Brandon A. Quick |  Tue 13/03/2018 - 16:39 EDT

2018 March Madness First/Second Round Predictions

2018 March Madness First/Second Round Predictions
Let the madness begin! From the office secretary to the seasoned bettor, the NCAA tournament is the only event I can think of where everyone is thinking about action. In my opinion, the first two rounds of the tournament offer the best sports betting opportunities of the year.

What’s on Tap 

In a college basketball season defined by mediocrity, the 2018 tournament appears to be one where anything is capable of happening. I’ll be looking at the opening round games most intriguing from a betting and handicapping standpoint and stay out of the big picture for now, other than to say I have my eye on Michigan, North Carolina and Duke to go a long way. 

March 13

  • UCLA -3.5 (O/U: 154.5) vs. St.Bonaventure 

Every year there are more than a handful of teams that feel “under-seeded”, but this UCLA team has one of the more legitimate cases in recent memory. The Bruins are an offensively gifted squad that posted a 21-11 record against a respectable schedule. They beat Kentucky, Arizona and USC this season and may just be entering this tournament with something extra to prove. UCLA is the play-in team I think has the best chance to advance past the first weekend of the tournament. Lay the 3.5 against St. Bonaventure and look for Steve Alford’s squad to make some noise. 


March 15

  • Kentucky – 6 (O/U: 143) vs. Davidson 

Never one to miss an opportunity for a corny joke, I like the Wildcats here. Rimshot punchlines aside, the better-known Wildcats are a vulnerable team despite winning the SEC tournament last week. John Calipari’s squad is the youngest in the nation and that youth has reared its ugly head on many occasions this season as evidenced by their 10 losses. Davidson is on a roll of its own and had to win the Atlantic 10 tournament to qualify for the big dance. Veteran coach Bob Mckillop’s teams play a disciplined style that could frustrate the younger Wildcats. It’s also noteworthy that this game is being played in Boise on a Thursday night, meaning Kentucky’s legion of fans won’t travel as well as they normally do. I like Davidson to hang close in this one with a chance to pull one of the biggest upsets of the opening weekend. 

TAKE Davidson +6 

  • Virginia Tech -2 (O/U: 141.5) vs. Alabama

This should be an entertaining matchup between two teams who like to get up and down the floor. Virginia Tech ranks 19th in the country in offensive efficiency and puts pressure on defenses to avoid foul trouble. Alabama will counter with the nation’s 29th best squad in terms of defensive efficiency, but I think the Hokies overpower the Tide in this spot late in the game. Virginia Tech has slayed some dragons this year including Virginia, Duke and North Carolina – that’s three of the best teams in this tournament. I think Tech has the better squad. 

TAKE Virginia Tech -2

March 16 

  • Wichita State -11.5 (O/U: 166) vs. Marshall

Whoa! Is that total correct? I know Wichita is a great offensive club (6th in offensive efficiency in the nation/13th in ppg), but 166 is an obscene number for an NCAA tournament game. Being fully aware that Murray State is averaging the 7th most points per game in the country  (84.3), I can counter with the fact that both of these teams ranked among the top 50 in defensive efficiency. Further, NCAA tournament games are rarely this high scoring. There’s plenty of nerves in opening round games and coaches invariably emphasize defensive intensity in their game plans. If this were a Wednesday night matchup in January, you might well see the offensive fireworks the oddsmakers are predicting, but I think this game land squarely under that gargantuan total. 


In closing, I’ll definitely roll with these four opening round games, expecting 4-0 or 3-1. There should be plenty of chaos in this tournament, but these are comparatively safe wagers.

playoff - Matchday 3
Match day
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Away Score Home Money Line
Tuesday 13 March
FT LIU-Brooklyn 61 - 71 Radford Highlanders +205 -244 Odds
FT St. Bonaventure 65 - 58 UCLA Bruins +150 -169 Odds
Wednesday 14 March
FT Texas Southern 64 - 46 NCC -208 +180 Odds
FT Syracuse Orange 60 - 56 Arizona State +105 -125 Odds
Thursday 15 March
AOT Oklahoma Sooners 78 - 83 Rhode Island Rams +108 -128 Odds
FT Wright State 47 - 73 Tennessee +570 -714 Odds
FT NC-Greensboro 64 - 68 Gonzaga Bulldogs +675 -909 Odds
FT Pennsylvania 60 - 76 Kansas Jayhawks +875 -1250 Odds
FT Iona Gaels 67 - 89 Duke Blue Devils +2300 -10000 Odds
FT Loyola-Chicago 64 - 62 Miami Hurricanes -101 -119 Odds
FT South Dakota State 73 - 81 Ohio State Buckeyes +340 -417 Odds
FT N.C. State Wolfpack 83 - 94 Seton Hall Pirates +152 -172 Odds
FT Radford Highlanders 61 - 87 Villanova Wildcats +2600 -10000 Odds
FT Davidson Wildcats 73 - 78 Kentucky Wildcats +190 -217 Odds
FT San Diego State 65 - 67 Houston Cougars +170 -196 Odds
FT Stephen F. Austin 60 - 70 Texas Tech +560 -714 Odds
FT Alabama 86 - 83 Virginia Tech +135 -154 Odds
FT Buffalo Bulls 89 - 68 Arizona Wildcats +445 -556 Odds
FT Montana Grizzlies 47 - 61 Michigan Wolverines +485 -625 Odds
FT St. Bonaventure 62 - 77 Florida Gators +235 -278 Odds
Friday 16 March
FT Providence Friars 69 - 73 Texas A&M Aggies +130 -149 Odds
FT Cal State Fullerton 48 - 74 Purdue Boilermakers +1900 -5000 Odds
FT Marshall 81 - 75 Wichita State +875 -1250 Odds
FT Georgia State 53 - 68 Cincinnati Bearcats +925 -1429 Odds
FT Lipscomb Bison 66 - 84 N.C. Tar Heels +2000 -10000 Odds
FT Butler Bulldogs 79 - 62 Arkansas Razorbacks -141 +120 Odds
FT Murray State Racers 68 - 85 West Virginia +400 -476 Odds
AOT Texas Longhorns 83 - 87 Nevada Wolf Pack -115 -105 Odds
578' Kansas State 49 - 41 Creighton Bluejays +125 -145 Odds
1128' Bucknell Bison 42 - 46 Michigan State +875 -1250 Odds
253' Texas Southern 28 - 43 Xavier Musketeers +1750 -5000 Odds
HT Charleston Cougars 25 - 25 Auburn Tigers +375 -455 Odds
UMBC Retrievers 21:20 Virginia Cavaliers +1900 -5000 Odds
Syracuse Orange 21:40 TCU Horned Frogs +180 -208 Odds
Florida State 21:50 Missouri Tigers -120 +100 Odds
New Mexico State 21:57 Clemson Tigers +150 -169 Odds

Category : Sporting News

Tag : basketball , NCAA basketball

Leave a comment
More articles...
Sporting News - 17/03/18
2018 Santa Margarita Stakes Odds, Predictions 
The 81st running of the Grade 1 Santa Margarita Stakes March 17 at Santa Anita (post 7:18 ET) draws a field of 10 in a race where contention and value run deep. The race is a key to the late Pick 4 and Pick 6, but certainly worth betting a stand-alone wager.
Read this article 
Sporting News - 10/03/18
Santa Anita Handicap 2018 Odds, Predictions 
Saturday, March 10 represents a big day of racing on the Triple Crown trail, but don't forget about the 81st running of the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap as eight veteran rivals are set to contest the 1 1/4-mile event at 8 PM ET.
Read this article 
Sporting News - 07/03/18
Best MLB Players Props Betting Odds for 2018 
In addition to all its other charms, baseball has always been a game of stats and numbers. Players are frequently defined by the number of home runs, hits, errors, strikeouts, wins and saves they accumulate. This, of course, creates tremendous fodder for prop betting.
Read this article 
Sporting News - 26/02/18
90th Academy Awards Props 
Whether you're a movie buff or just someone who likes a piece of action to supplement the entertainment value of live television, the 90th Academy Awards is fast-approaching (March 4 @8:26 pm ET) and there's money to be made by wagering on the outcomes.
Read this article