2017 March Madness Round 1 Best BetsJosh Bailey
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.
Best Chance to Win Opening Game – Double-Digit Seeds
10 Wichita State 72% vs Dayton
11 Xavier 58% vs Maryland
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 13, 2017
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.