After a year without the NCAA tournament, the 2021 men’s basketball showcased plenty of upsets during the first weekend. It is now down to 16 teams and we have you covered with all the lines, and we will be updating and tracking the action as it comes.
All lines, futures and splits courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill as of 1p Thursday
12. Oregon State Beavers vs. 8. Loyola Chicago Ramblers
Opening line: Loyola Chicago -6.5, 125.5
Thursday line: Loyola Chicago -6.5, 125.5
Notes: Oregon State has won five straight games, all as an underdog. The Beavers are the fifth team in the last 25 years to win at least five NCAA/conference tournament games as an underdog.
Tickets: 62 pct Oregon State
Money: 51 pct Loyola Chicago
Notable bet: During the start of the NCAA tournament, a bettor in Nevada placed a $400 bet on Oregon State to win the title at 750-1 with William Hill. The bet, which would pay a net $300,000, is the largest live futures ticket at William Hill.
Notable bet: The largest bet William Hill has taken on Loyola-Chicago was $200 at 1,000-1. The bet would pay a net $200,000.
5. Villanova Wildcats vs. 1. Baylor Bears
Opening line: Baylor -6.5, 140.5
Thursday line: Baylor -7, 141.5
Notes: Villanova is a 6.5-point underdog against Baylor. Since Big East realignment in 2013-14, the only other time Villanova has been at least a 6-point underdog was Dec. 15, 2018 at Kansas (+7.5, lost by 3).
Tickets: 73 pct Baylor
Money: 58 pct Baylor
Notable bet: A Nevada bettor placed a $25,000 bet on Baylor to win the South Region with William Hill at 7-4. The Bears are two wins away from turning that bet into a $43,250 net payday for the bettor.
Notable bet: The largest potential payout on Villanova at William Hill stems from a $2,500 bet on the Wildcats at 40-1 that would pay a net $100,000.
15. Oral Roberts Golden Eagles vs. 3. Arkansas Razorbacks
Opening line: Arkansas -11.5, 159.5
Thursday line: Arkansas -11, 159
Notes: Oral Roberts is currently an 11-point underdog against Arkansas. An Oral Roberts win would be the fifth double-digit upset 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 bet: William Hill reporting taking a $500 bet on Arkansas to win the title at 100-1 odds. The bet would pay a net $50,000.
Notable bet: William Hill reported taking a $100 bet on Oral Roberts to win the tournament at 1,000-1 odds. The bet would pay a net $100,000.
11. Syracuse Orange vs. 2. Houston Cougars
Opening line: Houston -6, 140
Thursday line: Houston -6, 140
Notes: Syracuse is an underdog for the third straight game on Saturday against Houston. Syracuse has won 17 games as an underdog, the most by any team since the NCAA tournament expanded in 1985.
Tickets: 70 pct Syracuse
Money: 76 pct Syracuse
Notable bet: William Hill reported taking a $2,000 bet on Houston to win the title at 30-1 odds. The bet would pay a net $60,000. Notable bet: William Hill reported taking a pair of $400 bets on Syracuse to win the title at 270-1. Each bet would pay $108,000.
5. Creighton Bluejays vs. 1. Gonzaga Bulldogs
Opening line: Gonzaga -13.5, 158.5
Thursday line: Gonzaga -13.5, 158
Notes: Gonzaga (+150) is the biggest favorite entering the Sweet 16 since 2015 Kentucky (+110) The Wildcats did not win the title that year.
Tickets: 70 pct Gonzaga
Money: 79 pct Gonzaga
Notable bet: In late November, just as the season was kicking into gear, a bettor in New Jersey placed a $15,000 bet on Gonzaga to win the national championship at 8-1 with William Hill. The bet, which would pay a net $120,000, is the largest potential payout on Gonzaga at William Hill.
Notable bet: William Hill took an $800 bet on Creighton to win the title at 100-1 odds. The bet would pay a net $80,000 if the Bluejays win it all.
4. Florida State Seminoles vs. 1. Michigan Wolverines
Opening line: Michigan -3, 144
Thursday line: Michigan -2.5, 143.5
Notes: Since the start of last season, Florida State is 8-0 ATS against ranked opponents (7-1 outright). The Seminoles are 3-0 outright and ATS this season.
Tickets: 59 pct Michigan
Money: 68 pct Michigan
Notable bet: In late February, a bettor in Illinois placed a $30,000 bet on Michigan to win the national title at 8-1 with William Hill. The bet would pay a net $240,000, but the bettor wasn’t finished backing the Wolverines. According to William Hill, the same bettor returned a couple days later and placed another $30,000 bet on Michigan to win it all, this time at 11-2 odds. Combined, the bets would pay a net $405,000.
Notable bet: Florida State has at least two invested fans in Washington, D.C., where right before the tournament tipped off, two large wagers on the Seminoles were placed with William Hill: $4,900 at 50-1 and $9,500 at 25-1. The bets would pay $245,000 and $237,500 respectively.
11. UCLA Bruins vs. 2. Alabama Crimson Tide
Opening line: Alabama -6, 145
Thursday line: Alabama -6.5, 145.5
Notes: UCLA is 3-0 ATS in the NCAA Tournament, including two outright wins as an underdog.
Tickets: 64 pct Alabama
Money: 76 pct Alabama
Notable bet: William Hill reported taking a $4,000 bet on the Alabama to win the title at 18-1. The bet would pay a `net $72,000.
Notable bet: William Hill reported taking a $3,000 bet on UCLA to win the East Region at 18-1 odds. The bet would pay a net $54,000.
7. Oregon Ducks vs. 6. USC Trojans
Opening line: USC -2.5, 139
Friday line: USC -2.5, 139
Notes: Andy Enfield is 9-0 ATS in his NCAA Tournament career. The previous record for most consecutive games covered to begin a NCAA Tournament coaching career since 1985 was seven (Kevin Ollie). Dana Altman is 16-4 ATS in the NCAA Tournament at Oregon, including 4-0 ATS in the Sweet 16.
Tickets: 51 pct Oregon
Money: 56 pct USC
Notable bet: At the state of the tournament, William Hill took a $1,000 bet on USC to win the title at 200-1. The bet would pay $200,000.
Notable bet: The largest reported bet on Oregon to win the national title at William Hill is $500 at 100-1 odds. The bet would pay a net $50,000.
Odds to win NCAA Tournament
Odds as of 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 Eagles 125-1