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So, after nearly two years, we are finally going to have another NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament this March and April.

March Madness, as it is called, was replaced with March sadness last year, with everything shut down as COVID-19 raged across the country.

It left many fans and bettors scrambling for other sports to wager on, and that is when the Belarus Premier League and international table tennis surged in popularity.

Guess what, Jerseyites: in just a few weeks, you will be able to bet on the 2021 March Madness bracket with William Hill NJ promo offers.

But not on Rutgers and Seton Hall: the rule about betting on in-state teams has yet to be changed. That might be changed in the fall, along with a few other things in the Garden State, but that is another story for another time. Right now, we have a NCAA Tournament for which to get ready.

While Rutgers and Seton Hall could be joined by some automatic qualifiers from around the state (or the Pirates could still be on the wrong side of the bubble), the best bet right now for the area has to be from the team that has won two of the last for NCAA titles: Villanova.

As of now, ESPN’s Bracketology has the Wildcats as a second seed in the upcoming tournament. Villanova is getting some love from the sports books and the bettors as well, as the current joint fourth favorite with odds around +1100.

The only problem is, or maybe more aptly the only two problems are, Gonzaga and Baylor, who are both looming over this tournament with two giant shadows.

Both of those teams might have won a title last season, are unbeaten so far in 2020-21, and come into this tournament as heavy favorites: Gonzaga with odds around +300, and Baylor around +320. While Michigan is right there at +450 and with just one loss, the odds then drop off to Ohio State and Villanova, before the next set of teams.

Sports books have even started making prop bets to include both Gonzaga and Baylor: you can get those two teams or the rest of the field at the same odds (-118) with some books. That almost never happens. But that is how good those two teams have been.

I cannot imagine both of those teams getting beat early in the tournament, and would probably expect both to be in the Final Four. But if you are telling me I can get 66 teams at the same price as them, including Michigan and Villanova, I might be taking that bet. I would sprinkle a little money on the Cats, too, as well as a team like Florida State, which has odds of +2500 right now.

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