These are five games in the first round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament that I like as surefire bets. If you need to know where to find the broadcast schedule of these games, we’ve made it simple by listing that for you too. Check out this page for the NCAA Tournament TV schedule and keep reading for my favorite first round sure bets.
NCAA Tournament 2014 First Round Sure Bets
Will the #8 Kentucky Wildcats cover the 5.0 point spread against the #9 KSU Wildcats on Thursday at 9:40pm EST?
I love this matchup, I love this line and right now I couldn’t be more enamored by a momentum play like Kentucky. The knockout style play of the SEC Tournament brought the very best out of Julius Randle and Kentucky. They demolished Georgia and LSU by an average of +15.0 points before barely losing to Florida in the SEC Championship game. Kansas State, meanwhile, fell in to the toilet with an 0-3 SU and ATS run in their last 3 games. Kentucky hasn’t exactly flirted that well with the gambling community, but they’re an easy push through as one of the sure fire bets in the NCAA Tournament’s first round.
Will the #6 Baylor Bears cover the 3.5 point spread against the #11 Nebraska Cornhuskers on Friday at 12:40pm EST?
Baylor has been on fire over the past month and a half with a blistering 8-2 SU and 6-3-1 ATS streak that populated their betting bandwagon heading in to the 2014 NCAA Tournament. In fact, they’re 8-3-1 ATS over their last 12 games and have a nice combination of size and shooting that Nebraska simply won’t be able to handle. This breaks my heart a little because Nebraska has been a betting dynamo at 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games, but Baylor just feels like a hot commodity worth backing as a sure bet in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Will #16 Weber State +19.5 over the 19.5 point spread against the #1 Arizona Wildcats on Friday at 2:10pm EST?
Say what you want to about Arizona, but I don’t totally trust them in terms of the spread. Arizona seemingly beats up on crappy teams, but I’m not as quick as most people are to bury Weber State, a team that is anchored by a ton of seniors and a great coach. To be honest, aside from Virginia-Coastal Carolina, which has a -21.0 point line, I love most of the 16th seeded dogs as sure bets in the first round of the NCAA Tournament 2014. Weber State is slightly better than you probably think. And with Arizona coming off a loss against UCLA in the Pac-12 Tourney, they’ll just want to escape this game with a win instead of pounding the Wildcats in to the dirt to send a message. March Madness is not that type of environment.
Will the #3 Creighton Bluejays cover a -14.0 spread against the #14 L-L Cajuns on Thursday at 3:10pm EST?
Simply put, this is a matchup nightmare for the defensively inept Cajuns who gave up 75.1 points per game in the Sun Belt Conference. Doug McDermott and company will be looking to reinstill some confidence after a surprising upset against Providence and they can easily do that against the undermanned and overwhelmed Cajuns. This is sure as bets get in the first round. It’s a big line, I get that, and Creighton is that damn good. Believe in the Bluejays.
Will the #4 Louisville Cardinals cover a -14.0 point spread against the #13 Manhattan Jaspers on Thursday at 9:50pm EST?
The Louisville Cardinals were jilted at the Selection Sunday alter when they destroyed almost everyone they played, eviscerated the AAC Tournament and throttled everyone by a gnarly amount of points only to be relegated to the fourth seed in their region. This is a team that takes everything and every matchup dead serious, which makes them a sure bet against a Manhatten Team that doesn’t stand a chance in the NCAA Tournament’s first round.