March Madness South Round 1 PicksJosh Bailey
The South Region in this year’s NCAA Tournament is easily the deepest. To be honest, the deep part of the region is in the second half. Top-seed North Carolina should have an easy trip to the Elite Eight. But, in the second half of the bracket are some heavy hitters like No. 3 UCLA, No. 2 Kentucky, and No. 10 Wichita State.
March Madness Odds To Win The South Region
- North Carolina +130
- Kentucky +275
- UCLA +500
- Wichita State+1000
- Cincinnati +1400
- Dayton +2800
- Minnesota U+2800
- Middle Tennessee State+4000
- Arkansas +5000
- Seton Hall +5000
- Wake Forest+7500
- Kansas State+10000
- Kent State+20000
- Northern Kentucky +20000
- Texas Southern+20000
Keep reading for my March Madness South Region Round 1 ATS picks. I left off the Cincinnati game because the Bearcats battle a play-in team.
March Madness South Round 1 ATS Picks
- UCLA -18 vs Kent State
UCLA did lose to Arizona in the Pac 12 Tournament. No matter. The Bruins are still one of the top teams in the nation. UCLA can play any style. Plus, Lonzo Ball’s thumb, which he hurt versus Zona, should be fine by the time the Bruins tip it off versus Kent State. I love UCLA -18 and am going to bet the Bruins big.
- Wichita State -6 vs Dayton
Wichita State is the hot team going into the NCAA Tournament. The Shockers have won 15 straight. They’ve gone an incredible 11 and 4 against the spread in those 15 games. The Dayton Flyers go into this game having lost their last 2. Wichita State will pummel and cover the spread versus Dayton.
- Kentucky -19.5 vs Northern Kentucky
This could be one of John Calipari’s best teams ever in Lexington. Edrice Adebayo, Malik Monk, Dominique Hawkins, and De’Aaron Fox all scored in double-figures in the Wildcats 82 to 65 win over Arkansas in the SEC Tournament Championship game. Kentucky can beat Northern Kentucky by 40 points and they just might. Bet UK.
- UNC -25 vs Texas Southern
The Tar Heels secured the 1-seed in the South Region even though they didn’t win the ACC Tournament. A huge problem could exist for UNC in the NCAA Tournament. When Joel Berry II isn’t on the court, the Tar Heels are a different team. Versus Texas Southern, that shouldn’t be an issue, but by the Sweet 16, it could be. Bet UNC.
- Minnesota vs Mid-Tennessee St. Pick ’em
Minnesota is without one of their guards, Akeem Springs. The Gophers are a decent team, but since they lost Springs on March 11, they don’t have enough time to adjust to Springs’s absence before taking on one of the top Cinderella Teams in this year’s tournament. Mid-Tennessee St. has gone 8 and 2 both straight up and ATS in their last 10 games. The Mid-Tennessee St. Blue Raiders are the pick.
- Butler -11 vs Winthrop
Butler lost their last regular season game to Seton Hall. They lost to Xavier in their first game in the Big East Tournament. The Bulldogs go into the NCAA Tournament on the downswing. I still believe, though, that Butler got a nice draw versus Winthrop in Round 1. I am betting Butler against the spread.
- Arkansas -1 vs Seton Hall
Arkansas versus Seton Hall is the best matchup in Round 1 in the South Region. The Pirates and Razorbacks could play to an overtime game. The team I like is Arkansas even though Seton Hall plays in the better conference. Bet Arkansas.