The second that faculty basketball followers have lengthy awaited has arrived. The 2021 NCAA Tournament is right here.
A 12 months after March Madness was canceled completely because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the event will make its triumphant return. All 68 groups chosen on Selection Sunday will sq. off within the state of Indiana and can put collectively a event like no different.
There will probably be blue blood victories, big-time bracket-busting buzzer beaters, and Cinderella tales of groups that can shortly earn the love of followers looking out for a rooting curiosity.
Of course, there can even be plenty of opportunities to bet on games all through the tournaments. There are at all times not less than a couple of main upsets in each event, however there are additionally alternatives to make simple cash on heavy favorites and create some intriguing parlays that ought to have an opportunity to repay.
What are the best bets for the primary spherical of March Madness, includng the First Four? Sporting News has you lined with some prime tendencies, recommendation, and picks to take an opportunity on because the NCAA Tournament will get able to tip off.
- March Madness odds for First Four, Round 1
- March Madness best bets for First Four, Round 1
- March Madness best parlays for First Four, Round 1
March Madness odds for First Four, Round 1
Below are the opening March Madness odds for the First Four and Round 1, together with point spreads, cash traces and over-under totals for each sport, according to the FanDuel sportsbook.
|Mount Saint Mary’s vs. Texas Southern*||TXSO -2||TXSO -136||132|
|Drake vs. Witchita State*||WICH -2||WICH -124||139.5|
|Norfolk State vs. Appalachian State*||APP -3||APP -154||135.5|
|UCLA vs. Michigan State*||MSU -2||MSU -136||136.5|
|Virginia Tech vs. Florida||FLA -1||FLA -112||137.5|
|Colgate vs. Arkansas||ARK -9.5||ARK -460||162.5|
|Drexel vs. Illinois||ILL -22.5||N/a||144|
|Utah State vs. Texas Tech||TTU -6||TTU -200||131.5|
|Oral Roberts vs. Ohio State||OSU -16.5||OSU -2200||155.5|
|Hartford vs. Baylor||BAY -26||N/a||141|
|Georgia Tech vs. Loyola Chicago||LUC -2||LUC -130||124.5|
|Oregon State vs. Tennessee||TEN -7.5||TEN -355||133|
|Liberty vs. Oklahoma State||OKST -9.5||OKST -450||142|
|Wisconsin vs. North Carolina||UNC -2||UNC -130||139.5|
|Cleveland State vs. Houston||HOU -20||HOU -3000||135|
|North Texas vs. Purdue||PUR -7.5||PUR -330||125|
|Syracuse vs. San Diego State||SDSU -3||SDSU -154||138.5|
|Morehead State vs. West Virginia||WVU -12.5||WVU -850||137.5|
|Winthrop vs. Villanova||NOVA -6||NOVA -250||141|
|Georgetown vs. Colorado||COL -4.5||COL -200||138|
|UNC Greensboro vs. Florida State||FSU -11.5||FSU -650||145|
|Eastern Washington vs. Kansas||KU -11||KU -720||143|
|St. Bonaventure vs. LSU||LSU -2||LSU -124||144.5|
|UC Santa Barbara vs. Creighton||CREI -6.5||CREI -275||139.5|
|Grand Canyon vs. Iowa||N/a||N/a||N/a|
|Maryland vs. UConn||UCONN -2.5||UCONN -142||130|
|Ohio vs. Virginia||UVA -8||UVA -420||131.5|
|Missouri vs. Oklahoma||OU -2||OU -130||140.5|
|Abilene Christian vs. Texas||TEX -9||TEX -430||140|
|VCU vs. Oregon||ORE -6||ORE -250||137|
*Denotes a First Four sport
March Madness best bets for First Four, Round 1
North Carolina (-2) vs. Wisconsin
UNC was teetering on the brink as a bubble crew till a robust remaining six games put them into the event discipline. The Tar Heels posted a 4-2 file in these contests and the 2 losses have been by a mixed 5 factors to Syracuse, one other event crew, and Florida State, the No. 4 seed within the East area of the bracket. They managed to make the semifinals of the ACC Tournament and appear to be getting scorching on the proper time. Incredibly, in 29 NCAA Tournament appearances, head coach Roy Williams has by no means did not win not less than one sport and get to the Round of 32. Thus, UNC looks as if a superb guess in opposition to a Wisconsin crew that has dropped 9 of its final 14 games (albeit in opposition to a troublesome Big 10 schedule).
Winthop (Moneyline, +215) vs. Villanova
Here’s the best upset bid which you can guess on within the first spherical of the NCAA Tournament. Villanova is normally a March Madness darling and so they have taken residence two nationwide championships underneath Jay Wright, however it could be arduous for them to try this this 12 months. They misplaced certainly one of their best gamers, point guard Collin Gillespie, to a torn MCL on March 4. They misplaced each of their games with out him and although the margin of defeat was simply by three mixed factors, the mixed data of the groups they misplaced to, Providence and Georgetown, was 26-25.
Meanwhile, Winthrop (22-1) cruised by way of the Big South with an skilled crew that performs as many as 11 gamers in any given sport. They have an awesome head coach in Pat Kelsey and gained all of their Big South Tournament games by not less than 21 factors. They needs to be recent after loads of day without work and can give Villanova quite a lot of bother with their depth and flexibility, particularly with ‘Nova down certainly one of their stars. If you are much less adventurous, you’ll be able to take Winthrop (+6) on this sport, however this one has the makings of a basic 12-5 upset.
Baylor (-26) vs. Hartford
The Bears have performed eight non-conference games this 12 months and so they have gained all of them. Their common margin of victory in these games was 30.4 factors per sport, and that features games in opposition to Washington, Auburn, and a No. 1 seed within the NCAA Tournament, Illinois. The Hawks are an awesome story, as they’re making their first March Madness look in program historical past after successful their convention event as a No. 6 seed, however Baylor ought to be capable of deal with them even when the Bears have not been as sharp as they as soon as have been since a mid-February COVID layoff.
March Madness best parlays for First Four, Round 1
Illinois has performed three non-Power 5 groups this 12 months. Their common margin of victory in these games was 41 factors. The Drexel Dragons have not performed in an NCAA Tournament sport since 1996, so they may most likely have a troublesome time competing with Illinois.
The extra intriguing a part of this parlay is the second leg. The Tigers and the Bonnies are full opposites by way of how they run their groups. LSU is a faster-paced offense that averages 74.4 possessions per sport, good for forty ninth within the nation, whereas St. Bonaventure averages 66.8 possessions per sport, tied for 329th within the nation. That mentioned, if LSU can management the tempo on this sport, they need to have an opportunity to hit the over on this one fairly simply, because the Tigers and their opponents have exceeded this point complete in eight consecutive games. We’ll take a shot on that taking place to push this wager to +264 odds.
West Virginia (-12.5) AND Michigan State (-2)
On paper, some could like the thought of Morehead State upsetting West Virginia for the reason that Eagles have gained 18 of their final 19 games. However, Morehead State performed three Power 5 opponents this 12 months and misplaced these contests by a median of 28 factors. That included games in opposition to Kentucky and Clemson. Bob Huggins has gained a event sport in six of the 9 seasons he has made the large dance with West Virginia, so they need to have an opportunity to win this one handily.
Meanwhile, Tom Izzo’s Michigan State Spartans have solely did not win an NCAA Tournament sport as soon as for the reason that 2006-07 season. It’s normally protected to guess on nice coaches come March, so we’ll decide Michigan State to advance out of the First Four and get stable worth on these two bets at a mark of +274.
Syracuse (Moneyline) AND Winthrop (Moneyline)
Here’s an upset particular parlay that would pay out large bucks. We already talked about what’s to love about Winthrop above, so we’ll follow Syracuse right here.
The Orange have been thought of to be on the bubble heading into the event, however they managed to get in and drew a matchup with San Diego State. While the Aztecs will probably be a troublesome opponent, Syracuse has gained not less than one sport in eight of their final 9 NCAA Tournament appearances underneath Jim Boeheim. That consists of appearances as a double-digit seed in 2014 and 2016 by which Syracuse went to the Final Four as a ten seed and the Sweet 16 as an 11 seed.
Parlaying these two games pushes the percentages to +643. Obviously, it is a threat, however it might be simply loopy sufficient to work out.