Round of 32 Odds: Preview for Sunday’s March Madness Games

The first games of the Round of 64 are complete. Sports bettors are now turning their attention to the Round of 32 at this year’s March Madness Tournament.

The first round has brought a lot of excitement so far, including unexpected upsets. No. 15 Oral Roberts shocked No. 2 Ohio State with a 75-72 overtime victory right out of the gate. No. 12 Oregon State also crushed No. 5 Tennessee by a score of 70-56.

Will the second round produce as much excitement as the first has? Only time will tell, but here’s a look at the odds heading into Sunday’s Round of 32 matchups.

March Madness Round of 32 Odds: Midwest Region

Odds via BetOnline as of Saturday, March 20

Illinois (#1) vs. Loyola Chicago (#8)

  • Point Spread: Illinois -7.0 (-110) vs. Loyola Chicago +7.0 (-110)
  • Moneyline: Illinois -285, Loyola Chicago +240
  • Over/Under: Over 133 (-110), Under 133 (-110)

No. 1 Illinois started the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship with a 78-49 thumping over Drexel. Ayo Dosunmu led the way with a 17-11-6 double-double. They’ll meet No. 8 Loyola Chicago in the Round of 32 after their victory over Georgia Tech. These schools have met twice since 2000 with both wins going to Illinois.

While Loyola Chicago looked impressive, it’s important to remember that Georgia Tech was without their best player, Moses Wright. Illinois should provide more of a challenge and it’ll be interesting to see if Loyola Chicago can keep up with them.

Oklahoma State (#4) vs. Oregon State (#12)

  • Point Spread: Oklahoma State -6.0 (-105) vs. Oregon State +6.0 (-115)
  • Moneyline: Oklahoma State -245, Oregon State +205
  • Over/Under: Over 142 (-110), Under 142 (-110)

Not many bettors expected Oregon State to make it to the second round of the 2021 March Madness Tournament, but here we are. In their win over Tennessee, Oregon State had four players who had 10 or more points. If they want to beat Oklahoma State, they’ll need another team effort like that.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma State defeated Liberty on the back of Avery Anderson’s 21-point performance. Cade Cunningham, the projected No. 1 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, will need to play better than he did against Liberty if his team wants to avoid an Oregon State upset. Cunningham had 15 points and shot 3/14 from the field in the Round of 64.

West Virginia (#3) vs. Syracuse (#11)

  • Point Spread: West Virginia -3.5 (-107) vs. Syracuse +3.5 (-113)
  • Moneyline: West Virginia -160, Syracuse +140
  • Over/Under: Over 147.5 (-110), Under 147.5 (-110)

Entering the tournament, Syracuse had the most “upsets” in March Madness history. They added another one when they beat No. 6 San Diego State, extending their record to 14 upset wins.

It could be a high-scoring affair as both teams have top-15 offenses according to the KenPom rating system. Both teams hit the Over in their opening-round matchups. They also each had a 30-point scorer. While West Virginia is the -160 moneyline favorite, this game could go either way if both teams live up to their offensive potential.

Houston (#2) vs. Rutgers (#10)

  • Point Spread: Houston -8.5 (-110) vs. Rutgers +8.5 (-110)
  • Moneyline: Houston -410, Rutgers +330
  • Over/Under: Over 132 (-110), Under 132 (-110)

To no one’s surprise, No. 2 Houston is heavily favorited to defeat No. 10 Rutgers on Sunday. Houston dominated Cleveland State in the opening-round by a score of 87-56. Six of the school’s players had 10 or more points in the effort. Not only did their offense come to play, but so did Houston’s defense as no player for Cleveland State scored more than 11 points.

It was a low-scoring affair as Rutgers defeated Clemson 60-56. With that being said, we could see another dominant game by Houston. They’re one of the favorites to make it to the Final Four out of the Midwest and show no signs of slowing down.

March Madness Round of 32 Odds: South Region

Odds via BetOnline as of Saturday, March 20

Baylor (#1) vs. Wisconsin (#9)

  • Point Spread: Baylor -6.0 (-115) vs. Wisconsin +6.0 (-105)
  • Moneyline: Baylor -260, Wisconsin +220
  • Over/Under: Over 138 (-110), Under 138 (-110)

Both of the teams in this Round of 32 matchup dominated their first-round opponents. Baylor easily dismantled Hartford in a 79-55 win. Meanwhile, Wisconsin had an 85-62 blowout victory over North Carolina. There were concerns about Wisconsin as they entered the tournament losing seven-of-10, but it looks like that skid may be behind them.

Nevertheless, Baylor is not North Carolina. They’ve been one of the top teams in the country all season long and expected to make the Final Four. Baylor’s beaten teams like Illinois, Texas and Kansas this season, while Wisconsin has lost to Iowa, Michigan and Illinois.

Villanova (#5) vs. North Texas (#13)

  • Point Spread: Villanova -6.5 (-110) vs. North Texas +6.5 (-110)
  • Moneyline: Villanova -265, North Texas +225
  • Over/Under: Over 126 (-110), Under 126 (-110)

This March Madness Round of 32 matchup is projected to be a low-scoring one judging by the Over/Under. No. 3 North Texas scored an overtime upset victory over No. 4 Purdue in the first round, holding them to just 69 points. Villanova also put up an impressive defensive performance in a 73-63 win over Winthrop. If anything, this could be a slow-paced game as each team will milk each possession for everything it’s worth. The victory could go to whichever team can go on an offensive tear first.

Arkansas (#3) vs. Texas Tech (#6)

  • Point Spread: Arkansas (PK) -110) vs. Texas Tech (PK) -110
  • Moneyline: N/A
  • Over/Under: Over 140.5 (-105), Under 140.5 (-115)

The Round of 32 matchup between Arkansas and Texas Tech is expected to be a close one judging by how BetOnline is operating the point spread as a pick ‘em situation. Arkansas is a March Madness offensive powerhouse, especially from three-point range. They shot 12/27 from beyond the arc against Colgate to win 85-68.

On the other hand, Texas Tech’s battle with Utah State was a more defensive game, ending 65-53. If Texas Tech wants to repeat their success, they’re going to have to stop Arkansas from hitting three-pointers. They managed to do that to Utah State, although, it’ll be tougher against the No. 3 seed.

Florida (#7) vs. Oral Roberts (#15)

  • Point Spread: Florida -8.0 (-110) vs. Oral Roberts +8.0 (-110)
  • Moneyline: Florida -350, Oral Roberts +280
  • Over/Under: Over 149 -110, Under 149 -110

Kevin Obanor (30-11-0) and Max Abmas (29-5-3) put Oral Roberts on their back when they upset No. 2 Ohio State in a 75-72 overtime thriller. Now, Oral Roberts marches into the Round of 32 as the underdogs against No. 7 Florida.

Oral Roberts is scoring 81.5 ppg, which is the 12th-best average in the country. If Florida wants to avoid being upset, they’re going to have to limit their opponents from three-point range. Yes, Oral Roberts’ victory over Ohio State was impressive, but they didn’t shoot well as the team averaged .357/.314/.778 shooting splits. If they shoot like that again, Florida will have to capitalize on their mistakes and put an end to Oral Roberts’ March Madness Cinderella run.

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Devon Platana
After graduating with a Masters degree in Journalism, Devon joined USGS to improve his sports writing skills. As a lifelong sports fan, one of Devon’s favorite things to do is analyze statistics across all sports.