Best Upset Picks: March Madness 2021 Upset Predictions for Round 1

Best March Madness 2021 upset picks and predictions, including Georgetown.
Best March Madness 2021 upset picks and predictions, including Georgetown. / Elsa/Getty Images

March Madness never fails to live up to its name. For as much as the year's top-seeded teams always feel like locks to win heading into the tournament, the underdogs always bring their A-game in March, leading to no shortage of upsets during the Big Dance.

Whether you're setting your bracket or making March Madness bets on FanDuel Sportsbook, you're probably going to want to include some upset picks for this year's tournament.

With that in mind, here are five top upset picks for Round 1.

March Madness Upset Picks and Predictions for Round 1

1. No. 12 Georgetown Over No. 5 Colorado

FanDuel Sportsbook's March Madness props give impressive -370 odds that a No. 12 seed will upset a No. 5 seed — so who will be this year's 12-5 upset? Georgetown looks like the best bet. Colorado likes to play grindy games, averaging just 67.9 possessions per game (T-No. 303 in the nation) and limiting opponents to 63.3 points per game (PPG; T-No. 21). That style could be their undoing against Georgetown. The Hoyas shoot 36.6% from 3-point range (T-No. 50), and if they get hot early that could quickly force Colorado out of their comfort zone as they try to keep up.

2. No. 11 Syracuse Over No. 6 San Diego State

Syracuse is just a 3-point underdog against San Diego State on Friday. The Aztecs are rolling, having won five straight, but their level of competition has not been nearly as strong as Syracuse's. The three teams to defeat SDSU this year were BYU, Colorado State and Utah State (twice). Utah State ranks 40th in KenPom rankings, and Colorado State ranks 63rd. Syracuse, in comparison, ranks 41st.

3. No. 10 Rutgers Over No. 7 Clemson

This one would be an upset in terms of seeding — but not everyone agrees it would actually be an upset. Rutgers is favored by 1.5 points on FanDuel Sportsbook. They just defeated Indiana and Minnesota before losing to Illinois in the Big Ten quarterfinal, and both of those teams rank top-60 in KenPom rankings. Clemson is coming off a loss to Miami, however, who ranks just 132nd.

4. No. 13 Liberty Over No. 4 Oklahoma State

Oklahoma State appears to be the weakest No. 4 seed in the tournament by a sizable margin, checking in at No. 30 in KenPom rankings, while the other three all rank top-15. Liberty is one of the slowest-paced teams in the nation (No. 340 with 65.6 possessions per game), but they make those possessions count, shooting a lights-out 38.8% from deep (11th) and 56.8% on 2's (9th).

5. No. 10 Maryland Over No. 7 UConn

Maryland doesn't look to be in fine form heading into the tournament, going 1-3 across four games in March. With losses to Michigan, Penn State and Northwestern, some struggles are to be expected, however. The other two of their last five games were both wins over Michigan State. KenPom also has Maryland as the most dangerous 10-seed in the nation, ranking 31st. UConn is also the top-ranked 7 seed, but Maryland should make a real game out of this one.

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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.