2021 NCAA Men's Tournament: Monday's Elite Eight Betting Odds, Previews

SI Gambling Insider Frankie Taddeo shares the latest betting information for Monday’s Elite Eight matchups.

After months of action, coupled with navigating through COVID-19 outbreaks and shutdowns, we have made it to the Elite Eight in the NCAA men's tournament. The remaining eight teams consist of three No. 1 seeds (Gonzaga, Michigan and Baylor), No. 2 Houston, No. 3 Arkansas, No. 6 USC, No. 11 UCLA, and No. 12 Oregon State. The No. 1 overall seed Gonzaga Bulldogs are the only undefeated team this season at 29-0, and have looked unstoppable in the NCAA tournament outscoring opponents 268-191. That's an average margin of victory of 25.7 points! Perhaps the biggest surprise of March Madness is the run by Pac-12 teams; posting an incredible 12-2 (86%) against the spread (ATS) mark - with three teams now among the Elite Eight.

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The "Vegas Whispers" sharp information, shared directly by SI’s Vegas Insider Frankie Taddeo, struggled in the Sweet 16 after an excellent opening weekend and currently stands at 4-5 ATS in March Madness plays shared here at SI Gambling. The NCAA tournament betting plays have followed up major financial success thanks to Alabama (+220), Illinois (+375) and Georgia Tech (+2500) all delivering conference tournament championship victories in the SEC, Big Ten and ACC respectively for all SI PRO members.

In addition to the "Vegas Whispers," the unofficial respected plays and information have gone 30-23-0 ATS since February in college basketball for SI PRO subscribers.

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For bettors who love to back underdogs in the opening round of the NCAA men's tournament, 2021 was once again a solid investment. Favorites went 21-11 straight-up (SU) but posted a 18-13 (58.1%) ATS mark.

Favorites went 10-6 SU and 9-7 ATS in thrilling second round action that witnessed No. 15 Oral Roberts (+330), No. 12 Oregon State (+225), No. 11 Syracuse (+155) and No. 8 Loyola Chicago (+285) pull off outright upsets.

In the Sweet 16, favorites went 6-2 SU and 5-3 ATS, with only two underdogs winning straight-up when No. 12 Oregon State (+255) and No. 11 UCLA (+245) notched victories over No. 8 Loyola-Chicago and No. 2 Alabama, respectively. One eye-popping trend in the Sweet 16 were games cashing 6-2 to the 'under' against the totals posted by oddsmakers.

Through the first three rounds of the NCAA tournament, favorites are ahead 37-19 SU while underdogs hold a slim advantage at 28-27 ATS.

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Historical Trends In The Elite Eight:

Last 10 Tournaments the “BETTER” Seeds:

  • Straight-up (SU): 17-23 (42.53%)
  • Against the spread (ATS): 12-26-2 (31.6%)

Last Two Tournaments the “BETTER” Seeds:

  • Straight-up (SU): 4-4 SU (50%)
  • Against the spread ATS: 3-5 (37.5%)


Betting Odds & Breakdowns

Editor's Note - Odds are subject to change.

No. 12 Oregon State vs. No. 2 Houston

Spread: No. 12 Oregon State +7.5 (-110) | No. 2 Houston -7.5 (-110)

Total: 129– Over (-110) | Under 129 (-110)

Moneyline: Oregon State +255 | Houston -345

Game Info: Monday, March 29, 2021 7:15 pm EST / 4:15 pm PST | CBS

Records: OSU: 20-12 (SU); 21-9-1 ATS | HOU: 27-3 (SU); 20-10 (ATS)

Site: Lucas Oil Stadium

Editor's Note - Odds are subject to change.

The line has ticked down slightly since the opener displaying No. 2 Houston (27-3 SU; 20-10 ATS) as 8-point favorites over No. 12 Oregon State (20-12 SU; 21-9-1ATS) at DraftKings Sportsbook now reflecting a line of 7.5-points.

No. 12 Oregon State needed to win the Pac-12 Championship in order to secure a spot in the NCAA tournament. Since then, the Beavers have been remarkable; posting six consecutive wins also resulting in a 6-0 ATS run at the betting windows. Oregon State defeated No. 5 Tennessee (+8.5), No. 4 Oklahoma State (+6) and No. 8 Loyola Chicago (+6.5) to earn a spot in the Elite Eight, and have thrived in the underdog role.

The Beavers will once again need senior guard Ethan Thompson to lead the way. In the team’s three upset victories Thompson has filled up the stat sheet, going for 13-10-6 against the Volunteers, 26 points and 7 rebounds versus the Sooners, and followed up with 22-4-4 in the Sweet 16 against the Ramblers.

No. 2 Houston, champions of the American Athletic Conference (AAC) have reeled off 10 consecutive victories resulting in a 6-4 ATS mark. The Cougars soared past Cleveland State (-20.5) in the opening round before a come-from-behind 63-60 win over Rutgers, failing to cover the 7.5-point spread. Houston dominated Syracuse in the Sweet 16; earning a 62-46 victory as 6.5-point favorites. Their third NCAA men's tournament victory was anchored by their efforts on the defensive end, holding Buddy Boeheim and the Orange to just 5 of 23 (21.7%) shooting from beyond the arc.

Houston is led by the American Athletic Conference Co-Player of the Year Quentin Grimes. The dynamic junior guard, who is averaging 18.0 points per game and 6.0 rebounds, went for 18-4-4 in the win over Cleveland State in the first round, 22-9-1 in the victory over Rutgers, followed up by 14-4-1 in the Sweet 16 facing Syracuse. The pivotal backcourt matchup between Thompson and Grimes is likely where this game will be decided.

No. 3 Arkansas vs. No. 1 Baylor

Spread: No. 3 Arkansas +8 (-110) | No. 1 Baylor -8 (-110)

Total: 148.5– Over (-110) | Under 148.5 (-110)

Moneyline: Arkansas +300 | Baylor -400

Game Info: Monday, March 29, 2021 9:57 pm EST / 6:57 pm PST | CBS

Records: ARK: 25-6 (SU); 19-10-1 (ATS) | BAY: 25-2 (SU); 17-10 (ATS)

Site: Lucas Oil Stadium

Editor's Note - Odds are subject to change.

The line has ticked up since the opener displaying No. 1 Baylor (25-2 SU; 17-10 ATS) as 7-point favorites over No. 3 Arkansas (25-6 SU; 19-10-1 ATS) at DraftKings Sportsbook to a line now reflecting Baylor as 8-point favorites.

The Baylor Bears have been sensational all season. The Big 12 regular season champions have an outstanding 25-2 record, and are led by guard Jared Butler (16.6 points per game). Baylor also gets solid production from MaCio Teague (15.7 points per game) and Davion Mitchell (14.1 points per game). All three talented guards shoot above 39% from three-point range forming arguably one the nation’s best trio’s from beyond the arc.

The Bears head into the Elite Eight after earning wins over Hartford (-25.5), Wisconsin (-6.5) and Villanova (-7.5). Baylor, down 30-23 at halftime in the Sweet 16 against Villanova, dominated in the second half outscoring the Wildcats 39-21 - en route to earning a 62-51 straight-up, and ATS win. Baylor is 2-1 ATS thus far in the tournament, but they have been difficult for bettors to trust posting a 4-6 ATS record over their last 10 games.

No. 3 Arkansas has played superb; going 12-1 straight-up (SU) over their last 13 games while going 10-3 (77%) ATS over that span. The Razorbacks head into the Elite Eight after posting two covers against the spread (ATS) in wins over Colgate (-8.5) and Texas Tech (+2), before failing to cash as 11.5-point favorites in their thrilling 72-20 win over Oral Roberts in the Sweet 16. Arkansas’ offense runs through freshman phenom Moses Moody who leads the team averaging 17.0 points and 5.8 rebounds per game.

These two clubs mirror each other in many ways, highlighted even further by their resilience in posting superb second-half comebacks in the Sweet 16. The Razorbacks rallied from 12-points down in the second-half against No. 15 seed Oral Roberts, while Baylor erased the aforementioned 7-point deficit to get by No. 5 Villanova.

The key matchup here is likely Butler’s Davion Mitchell, who is arguably the best defensive guard in the nation, against Moody and Arkansas’ senior leader Jalen Tate. Against Villanova, Mitchell's defensive prowess was on display in the Bears come-from-behind win. The talented junior was instrumental in the South Region's No. 1 seed forcing 16 turnovers by a normally reliable Wildcat backcourt.