The bracket has been set and the betting lines have been released for the opening round of games so it is time to get serious about betting on some college basketball at America’s Bookie this week. Not only is there a ton of action on the board for this season’s NCAA Tournament, you can get things started early with a full slate of games in the NIT on both Tuesday and Wednesday night.
The First Four Round of the Big Dance also gets underway on Tuesday with two play-in games starting with Mount St. Mary’s taking on New Orleans as a 1.5-point underdog in the East Region. Following this 6:40 p.m. (ET) start on truTV, the Kansas State Wildcats will square off against Wake Forest in the South Region at 9:10 p.m. on that same network. America’s Bookie has opened the Demon Deacons as slight one-point favorites.
In the first of two play-in games on Wednesday’s NCAA Tournament’s slate, North Carolina Central will face UC Davis at 6:40 p.m. on truTV in the Midwest Region as a 3.5-point favorite. The USC Trojans will try and advance to the next round as 2.5-point favorites against Providence in an East Region matchup on truTV at 9:10 p.m.
The real fun begins on Thursday with the first 16 games in the opening round of this year’s NCAA Tournament. The top-seeded Villanova Wildcats will face the winner of the Mount St. Mary’s/New Orleans matchup at 7:10 p.m. on CBS to start their quest for a second-straight national title out of the East Region. Villanova cruised to the Big East Tournament title last week after winning the regular season crown to post an overall record of 31-3. The Wildcats went 19-15 against the spread this season and they come into Thursday’s game with a 5-2 record ATS in their last seven games.
Gonzaga earned the top seed in the West Region on the strength of its impressive 32-1 SU run through the regular season and West Coast Conference Tournament while going a profitable 23-8-1 ATS. The Bulldogs will open play against the South Dakota State Jackrabbits, out of the Summit League in a 2 p.m. start on TBS. America’s Bookie has opened Gonzaga as a heavy 22-point favorite with the total set at 153.
Another team that is expected to make a deep run in this year’s tournament is the Pac-12’s Arizona Wildcats, who earned the No. 2 seed in the West Region by tying Oregon for the best record in the conference during the regular season before beating the Ducks 83-80 last week as 1.5-point underdogs in the Pac-12 Tournament’s title game. Arizona is pitted against North Dakota in a 9:50 p.m. tip on TBS as a 16.5-point favorite in one of the final matchups of the day.
One of the best showdowns on Thursday’s slate could be in the South Region where the 12th-seeded Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders will square off against the Big Ten’s No. 5-seed Minnesota Golden Gophers in a game that America’s Bookies has opened as a PICK.
The Blue Raiders won the Conference USA’s regular season title at 17-1 before winning last week’s conference tournament. They start this tournament with a SU 10-game winning streak while going 8-2 ATS. Minnesota dropped two of its last three games both SU and ATS after losing to Michigan 84-77 in the Big Ten Tournament as a four-point underdog.
Thursday’s jam-packed schedule starts things off at 12:15 p.m. on CBS with No. 12 Princeton taking on No. 5 Notre Dame as a seven-point underdog in the West Region. The prime time run in the opening round gets underway at 6:50 p.m. on TNT with No. 11 Xavier against No. 6 Maryland. The Terrapins has been listed as slight two-point favorites for this Big East vs. Big Ten clash in the West Region.