There is no rest for the weary, with the March Madness Elite Eight tipping off on a Monday night. After a surprise-filled Sweet Sixteen weekend, our best bets remained strong, though not perfect. We are going to try and top a terrific first round with our Elite Eight betting tips.
Entering the 2021 March Madness Elite Eight, our results currently are:
- Spread Bets: 6-2, up ~4.5 units.
- Upset Specials: 1-1. Ohio +280 a winner, Villanova +265 a disappointment.
- Futures: Arkansas +2000 still alive. RIP Iowa +2000 and, especially, Loyola +8000.
- Props: 0-1 with OVER 10.5 Total Final Four Seeds still breathing.
The Elite Eight gets underway at 7:15p.m. EDT tonight, March 29. Both Monday games will be broadcast on CBS, while Tuesday’s action will be found on TBS. Who should you lay your hard-earned real money on? To the PICKS!
March Madness Elite Eight Spread Bets
There are only four games over the next two nights. The Elite Eight provides a narrow path to plus value. But, if your bracket is more busted than a 15 year old buying beer with fake ID, we can help.
Oregon State vs. HOUSTON (-7.5)*, Monday, 7:15p.m. EDT, CBS
Oregon State caught Loyola off guard by deploying a zone defense. The results set basketball back a few decades. The Ramblers were held to an astounding four made field goals in the first half.
But on the bracket’s other side, Houston was shooting over, around, and through Syracuse and their cowardly zone. So, the Beavers will be unable to pull the same trick twice.
However, it was the Cougars defense that won them a trip to the Elite Eight. Oregon State is on a remarkable run, but they remain a fundamentally bad team. Even after their stifling of Loyola, KenPom has them with only the 60th best Adjusted Defensive Efficiency.
Our only hesitation here is both teams maintain a plodding tempo, limiting Houston’s ability to quickly pull away. Still, the Beavers incredible March stops here.
One unit on HOUSTON -7.5 (-115).
UCLA (+7.0) vs. Michigan, Tuesday, 9:37p.m. EDT, TBS
Michigan dispatched Florida State with ease, reasserting itself as a title contender. UCLA should have lost to Michigan State in a play-in game a couple weeks ago. That is not bluster, Sparty simply handed UCLA the game.
And now we are riding the Bruins. 2021 March Madness everyone! Much like the game between Oregon State and Houston, expect a plodding tempo. Unlike that matchup (note the exact same line), fivethirtyeight gives UCLA a 38% chance of winning outright. We do not believe the boys from Westwood get over the hump but do keep it close.
Another unit goes on UCLA (+7.0) (-110).
Elite Eight Upset Special
All four March Madness Elite Eight lines are -7.0 or greater. This is absurd because based on the tournament’s first three rounds, no one expects chalk. Where is the underdog with the power to pull the upset?
USC (+315) vs. Gonzaga, Tuesday, 7:15p.m. EDT, TBS
Let us immediately hedge by saying we would only sprinkle a little coin on this moneyline. But hear us out.
Famously, no men’s basketball squad has completed an undefeated championship season since Indiana in 1976. That is what the Zags are attempting this tournament. The challengers who got the closest since? They included studs like Karl-Anthony Towns, Devin Booker, Larry Johnson, and even Larry freakin’ Bird. Those dudes are not walking through the door for Gonzaga.
None of those teams could finish what the Bulldogs have in front of them. And the Trojans may be their strongest challenger left.
After Gonzaga, by far the most impressive team in this year’s March Madness is USC. And linemakers continue to undervalue them, as seen by spreads of -2.0 over Oregon and -1.0 against Kansas. Both were no-sweat covers. They are clearly not your typical six seed.
And the Men of Troy have the size to challenge Gonzaga. A few bad breaks, a couple missed shots, and doubt may creep into the Bulldogs’ minds.
Put 0.25 of a unit on USC (+315) and see if the Spokane dream comes crashing down.
March Madness Elite Eight Prop Bets
There is not much value in futures at this point in the tournament, especially with our Arkansas +2000 ticket pocketed.
But we identified a nice prop to spice up one of tonight’s games.
Davion Mitchell 18+ Points and Baylor to Win (+129)
Mitchell, the Auburn transfer, has been a stud this March Madness. He has consistently outperformed his more heralded teammate, Big12 Player of the Year Jared Butler. Now, in the Elite Eight, watch him truly shine.
If Baylor’s defense continues to rise as it did against Villanova, the Win part of this double should not be in doubt. But Mitchell has not reached 18 points yet in 2021 March Madness.
His shots have not been falling, and he has not been getting to the free throw line. We expect both to change against an aggressive Arkansas defense.
You can start winning all your real money 2021 March Madness Elite Eight bets. You just need to find the right online sportsbook and employ good strategy. Check out our reviews of the places with the fattest deposit bonuses as fastest payouts.
*All odds and lines per Bovada at 12:30p.m. EDT on 03/29/2021.