We’ve talked trends, sifted through stats and ogled the odds for the past week. Now it’s time for the nitty gritty with some NCAA Basketball Tournament parlay picks for Day 1. This is just a sample of the sixteen games available on Thursday, March 20th and highlights my favorite picks overall. You can make a couple two teamers, bet them as singles or swing for the fences on a massive parlay. The choice is totally yours, but I’m featuring these games for a very good reason.
NCAA Basketball Tournament Parlay Picks:
#12 Harvard Crimson +3.0 over #5 Cincinnati Bearcats (2:10pm EST)
Harvard is a much better team than you think they are, and are used to winning after steamrolling through the Ivy League. Sure, that means that they haven’t faced stiff competition for most of the year, but it also means that they’ve fine tuned everything that they’ve needed to and enter the tournament as a known commodity to themselves. The Crimson have been a program on the rise, which is more than you can say about Cincinnati. The Bearcats were a strong team this year overall but also went 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games. I don’t trust Cincinnati at all, and I actually love Harvard here in the upset on Day 1 of the NCAA Basketball Tournament.
#14 Western Michigan Broncos +14.5 over Syracuse Orange (2:45pm EST)
Take a side play on WMU to beat Syracuse straight up, but if you don’t feel as brazen about this matchup as I do, then launch yourself at this ridiculous number in favor of the dogs. The Broncos are one of my must-haves in NCAA Basketball Tournament Parlay Picks because they’re a very underrated offensive team. This has much more to do with Syracuse going 2-5 SU in their last 7 games, along with 1-5-1 ATS in those matchups, than anything that Western Michigan brings to the table.
#7 Oregon Ducks -4.0 over #10 BYU Cougars (3:10pm EST)
No NCAA Basketball Tournament parlay picks for Day 1 are complete without the Oregon Ducks as mild favorites against BYU, an atrocious spread bet. The Cougars ended the season on a 2-1 SU and 0-3 ATS run against pathetic competition. They’re actually a great scoring team, which should come as no surprise, but they lack the defensive dominance to really bully opponents like they have in the past. I’m a bit scared of Eric Mika throwing his weight around against an undersized Oregon team, but not with a number like that. Oregon will once again shoot the lights out.
#5 Oklahoma Sooners -3.5 over #12 North Dakota State (7:27pm EST)
Oklahoma is a solid team that simply took a bad beat in the Big 12 Tournament. Sure, that’s a big scary, but prior to their loss against Baylor they went a pretty promising 5-1 SU and 6-0 ATS. Cameron Clark led the way with 19 points and I expect him to take over this game as well. North Dakota State is actually a remarkably good team (in relative terms), but they’ll be no match for a Sooners team that caught a break with a shallow spread on Day 1 of the NCAA Basketball Tournament.
#4 Louisville Cardinal -16.0 over #13 Manhattan Jaspers (9:50pm EST)
This might be the best catch-up play on the board as it’s the second to last game on Day 1, but the reason I’m keeping it in my NCAA Basketball Tournament Parlay picks is because the Cardinal love smashing bad teams and Manhattan sucks. It’s a big number, but this matchup is really that straightforward.