2021 March Madness Elite 8 Picks & Predictions

March Madness Elite 8 continues on Tuesday and we have predictions for the two games.

A place in the Final Four awaits two teams on Tuesday. We have picks for USC vs Gonzaga and UCLA and Michigan.

March Madness Elite 8 Picks

USC Trojans vs Gonzaga Bulldogs @ Lucas Oil Stadium

Gonzaga is the current favourite to win the National Championship after an unbeaten streak of 29 games.

The Bulldogs took care of Creighton with ease, scoring an 83-65 Sweet 16 victory. It was a dominant performance from a team that has no obvious weaknesses, but USC has something Creighton didn’t have.

The Trojans are a long team, so scoring in the paint won’t be easy for the Bulldogs. USC isn’t the most physical team, but Evan Mobley brings the height and he’s tough to guard.

That is where USC has the advantage on Wednesday and it deserves respect. It comes off a fantastic 82-68 win over Oregon and that backed up an even more impressive 85-51 win over Kansas.

USC allows only 58.3 points per game, which is five points less than Gonzaga. However, the big difference comes in the scoring department.

Gonzaga averages an incredible 91.8 points per game. Most of their games come against inferior opponents, but they still put up 81 and 87 points on Oklahoma and Creighton, so they’re a legitimate high-scoring outfit.

It’s one thing for USC to slow down Oregon’s offense, but slowing down the four-headed monster of Gonzaga hasn’t been achieved by any team this season.

Bookmakers have 8.5 points between in the market, which is a fair assumption of this game. Gonzaga are the better team and should come out ahead, but can they win by more than eight points?

We favour USC to cover the spread. It has size and length to trouble Gonzaga, and if the Trojans make a few shots, they can stick around.

Bet: USC Trojans +8.5 @ $1.99

UCLA Bruins vs Michigan Wolverines @ Lucas Oil Stadium

#1 seed Michigan has made work of its opposition throughout the tournament, including wins over LSU and Florida State.

The Wolverines handled the Seminoles with ease, despite their size. The 76-58 victory was a credit to this team’s courage and Hunter Dickinson was huge at the centre position.

Dickinson is tough to beat inside the paint and he looks ready for the NBA, which is a scary thought for the UCLA Bruins, which aren’t the best paint defenders.

With a record of 23-4, Michigan has been one of the best teams throughout the season. Coach Juwan Howard has this group doing great things and we’re not surprised at the odds for this Elite 8 contest.

UCLA has earned its right to this spot after beating Alabama in overtime. Alabama was considered as one of the biggest threats to Gonzaga for the title, so it’s a quality victory.

Much like the Wolverines, UCLA relies heavily on a team dynamic. There is no superstar on the team, so passing the ball becomes a key aspect for the Bruins.

We have little doubt UCLA is good enough to beat a team like Michigan, but not this team. There is an air of confidence with the Wolverines and it could be too much for their opposition to handle.

Bookmakers have the line at 6.5 points and we’re backing in the Wolverines. They have the more dynamic offense and they are a team that could go all the way in April.

Take the –6.5 before the line moves, which we’re expecting it to.

Bet: Michigan Wolverines –6.5 @ $1.84

Daryl Curnow
About the Author: Daryl Curnow

After graduating from the University of Auckland (BA – English), Daryl was thrown into the world of sports and horse racing journalism.
Having worked as a racing journalist for two years, he decided to move into the online world of horse racing and sports writing. Coupled with his love of US sport, Daryl’s picks have been featured on various websites around the world and viewed by millions of readers. After years of honing his craft, Daryl became a professional punter in 2009 – with a focus on horse racing, NBA, NFL, and college sports. When he’s not working, Daryl tries to avoid making bogeys on the golf course.