Two Elite 8 games Tuesday. Two teams continue to stay in Indianapolis and two head home, it’s that simple. Which pair should you consider for our 2-for-Tuesday parlay? You will find out if you keep reading.
Make no mistake, March Madness has lived up to its name in its return from a year hiatus. We’ve had stunning upsets and closer-than-expected favorites barely moving on, just failing against the spread. And while the sportsbooks have cleaned up, for the most part, it has been an enjoyable, if not always profitable ride.
Tonight, we complete the Final Four bracket on the left side of those sheets we filled out, determining champions from the West and East regions, and they meet this Saturday. Though we had a poor day this past Sunday with our NCAAB picks, we are confident a rebound is in store. Here is a breakdown of each matchup along with our parlay pick.
USC Trojans vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs
Tuesday, March 30, 2021 – 7:15 PM ET at Lucas Oil Stadium
This should be a lot of fun as we have two of the most efficient offenses still playing in the West Region finale.
We all know and understand how good Gonzaga’s offense is. They average 91.8 points a game, shoot an otherworldly 55.1 percent, and they are the most efficient offense in college basketball, according to the numbers. Having at least three NBA players on the roster makes life easier. However, that doesn’t guarantee you a championship, as we’ve seen others in the same spot fail.
USC (25-7, 18-14 ATS) was in control of the Pac-12, then in late February the offense went colder than a lake in Canada this time of year, and the Trojans were 1-3 SU and ATS. USC was a Top 30 club in offensive efficiency prior to that brief turndown and has since turned their season around 180 degrees. In the Trojans' last seven starts since falling to long-forgotten Utah, they are connecting on better than half their shot attempts and raised their shooting percentage past 47%. And oh, by the way, holding opposing clubs to 64.5 PPG on 38.6% shooting.
Can the Men of Troy play strong enough defense to contain the Zags (29-0, 15-12-2 ATS) runs that come in waves and stay under the NCAAB odds of +9?
UCLA Bruins vs. Michigan Wolverines
Tuesday, March 30, 2021 - 9:47 PM ET at Lucas Oil Stadium
The Cinderella story continues for UCLA (21-9, 16-14 ATS), trying to become the second First Four squad to reach the Final Four as VCU did a decade ago. After losing four in a row to close the season that included a Pac-12 tourney loss to Oregon State in OT (which looks much less bad at the moment), the Twitter hounds started barking about the Mick Cronin hire again.
What in the world of John Wooden changed? It started on offense and taking care of the orange. After a period of committing double-digit turnovers in eight of nine games, the Bruins have 28 in 4+ games, which is seven per outing, and that includes two OTs. Overcoming an 11-point halftime deficit in the first contest versus Michigan State got things started, and you see with each passing game the confidence and belief on the players' faces. This made Cronin’s preaching about defense so much easier, and look at UCLA now.
Michigan (23-4, 18-8-1 ATS) was given the pat on the back for – Good job, tough break – after losing second-leading scorer Isaiah Livers, what turned out to be for the season. But coach Juwan Howard upon retiring from the NBA joined the Miami Heat staff, and he learned about coaching. Instead of the “next man up” nonsense, he provided his team with a plan and instruction on how they could still reach the Final Four and possibly more. The team listened, executed, and they are on the doorstep of achieving their goal.
With top seeds only 21-29-4 against the spread in this round since 2001, is UCLA primed for more success?
Parlay Pick and Why
When looking over the odds at many of the best sports betting sites, Gonzaga is once again a very big favorite. It is rare a champion is not tested, and while the Bulldogs still would have two games to play to win a title, USC has the offense, defense, and size to compete. With the Trojans 9-1 ATS vs. top-caliber teams, outscoring their opponents by 12+ PPG the last two seasons, they fall, just by 6 or 7 points.
UCLA has been amazing in this run. However, they have not faced anyone that has the size, defense, and ability to control the pace like Michigan. The Wolverines force you to take contested shots, often as the shot clock is winding down. On offense, the Wolverines don’t make a lot of miscues and unforced errors like Alabama did, and they make their free throws. Michigan is 8-2 ATS after scoring 75 points or more in two straight games and salts this away late.
NCAAB Picks: Parlay USC +9 (-115) and Michigan -6.5 (-110) at +257 with BookMaker (visit our BookMaker Review)
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.