NCAA College Basketball: Rankings and Betting Advice (2021)

As we grow closer and closer to March Madness, I will be here to provide the necessary weekly updates on teams trending up and down and what future values are offered as a result. I will also be covering any important storylines along with a Cinderella watch. Be sure to check out my latest bracketology article, and you can always find the latest betting odds and power rankings here.

You can always find the latest betting odds and power rankings here >>

Quick Hits

  • Michigan Deserves the Bronze: After their impressive victory over Ohio State on Sunday in one of the best college basketball games this season, the Wolverines have cemented themselves as the nation’s third-best team. There are some rumblings on Twitter that Michigan is in the same tier as Gonzaga and Baylor, but I still don’t think that is valid. If we check KenPom, the difference in Adjust Efficiency Margin between Baylor and Michigan, the second and third-ranked teams, is greater than the difference between Michigan and Ohio State, the third and seventh-ranked team. If we look at Gonzaga, the difference between the Bulldogs and the Wolverines is greater than the difference between Michigan and USC, with the Trojans ranked 14th in KenPom. 
  • Blue-Blood Spotlight: North Carolina and Indiana were both play-in 12 seeds in my last bracketology article, and they seem to be in a similar spot across the industry. If these two teams do make the tournament, avoid the temptation to bet on them. UNC currently ranks 32nd in the BettingPros power rankings but has the 21st highest odds to win it all, +6500 on FanDuel. If you want to bet one of these teams, I would do it now for Duke and Indiana, who are bubble teams and seem to be teetering on the side of not making it. They are both priced at +20000 on DraftKings. Once the bracket is revealed, the blue-bloods, including UCLA and Kansas, will be too overpriced for my taste. 

Trending Up

  • Michigan (+950 on FoxBet): It’s not like they can go much higher, but Michigan is absolutely the next team up if Gonzaga and Baylor fall in the tourney, a reasonable outcome. They have gone through the gauntlet of the Big Ten with only one hiccup and continue to look like a Final Four team.
  • Florida State (+2500 on FoxBet): After winning three-straight and stomping Virginia, the Seminoles lie atop the ACC. They are projected to win their final four regular-season games on KenPom, and I agree with that. This is a team that is quite athletic, and Leonard Hamilton has proven himself as a great coach. Florida State has a ceiling of making the Final Four, and I see +2500 as the best odds they will have for the rest of the season. 
  • Boise State (+20000 on FoxBet): Since my last article, the Broncos have only improved their stock. Their two games with SDSU coming up this week are potential make or break games, and I see them splitting. 

Trending Down

  • Wisconsin (+3300 on bet365): The Badgers are 2-3 in their last five games, with their two wins over Nebraska and Northwestern, which is not great. It’s tough facing the elite Big Ten teams, and their final three games are against Illinois, Purdue, and Iowa. KenPom projects them to lose all three of those games. If they do, I see them as a solid buy-low spot before the Big Ten tournament.   
  • Xavier (+8000 on bet365): Xavier has been a tough team to figure out this season. They have a solid 12-4 record with only one top-50 win on their resume. They’ve dropped two out of their last three and still have to face Creighton before the regular season ends. 

Cinderella Watch

These are teams most likely to be 12-14 seeds, mostly from mid-major conferences, that have a good chance of making it to the second weekend and beyond. Come tourney time, they should absolutely be on your radar. Last weekend, Belmont, Winthrop, and Wright State were on my radar, and they still are. I will be providing a much more detailed Cinderella Watch article once the bracket is released as well. 

  • Western Kentucky (+25000 on bet365): It always seems that the Hilltoppers come out of Conference USA, and it’s projecting to go that way again this year. Somehow people forget that this team already beat Alabama this year and went toe-to-toe with West Virginia. On Wednesday, they face off against Houston, which I absolutely see as a winnable game for WKU.
  • UC Santa Barbara (+50000 on bet365): The Gauchos are on track to make their first tournament appearance since 2011. Currently, UCSB ranks 70th in KenPom, and they haven’t lost a game in 2021. UC Irvine is their biggest roadblock to punching a ticket, but if UCSB does make it, they are an all-around team who can compete with any 3-5 seed. 

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Ryan Coleman is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Ryan, check out his archive.

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