March Madness 2021 Brackets' Predictions

March Madness 2021 Brackets' Predictions

Check out our best 2021 March Madness picks.

The 2021 March Madness bracket is set, and you know what that means: It's time for our super definitive March Madness picks!

Before we get started, here are the 25 schools laying the best odds to win the National Championship, courtesy of Bovada:

Nat'l Championshp PickBovada
Oklahoma State+2500
Florida State+2800
Ohio State+2800
West Virginia+4000
San Diego State+5000
Texas Tech+5000
Georgia Tech+6600
North Carolina+6600
Loyla Chicago+7500

Always be sure to check these college basketball futures before deciding on a wager. The odds will shift prior to the start of the tournament, even though the March Madness bracket has been set. 

2021 March Madness Predictions

Since we've already taken a look at our best March Madness championship options, we won't waste time going through the entire field again. We'll get right to our championship pick and steer into a collection of our favorite March Madness props.

March Madness Championship Prediction

When we initially went through this exercise, we selected Michigan (+650). And guess what? Our stance hasn't changed.

Though COVID-19 complications wound up shortening their season relative to many of the other teams in this championship tournament, the Wolverines still established themselves as a proper powerhouse. Case in point: They finished in the top 12 of both adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency, according to KenPom's rankings. The only other two schools in the country to do the same were Baylor and Gonzaga.

Good luck stopping this team on the offensive end specifically. Their three-prong attack of Hunter Dickinson, Isaiah Livers, and Michael Smith can score and playmake at all three levels. Michigan as a team is also knocking down nearly 39 percent of their threes on the year.

There are better squads on the defensive end—but not too many. The Wolverines strike a nice balancing act with their rim protection and ability to force turnovers without committing a bunch of fouls. Their lone weakness might be inconsistent three-point defense, and that would worry us more if they weren't such an elite offense themselves.

Pinpointing a March Madness champion from a field of 64 is always difficult. But we really like the way Michigan looks this year.

If you're looking for dark horse options, we highly recommend San Diego State (+5000) or North Carolina (+6600). But at +650, the Wolverines provide great value as one of the foremost favorites.

OSB Championship Prediction: Michigan (+650)

Michigan Wolverines To win the College Basketball National Championship

Which Seed Will Win March Madness?

Props time!

Here are the odds for which seed we'll be crowned national champion:

  • No. 1: -350
  • No. 2: +425
  • No. 3: +800
  • No. 4: +850
  • No.5: +1000
  • No. 6: +1600
  • No. 7: +1700
  • No. 8: +2200
  • No. 9: +2300
  • No. 10: +2900

We've only included odds for the top 10 seeds for obvious reasons. If you envision an 11 through 16 seed winning it all, congratulations. You stand to make a lot of money.

Typically, we would advise going against the No. 1 seed option, as it doesn't even pay out even money. But our championship prediction is the Michigan Wolverines, who rank as one of those No. 1 seeds. If you're going to bet on them, it makes sense to double up. You'll still have three other teams that can win the tournament and net you a successful bet.

However, if you're feeling spicy and like our San Diego State suggestion, they check-in as a No. 6 seed, which is currently paying out +1600.

OSB Prediction: A No. 1 seed will win the tournament

A No. 1 seed To win the College Basketball National Championship

Will There Be a Game-Winning Shot as Time Expires?

Check out the odds for this one:

  • 0 buzzer-beaters: -115
  • 1 buzzer-beater: +220
  • 2 buzzer-beaters: +700
  • 3 buzzer-beaters: +1200
  • 4 buzzer-beaters: +2000
  • 5 buzzer-beaters: +4000
  • 6 or more buzzer-beaters: +5000

Please don't bet on zero buzzer-beaters. It's March Madness for crying out loud. There are going to be game-winners as time expires.

Picking an exact amount is tough. We definitely endorse going with at least two. There seem to be a couple every year in the opening round. Settling on four feels like the right mix of risk and reward if we assume there will be two game-winners in the first round of games alone.

OSB Prediction: Four buzzer beaters (+2000)

Four Buzzer Beaters During March Madness

How Many Tournament Games Will Go to Overtime?

Check out the odds on this one:

  • Over 1.5: -500
  • Under 1.5: +300

Consider this one easy money. While a -500 return isn't sexy, you can essentially guarantee there will be at least two overtime games before the March Madness tournament concludes. 

Heck, you should probably even break that number by the end of the first round alone.

OSB Prediction: Over 1.5 overtimes (-500)

Over 1.5 overtimes During March Madness

Which No. 1 Seed Will Be Eliminated First?

Here are the four different options on this prop:

  • Michigan (+150)
  • Baylor (+200)
  • Illinois (+300)
  • Gonzaga (+500)

The process of elimination takes care of Michigan. They're our title pick. We also don't endorse going with Gonzaga. They're one of the most dominant basketball teams in recent memory.

Instead, we're rolling with Illinois. 

Although they profile as a top team in every sense of the concept, their offense can be a little wonky. They shoot threes well, but they don't take nearly enough. And without consistent volume from beyond the arc, it's difficult to erase any potential deficits.

On top of that, they're among the nation's worst free-throw-shooting teams, at just 69.1 percent. That stands to haunt them in close games.

OSB Prediction: Illinois (+300)

Illinois For first No. 1 seed to lose

Check out this list of the best online sportsbooks so you can decide which one to use for your college basketball betting: 

Meet the author

Quinn Allen

Quinn Allen is a journalist who writes betting previews across the sports world. He’s also a Senior Editor at ClutchPoints. Quinn has been writing for OSB since 2022.