2017 March Madness Round 1 Best Bets

Although it’s the first week of the NCAA Tournament, the NBA still has a full slate of games. On Wednesday, ESPN shows Milwaukee versus Clippers. Will the Greek Freak take it to Blake in La La Land on March 15? On Saturday, Blake and the Clippers host Cleveland. How is Blake and CP3 going to fair against King James and Kyrie? Then, on Sunday, Indiana heads to Toronto to battle the Raptors. Can Paul George keep up with DeMar Derozan? NBA Expert Picks March 13th - 19th, 2017 Milwaukee at L.A. Clippers When:  Wednesday, March 15 at 10:30 pm ET Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA TV: ESPN Analysis: The Clippers have won 4 out of their last 5. They appear to have come together. That’s great because this could be LAC’s year. Golden State has had issues while San Antonio is without LaMarcus Aldridge for the near future. But, the Clippers don’t get a pass this Wednesday versus tough Eastern Conference squad Milwaukee. As of March 12, the Bucks have won 6 in a row. That’s fantastic. What’s even better is that Milwaukee has covered the spread in all 6 games. There’s no way the Clippers go off less than -6 favorites at home on Wednesday. I’m backing the Bucks. Pick: Milwaukee ATS Cleveland at L.A. Clippers When:  Saturday, March 18 at 8:30 pm ET Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA TV: ABC Analysis: Hopefully, Tyronn Lue won’t rest 4 of his best players on Saturday. Yes, I’m talking to you, Steve Kerr. I don’t think he will. Playing the Clippers in Los Angeles is important. LeBron wants to show L.A. fans what he’s all about. Who knows? The King might decide to leave Cleveland for L.A. in a year or two. You never know. To play for Magic Johnson? Why not? In any case, Cleveland fell apart this past week with 3 straight losses. They beat Orlando 116 to 104 on March 11 to break the losing streak. I think that with CP3 playing as well as he has, 30 points, 7 assists, 3 boards, and 2 steals in his last, it’s going to be tough for Cleveland to win on Saturday. I like the Clippers.    Pick: L.A. Clippers Indiana at Toronto When:  Sunday March 19 at 8:30 pm ET Where: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON TV: NBA TV Analysis: Even though point-guard Kyle Lowry has been out, Toronto is still 10 games above .500. They’re also in second place in the Atlantic Division. The last time the Raptors battled Indiana, they beat the Pacers 89 to 84. But, Lowry played in that game. He dished 9 assists. Without Lowry, does Indiana have a better shot against the Raptors on Sunday? I think Indiana does. The Pacers’ point-guard, Jeff Teague, won’t have to play one on one against Lowry. Toronto’s back-up point-guard, Cory Joseph, just isn’t as good as Lowry. I like Teague to help George in this game. I’m backing Indiana. Pick: Indiana

2017 March Madness Round 1 Best Bets

The NCAA Tournament starts this Thursday, March 16th. Already Vegas has set college basketball odds for every first round game. Click here for expert 2017 NCAA title picks.

Let’s get started with the best bets for March Madness’ Round 1. Will No. 12 Nevada keep it close versus No. 5 Iowa State in the dreaded No. 12 vs No. 5 match up on March 16? Also on March 16, will No. 9 Vanderbilt or No. 8 Northwestern cruise into Round 2? Finally, who plays on Sunday after No. 10 Wichita State’s and No. 7 Dayton’s battle on Friday?

2017 March Madness Round 1 Best Bets

#12 Nevada vs #5 Iowa State
When:  Thursday, March 16,
Where: BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee, WI
Odds: Iowa State -6.5

Analysis: I’m going against the public as 57% are taking the 6.5 points on Nevada. It makes sense. The Wolf Pack has won 9 games in a row. Nevada averages 80 points a game.

But, the way to beat Iowa State isn’t to run and gun with them. No team that I know of can run with the Cyclones, who also average 80 points per game. The biggest issue I have with the Wolf Pack is that they averaged all those points versus teams like Colorado State and Air Force.

Who did Iowa State average their 80 points against?  Baylor, Kansas, Oklahoma State, and West Virginia. The Cyclones should easily cover the spread.

March Madness Round 1 Best Bet: Iowa State

#9 Vanderbilt vs #8 Northwestern
When:  Thursday, March 16
Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, UT
Odds: Vanderbilt -1.5

Analysis: Northwestern was hot earlier in the season. They cooled down dramatically. The Wildcats went 12 and 2 before the end of 2016. Once 2017 started, the wheels got wobbly. Northwestern finished the season going 11 and 9. They were dreadful when losing 48 to 76 to Wisconsin in the Big Ten Tournament.

Vanderbilt went 7 and 3 in their last 10 games. The Commodores had a terrific SEC Tournament. They lost to Arkansas in the SEC Semifinals. Vandy goes into the NCAA Tournament on a much higher note than Northwestern.

I like the Commodores.

March Madness Round 1 Best Bet: Vanderbilt

#10 Wichita State vs #7 Dayton
When:  Friday, March 17
Where: Bankers Life Field House, Indianapolis, IN
Odds: Wichita State -6.5

Analysis: This is the easy decision pick of Round 1. Wichita State has won 15 straight. More importantly, since we make wagers against the spread, the Shockers have gone 8 and 2 ATS in their last 10 games.

Most college hoops analysts believed Wichita State would get an 8 or 9 seed. Those analysts were worried that Wichita State could end the dream of a top seed. Nope. Instead, Wichita State is likely to battle Kentucky in Round 2. Shows you how much the Selection Committee likes John Calipari.

When it comes to this game on Friday, again, no brainer.

March Madness Round 1 Best Bet: Wichita State