• The Colgate-Arkansas matchup has the highest O/U in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at 162.5 points.
  • A No. 1 Seed has won the last three NCAA Tournaments.
  • The Gonzaga Bulldogs have the shortest odds to win the 2021 NCAA Tournament at +210.

INDIANAPOLIS – The 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is set to begin Thursday with the First Four games being played to solidify the 64 teams, followed by the first round tipping off the next day.

March Madness is one of the most bet on events and after last year’s tournament was canceled due to Covid-19, bettors are likely itching to place their basketball bets now.

This college basketball season was unique due to the challenges brought by the pandemic. Alterations were made to the NCAA Tournament as every game will be played in  Indiana since the NCAA has implemented a bubble to ensure player safety.

Now that the biggest event in college basketball has arrived, here are six facts to know about the 2021 NCAA Tournament before placing a bet or even filling out your bracket.

#1 A No. 1 seed has won the last three NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournaments

The last three winners of the NCAA Tournament have all been a No. 1 seed which means bettors should be keeping a close eye on the Gonzaga Bulldogs  (+210), Michigan Wolverines (+650), Baylor Bears (+600), and Illinois Fighting Illini (+500).

If this trend continues, one of these four teams will be in the championship game and could earn March Madness bettors a nice return at legal sports betting sites.  In total, 35 of the 70 championship games have featured a No. 1 seed since 1984-1985, at a 50% percent rate bettors would be smart to throw a small wager on any top seeds odds before play begins.

Last Three No. 1 Seed NCAA Champions

  • 2019 Virginia Cavaliers
  • 2018 Villanova Wildcats
  • 2017 North Carolina Tar Heels

#2 NCAA Tournament matchup with the highest O/U – Colgate Raiders vs. Arkansas Razorbacks (162.5)

The first-round meeting between the (3) Arkansas Razorbacks vs. (14) Colgate Raiders has the highest points total of any opening-round game at 162.5.

The Colgate Raiders are the third-best three-point shooting team in the country and that could be a main factor in the Raiders pulling off the upset. This matchup features two teams that play fast as Arkansas and Colgate both rank in the top 30 in temp this season.

With that in mind, bettors shouldn’t be shy about taking the Over here, despite the inflated point total.

#3 March Madness Matchups With The Lowest O/U (126 Points)

On the opposite end, there are two games with the lowest O/U of any first-round games, with point totals set at 126.

The matchups between the (9) Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. (8) Loyola Chicago Ramblers in the Midwest region as well as the (10) Rutgers Scarlet Knights and (7) Clemson Tigers game.

Despite sportsbooks having these games tabbed as low scoring, the over remains an intriguing option for both first-round matchups.

#4 Gonzaga Has Already Defeated The Top Teams In The West Region This Season

The Bulldogs are favored to win the 2021 NCAA national title as Bovada has them listed at +210 odds.

For context, the team with the next shortest odds after Gonzaga is the Fighting Illini with +500 odds. A reason why sportsbooks might be so cozy to the Zags winning the NCAA Tournament is that they’ve already beaten some of the top teams in their region this season.

  • The No. 2 seed in the West bracket is the Iowa Hawkeyes, who Gonzaga defeated 99-88 in December.
  • The No. 3 seeded Kansas Jayhawks fell to the Bulldogs 102-90 in both team’s first game of the season.
  • The No. 4 seed Virginia Cavaliers were beaten the worst by Gonzaga as they were defeated 98-75.

An interesting note for all three of these games is that they were played at a neutral location which should give bettors even more confidence in betting on the Bulldogs.

#5 No Duke Blue Devils or Kentucky Wildcats In the NCAA Tournament

The NCAA Tournament will be without the Kentucky Wildcats or Duke Blue Devils for the first time since 1976.

Both the Blue Devils (13-11) and Wildcats (9-16) had seasons to forget and did not earn at large bids to the tournament. Duke was forced to withdraw from the ACC Tournament due to Covid-19 while the Wildcats were eliminated from the SEC Tournament by the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

With neither Duke nor Kentucky making the tournament, those looking to place March Madness bets on either team will have to wait until next year.

#6 No Team Lower Than A Four Seed Has Ever Won A National Title

The 1-4 seeds In the NCAA Tournament have been historically more successful in getting to and winning the championship and this year will likely be no different.

The lowest seed to ever win a national title with a 64-team field, was the fourth-seeded Villanova Wildcats as they defeated the Georgetown Hoyas 66-64. Since then, only six teams seeded lower than fourth have played for the NCAA Title the most recent team being the 8th seeded Kentucky Wildcats in 2014.

For those college basketball bettors looking to narrow down their list of possible champions, history tells us the likely winner resides with the teams in seeds 1-4.

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