NCAA Tournament South Region Odds: 2 Sleeper Teams To Back
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The Baylor Bears earned a No. 1 seed for the first time in school history entering the 2021 NCAA Tournament.
Baylor is a -134 college basketball betting favorite to win the South Region and make the Final Four, though it’s been a tough road this season. The Bears were off for three weeks in February due COVID testing protocols and saw their unbeaten run come to an end with a Feb. 27 loss at Kansas.
Ohio State is the No. 2 seed and listed with +400 odds to win the region. No. 4-seed Purdue actually has some of the longest odds in the South at +1400 – No. 5 Villanova (+1150), No. 6 Texas Tech (+600), No. 8 North Carolina (+1150) and No. 9 Wisconsin (+1000) all have shorter odds than the Boilermakers, the lone home-state team in the draw.
When it comes to March Madness betting, it’s always recommended to find a few frisky sleepers and longshots to sprinkle some wagers on. We’ve done the heavy lifting for you.
NCAA Tournament South Region Odds
|2. Ohio State||+400|
|6. Texas Tech||+600|
|8. North Carolina||+1150|
|10. Virginia Tech||+3000|
|11. Utah State||+1800|
|13. North Texas||+8000|
|15. Oral Roberts||+10000|
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Top South Region Sleepers
No. 8 North Carolina
There’s a reason North Carolina has better odds to win the South than higher-seeded teams such as No. 4 Purdue (+1400) and No. 7 Florida (+1800). The Tar Heels have been on fire this month with big wins over Florida State, Duke, Notre Dame and Virginia Tech. They also took Florida State to the wire in a 69-66 ACC Tournament semifinal loss.
While the Tar Heels have been scoring a ton lately, they’re actually ranked 15th in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency. No. 9-seed Wisconsin will be a tough out in the opening-round game, in which North Carolina is a -1.5 favorite. If the Tar Heels get past Wisconsin, they could certainly challenge a Baylor team that ranks 44th in adjusted defensive efficiency.
We’ve been critical of Roy Williams in the past, but we have to give him credit for a strong turnaround in the ACC after the Tar Heels started the regular season 5-4. There could be some value here on North Carolina at +1150.
No. 11 Utah State
The Aggies are one of the best defensive teams in the nation, ranked eighth in adjusted defensive efficiency. They like to win ugly. They can also get hot on offense and run away from inferior opponents, compiling a 20-8 overall record on the year.
Utah State is just a +5 underdog for its opening-round game against No. 6-seed Texas Tech, which shows you how much respect oddsmakers have for this squad. The Aggies could eventually see No. 2 Ohio State in the Elite Eight 20 years after they upset the Buckeyes as a No. 12 seed in the opening round of the 2001 NCAA Tournament.
That was the last time the Aggies made it out of the first round, but with the current pieces there’s potential for a serious March Madness run at +1800.