After a year without the NCAA tournament, men’s basketball in 2021 showed many surprises on the first weekend. There are now only 16 teams left and we’ve got you covered and we’ll update and track the action as it comes.
All lines, futures and splits courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill starting Thursday at 1pm
12th Oregon State Beavers versus 8th Loyola Chicago Ramblers
Opening line: Loyola Chicago -6.5, 125.5
Thursday line: Loyola Chicago -6.5, 125.5
Remarks: Oregon State has won five games in a row, all as an underdog. The Beavers are the fifth team in the past 25 years to have won at least five NCAA / conference tournament games as underdogs.
Tickets: 62 pct Oregon State
Money: 51 pct Loyola Chicago
Notable OSU Bet: At the start of the NCAA tournament, a Nevada bettor placed a $ 400 bet on the state of Oregon to win the title 750-1 with William Hill. The bet, which would pay $ 300,000 net, is the largest live futures ticket on William Hill.
Notable Loyola Bet: The biggest bet William Hill made against Loyola-Chicago was $ 200 at 1,000-1. The bet would pay out $ 200,000 net.
5th Villanova Wildcats versus 1st Baylor Bears
Opening line: Baylor -6.5, 140.5
Thursday line: Baylor -7, 141.5
Remarks: Villanova is a 6.5 point underdog against Baylor. Since Big East realigned from 2013 to 2014, Villanova was the only time in Kansas on December 15, 2018 that there was at least a 6-point underdog (+7.5, lost by 3).
Tickets: 73 pct Baylor to be, to be, to
Money: 58 pct Baylor to be to
Notable Baylor Bet: A Nevada bettor bet $ 25,000 on Baylor to win the South Region 7-4 with William Hill. The Bears are two wins away from converting that bet into a net payday of $ 43,250 for the weather.
Notable Nova Bet: The largest potential payout for Villanova at William Hill comes from a $ 2,500 bet on the Wildcats at 40-1 that would pay out $ 100,000 net.
15th Oral Roberts Golden Eagles versus 3rd Arkansas Razorbacks
Opening line: Arkansas -11.5, 159.5
Thursday line: Arkansas -11, 159
Remarks: Oral Roberts is currently an 11-point underdog against Arkansas. An Oral Roberts win would be the fifth double-digit surprise in the Sweet 16 or later since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985.
Tickets: 74 pct Oral Roberts
Money: 68 pct Oral Roberts
Notable Arkansas Bet: William Hill reports that he staked $ 500 on Arkansas to win the title at odds of 100-1. The bet would pay out $ 50,000 net.
Notable Oral Roberts Bet: William Hill said they wagered $ 100 on Oral Roberts to win the tournament at odds of 1,000-1. The bet would pay out $ 100,000 net.
11th Syracuse Orange versus 2nd Houston Cougars
Opening line: Houston -6, 140
Thursday line: Houston -6, 140
Remarks: Syracuse is an underdog for the third game in a row against Houston on Saturday. Syracuse has won 17 games as an underdog, most by any team since the NCAA tournament expansion in 1985.
Tickets: 70 pct Syracuse to be to
Money: 76 pct Syracuse to be to
Notable Houston Bet: William Hill reported that he had placed a $ 2,000 bet on Houston to win the title at odds of 30-1. The bet would pay out $ 60,000 net.
Notable Syracuse Bet: William Hill reported that he made two $ 400 bets on Syracuse to win the title 270-1. Each bet would pay out $ 108,000.
5th Creighton Bluejays versus 1st Gonzaga Bulldogs
Opening line: Gonzaga -13.5, 158.5
Thursday line: Gonzaga -13.5, 158
Remarks: Gonzaga (+150) has been the Sweet 16’s biggest favorite since 2015. Kentucky (+110) The Wildcats didn’t win the title this year.
Tickets: 70 pct Gonzaga to
Money: 79 pct Gonzaga to be to
Notable Gonzaga Bet: In late November, as the season was just getting underway, a New Jersey bettor placed a $ 15,000 bet on Gonzaga to win the national championship 8-1 with William Hill. The bet, which would pay $ 120,000 net, is the largest potential payout for Gonzaga at William Hill.
Notable Creighton Bet: William Hill bet $ 800 on Creighton to win the title at odds of 100-1. The bet would pay out a net $ 80,000 if the Bluejays win it all.
4. Florida State Seminoles versus 1. Michigan Wolverines
Opening line: Michigan -3, 144
Thursday line: Michigan -2.5, 143.5
Remarks: Florida State has been 8-0 ATS against high-ranking opponents (7-1 direct) since the beginning of last season. The Seminoles are 3-0 and ATS this season.
Tickets: 59 pct Michigan
Money: 68 pct Michigan
Notable Michigan Bet: In late February, an Illinois bettor bet $ 30,000 on Michigan to win the national title 8-1 with William Hill. The bet would pay out $ 240,000 net, but the bettor wasn’t done sponsoring the Wolverines. According to William Hill, the same bettor returned a few days later and placed another $ 30,000 bet on Michigan to win it all, this time with an 11-2 odds. Together the bets would pay out a net $ 405,000.
Notable FSU Bet: The state of Florida has at least two invested fans in Washington, DC, where two big bets were placed on the Seminoles at William Hill just before the tournament began: $ 4,900 at 50-1 and $ 9,500 at 25-1. The bets would pay out $ 245,000 and $ 237,500, respectively.
11th UCLA Bruins vs. 2nd Alabama Crimson Tide
Opening line: Alabama -6, 145
Thursday line: Alabama -6.5, 145.5
Remarks: UCLA is 3-0 ATS in the NCAA tournament, including two overall wins as an underdog.
Tickets: 64 pct Alabama
Money: 76 pct Alabama
Notable bama bet: William Hill reported he placed a $ 4,000 bet on Alabama to win the title 18-1. The bet would pay out $ 72,000 net.
Notable UCLA Bet: William Hill said they placed a $ 3,000 bet on UCLA to win the East Region at odds of 18-1. The bet would pay out $ 54,000 net.
7. Oregon Ducks vs. 6. USC Trojans
Opening line: USC -2.5, 139
Friday line: USC -2.5, 139
Remarks: Andy Enfield is 9-0 ATS in his NCAA tournament career. The previous record for most consecutive games that started a coaching career for NCAA tournaments since 1985 was seven (Kevin Ollie). Dana Altman is 16-4 ATS in the Oregon NCAA tournament, including 4-0 ATS in Sweet 16.
Tickets: 51 pct Oregon
Money: 56 pct USC
Notable USC Bet: At the time of the tournament, William Hill bet $ 1,000 on USC to win the title 200-1. The bet would pay out $ 200,000.
Notable Oregon Bet: The largest reported bet on Oregon to win the national title at William Hill is $ 500 at odds of 100: 1. The bet would pay out $ 50,000 net.
Odds of winning the NCAA tournament
Chances of winning from Wednesday
Gonzaga Bulldogs +150
Baylor Bears 4-1
Michigan Wolverines 7-1
Houston Cougars 9-1
Alabama Crimson Tide 12-1
Loyola Chicago Ramblers 14-1
Arkansas Razorbacks 20-1
Florida State Seminoles 20-1
USC Trojans 25-1
Oregon Ducks 30-1
Villanova Wildcats 30-1
Creighton Bluejays 40-1
UCLA Bruins 50-1
Syracuse Orange 60-1
Oregon State Beavers 60-1
Oral Roberts Golden Eagle 125-1