The madness is here. The 2014 NCAA Tournament begins Tuesday and I’m here with my FIRST FOUR NCAA Tourny betting picks so we can get started on the madness. Before I dive in to the picks, I wanted to also let you know that SportBet has a full list for the March Madness TV schedule so you know where to find the games. . Now, on to the First Four!
First Four 2014 NCAA Tournament Betting Picks – Tuesday March 18th
No. 16 Albany Great Danes over No.16 MSM Mountaineers (6:10pm EST)
Let me first say that neither of these teams deserve to be in March Madness over SMU. It’s so ridiculous. Either way, Albany is a flat out stronger team and have a three headed scoring machine powered by Sam Rowley, Peter Hooley and DJ Evans. Mount St. Mary’s never really got a chance to prove itself as a commodity this year since there were never lines on their games, and in the First Four 2014 NCAA Tournament betting picks they’ll get swallowed up by a hungry and stronger Albany squad. Don’t overthink this one at all.
No. 12 NC State Wolfpack -2.5 over Xavier Musketeers (9:10pm EST)
Xavier is always, always, always a tempting play in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament but I can’t take them against N.C. State. I just can’t do it. Losses to Creighton, Villanova and Seton Hall have swallowed up my faith in the Musketeers. I still think they’re a good team, but I am hopping on the Wolfpack bandwagon with fists pumping.
Siding against the Wolf pack in First Four 2014 NCAA Tournament betting picks would feel like sacrilege at this point. Their best player, T.J. Warren, has been a force of nature lately and scored 21 points along with 8 rebounds in a tight loss against Duke. I would not call the Wolfpack a “late bloomer” but lately they’ve exploded in the dense ACC. Dropping Syracuse in the opening round, and losing to Duke by -8.0 points are certainly eye catching if you don’t realize that they narrowly lost to UNC in overtime and smashed Pittsburgh towards the end of the regular season. The Wolfpack are for real, and with a 4-1 SU and 5-0 ATS streak in the making, you should’ve already taken notice.
First Four 2014 NCAA Tournament Betting Picks – Wednesday, March 19th
No. 16 Cal Poly Mustangs -3.0 over No. 16 Texas Southern Tigers (6:10pm EST)
Again, these sixteen seed games are not a great place for you to spend your time and money but if you really want to swing for the fences, then Cal Poly is the logical First Four betting pick in this game. They come from a tougher conference, have played against better teams and have a better everything than Texas Southern.
No. 11 Tennessee Volunteers over No. 11 Iowa Hawkeyes
You’ll have to cut off my arms and legs before you force me to side with the Iowa Hawkeyes in my NCAA Tournament betting picks. Heading in to the First Four, Iowa is a dismal 3-7 SU and 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games. They were one of the best OVER teams around going 20-9 O/U but they were dismal in picking up wins or surviving close games. Any and all excitement about them curtailed quickly as they were devoured by a monster schedule in February.
The Volunteers were much better down the stretch in a pretty tough conference as well. A strong 5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS stretch heading in to the SEC Tournament helped give them momentum as they barely lost to Florida 49-56 after barreling through South Carolina in the opening round while covering against the Gamecocks as -12.0 point favorites. The Volunteers are absolutely the take here in First Four 2014 NCAA Tournament betting picks as we prepare for the real brackets to finalize.