Iowa Readies For Oregon’s Debut In Round 2 Of March Madness

Written By Russ Mitchell on March 21, 2021
iowa oregon odds preview

It might seem strange to say an opponent in the second round of March Madness is making its tournament debut, but that’s what Iowa encounters Monday when the Hawkeyes face Oregon.

In the early stages of Iowa’s 86-74 first-round win over Grand Canyon, the NCAA announced a cancellation, which directly impacted Iowa’s part of the bracket. Virginia Commonwealth could not pass COVID-19 health and safety protocols, so Oregon advanced to face the Hawkeyes.

March Madness odds trend toward Iowa

The Hawkeyes opened at -4 and -186 vs. Oregon on the moneyline Saturday night at DraftKings. The Ducks started at +155 for the win and the game had a total of 145.5.

The line moved as second-round play began on Sunday, however. Iowa was -5 and -250 Sunday afternoon at DraftKings. The books bumped the Ducks to a +190 payout on a $100 bet and the total increased to 147 for Monday’s game.

The lines could continue to move Sunday into the early game Monday, so keep in mind for live odds and updates.

CBS will carry the bird battle, which has an 11:10 a.m. tip-off time.

Oregon vs. Iowa March Madness odds


How did books handle VCU-Oregon cancellation?

Oregon was favored by a 5 points over VCU to be Iowa’s next opponent, so the no-contest produced an expected result among the sportsbooks in Iowa.

Many of Iowa’s major sportsbooks updated bettors through Twitter once the NCAA confirmed VCU’s exit. As expected, the books canceled wagers on the game. Note, BetMGM and William Hill mentioned futures bets specifically, but the sportsbooks took different approaches.

Here are a few tweets from Saturday night:

  • William Hill (US) —Straight wagers on today’s game will be void and refunded. Parlay wagers including the VCU game will have that leg voided. Future wagers are action.”
  • DraftKings — “All bets on tonight’s Oregon vs. VCU game will be voided. Legs including this game will also be removed from parlays!”
  • FanDuel (customer support) — “Due to COVID protocols, tonight’s (3/20) Oregon/VCU CBB game has been declared a no-contest. All wagers involving this game will be voided.”
  • BetMGM — “The VCU vs. Oregon game has been cancelled due to COVID-19 protocols. All impacted bets, including futures, are currently being refunded. Parlays that include impacted legs will still be live, with the impacted leg voided.”

Iowa’s odds outlook in the West

Iowa (22-8) will move from Indiana Farmers Coliseum to Bankers Life Fieldhouse for a game that opens Day 2 of the NCAA Tournament’s second round. The Ducks (20-6) are the seventh seed, while Iowa No. 8 in the latest Associated Press poll and seeded second in the West Region.

Gonzaga is the top seed in the West and remains a heavy favorite to win the national championship with +170 odds at DraftKings. No. 3 seed Kansas has moved into the second position to emerge from the West and win the national championship at +1500.

Iowa is third at +1700, which is roughly where the Hawkeyes started once March Madness pairings were announced. Oregon is +8000 to win the national championship.

Rest vs. rust? Does the Oregon layoff impact Iowa’s odds?

Oregon is led by third-team All-American guard Chris Duarte who averages 16.7 ppg. He shoots 50% from the field and was second in the Pac-12 in steals. The Ducks last played March 12, when they fell to Oregon State 75-64 in the Pac-12 semifinals. Oregon coach Dana Altman told reporters:

“Oregon State just outplayed us. They outworked us right from the start — outrebounded us — much more energy than what we had. I knew they’d come after us, I tried to express that to our team. But we were just stuck in the mud from the start.”

Altman also congratulated VCU student-athletes and staff on an outstanding season on Saturday.

“We hate to see a team’s season end this way after all the hard work these student-athletes have put in. This isn’t the way we wanted to advance, but we are excited to be moving on, and we will start our preparation for Monday’s game.”

No contest surprised Iowa coach

Iowa coach Fran McCaffery found out about the VCU-Oregon no-contest right before post-game interviews with reporters Saturday:

“I didn’t really have a lot of time to process it. … I feel bad for VCU. In some ways I feel bad for the Oregon players. I bet you they wanted to play. But it’s just the circumstances and we’ll both move on and we’ll play each other in the next game and be happy to be here.”

Iowa has a 6-1 series record over Oregon. The Hawkeyes beat the Ducks 77-69 in their most recent meeting at the 2018 2K Empire Classic in New York City.

McCaffery told reporters:

“It seems like not that long ago, but in the basketball world it is — a lot of different players, and we’ll go to work on preparing for them. Obviously, I haven’t really focused on them. I was only focused on Grand Canyon. My assistant coaches have been locked in there.”


Photo by Charles Rex Arbogast / AP
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Russ Mitchell

Russ Mitchell has been covering news and sports in northwest Iowa since 1997, including 11 years as managing editor for one of the most acclaimed community newspapers in the state. He looks forward to keeping readers up to date on the growing sportsbook industry in Iowa.

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