear me out: North Texas and Purdue play some of the slowest basketball in this tournament. North Texas is defensively oriented and will try winning that way. Purdue will play that game and be better at it. 126.5 isn’t much but it’s what it is.
Oklahoma State +120 Sweet 16
This is a Cade Cunningham bet.
Underdogs first to 15
I’m not seeing these bets...yet...but they’re my favorite to play. The broad strokes of favorite plays are ones where the underdog is a good shooting team and in the 13-16 range. Here are some examples: Oral Roberts, Colgate, Liberty, Abilene Christian. Drexel is probably on the absolute lower bound of this but if done correctly you can hit just 1 or 2 to cover any losses.
What are you looking for??