#Justmy2Cents March Madness Round 1 Betting Preview

It’s that time of year! March Madness is in full effect and it’s time to start doing your prep and homework to make some money betting on the Big Dance! Professional sports bettor Chris Torrisi gives his two cents on all of the March Madness Round 1 NCAA-BB Tournament games.

Tuesday
(16) Prarie A&M vs (16) Fairleigh Dickinson
It’s the first game to kick off the Tournament and many will be eager to bet it. But keep your cash in your pocket and enjoy this one from a viewing perspective. Both these teams are very similar, up tempo and pressure style teams. They are almost dead even in my power ratings, this one could go either way but will be an excellent game to watch not to bet.

(11) Temple vs (11) Belmont
Belmont comes in on fire on a 13-3-1 ATS run and they score in bunches shooting almost 50% from the floor. Watching the status of 6’11 Center Nick Muszynski is going to be huge. If the OVC Freshman of the Year can’t play or isn’t 100% on Tuesday that will hurt them here. Watch his status before betting this one, if he doesn’t suit up grabbing Temple plus the points is the value move, if he plays they likely will move on to Maryland.

Wednesday
(16) North Carolina Central vs (16) North Dakota State
Both teams are playing great down the stretch, North Dakota State covering 8 of their last 11 games, NC Central going 7-1-2 ATS to get here in their last 10 games. This one can play out either way , I have to note that North Dakota State played a little tougher schedule (conference & non conference) this year to get here. Strength of schedule could be an edge for ND State but I wouldn’t be surprised to see NC Central cover the 5 here and play ND State the wire.

(11)St.John’s vs (11) Arizona State
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Thursday
(10) Minnesota vs (7) Louisville
No way I could muster up and lay 5 points here with Louisville who lost five of their last seven outright. Minnesota has been a scrappy dog down the stretch, throw out the terrible performance vs Michigan and they’ve hung around and competed in every game lately. Minnesota could be live here but I think the most value on this game is on the Under. I think we see defensive ,ugly, low scoring game here. Lean under.

(14) Yale vs (3) LSU
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(12) New Mexico State vs (5) Auburn
New Mexico State is a very live #12 seed here, I like this Auburn team a lot but this line is low for a reason. Don’t let Auburn winning the SEC on National Television fool you and think this line is too cheap. This New Mexico State team is legit. Auburn might win this game but if they do, I think they are in for a scare. Look to grab in the points with New Mexico State at anything above +5 but I think the +7’s that were out early was where the value really was.

(13) Vermont vs (4) Florida State
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(15) Bradley vs (2) Michigan State
Michgan State just won the Big 10 and maybe got snubbed on for a 1 seed. They could be out to prove a point here vs Bradley. They are definitely one of my slept on teams to win this whole thing. Bradley definitely pulled a couple of upsets to get here and may hang around for awhile, but I don’t know if they can compete a full 40 minutes with MSU but 18.5 points is a lot to lay. My stronger lean is on the Under here. I think we see a lower scoring game here.

(13) Northeastern vs (4) Kansas
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(12) Murray State vs Marquette (5)
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(10 Florida vs Nevada (7)
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(15) Abilene Christian vs (2) Kentucky
This Abilene Christian team comes in here on a 9-3 ATS run and they’ve won 27 games this year. That all looks good on paper but who the heck have they played this year? Nobody in or out of conference worth noting. Kentucky might come in here and take out some frustrations on this Abilene Christian team after the tough Tennessee loss. This one might get ugly and 20 something points might not be enough.

(11) St.Mary’s vs (6) Villanova
I really think this Villanova team is overrated, overpriced, and I was looking to bet against them in Round 1 but to be honest St.Mary’s just didn’t cut it for me to bet them in this spot. Sure we saw them dethrone Gonzaga to earn a right to play here but they aren’t good enough for me to back here with my money. There is no way I’d touch Villanova here, it’d be a lean on St.Mary’s or nothing for me. If they beat Nova it wouldn’t shock me a bit.

(15) Montana vs (2) Michigan
This is one game that I have to say does not interest me to bet at all. I can’t really make a case for either team or even the total here. It’s just one game I’d say pass completely and look around for something better. It’s a lot of points to lay with Michigan and I’m not sure if they cover this number. Montana, it seems ever year is a sexy sharp dog pick but this years team isn’t as good as some of the past squads in my opinion.

(10) Seton Hall vs (7) Wofford
Here is two teams that I wanted to bet on in Round One, I couldn’t wait to see who they were playing and bang they get matched up against one another. This is probably the game I can’t wait to watch the most on Thursday. This should be a great game to watch. Definitely have this game on your must see list for Thursday, as far as betting I’d probably pass and look elsewhere.

(14) Old Dominion vs (3) Purdue
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(9) Baylor vs (8) Syracuse
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Friday
(10) Iowa vs (7) Cincinnati
Both teams are ice cold ATS coming in here. Iowa is on a 1-9 ATS skid and Cincinnati is on a 2-9 ATS skid. In the past three weeks Iowa has only won one game which does not sit well with me heading into the Big Dance. The Bearcats can ball it out and are usually taxed by bookies because of this laying inflated numbers. I trust them here laying a cheap number vs an Iowa team who limped in. Lean laying the points with Cincinnati.

(9) Oklahoma vs (8) Mississippi
This should be an interesting 8 vs 9 match up. If I had to describe both teams in the past month, I come up with the same word, inconsistent. I wouldn’t trust betting either team here. This total sitting in the 140’s looks a little high to me. I would skip the side and give a lean on the Under here. I think oddsmakers opened this total a little too high.

(14) Northern Kentucky vs (3) Texas Tech
I think we were all stunned watching Texas Tech lose to West Virginia in the Big 12 Tournament. Before that loss they won 9 straight and went 8-1 ATS in the process. It seems like a lot of points but according to my numbers it might be a little short. I’d give a slight lean to Tech here. I think they know they can’t afford to play down to their competition here like the West VA game and should bounce back into form.

(13) UC Irivine vs (4) Kansas State
Who is hotter than UC Irvine? They’ve won 16 straight and went 11-4-1 ATS in the process. They’re definitely getting coined with the term “Cinderella” right now. Is Kansas State being disrespected though with this low line? Let’s not forget they are red hot going 13-4-1 ATS in their last 17 games. UC Irvine is getting a ton of hype right. I’m not riding the hype train here though, they can be one of those “public dogs” come March who bite the dust.

(15) Colgate vs (2) Tennessee
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(16) Gardner Webb vs (1) Virginia
Virginia got beat by Florida State which shocked a few and Gardner Webb rolled their way as a doggie into the Big Dance which shocked a few. Gardner Webb did beat a couple of ACC teams this year, albeit Georgia Tech and Wake Forest. I would not be any kind of rush to lay this kind of number with Virginia. They aren’t built to blow teams out as far as putting up a ton of points. If anything maybe look to take the points with the ugly dog or pass.

(12) Oregon vs (5) Wisconsin
You can’t ignore the fact that Oregon has not lost since February 23. They are hot at the right time winning 8 straight and covering all 8 games in the process. Oregon could be another 12 vs 5 upset, that’s why this line is so low. They are the hotter team peaking at the right time and you can’t argue betting on them. They are the side to take. I look at the total, it’s set really low but that’s for a reason. This is going to be a defensive battle, lean Under.

(9) Washington vs (8) Utah State
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(14) Georgia State vs (3) Houston
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(12) Liberty vs (5) Mississippi State
This is one of those games that you definitely want to watch but I’m not so sure I’d be in a rush to bet. This is an interesting match up. Liberty comes in hot, winning 9 of their last 10 but only covering four in the process. Mississippi State is on a 7-3 ATS run coming into this game. I think you hear a lot of “Upset” talk with this 12 vs 5 match up, it’s possible but I don’t see it. I think MSU is the better team and sneaks in a back door cover to beat Liberty to advance.

(16) Iona vs (1) UNC
UNC is touted by many to maybe win the whole thing. Iona had a slow start to the season but heated up at the right time and won 10 in a row to get here. Way too many points too lay with UNC here, and keep in mind you’re paying a premium to bet these #1 seeds. Iona might get one more cover before they bow out of this one. The only scary thing is Iona’s non-conference schedule was very weak and they haven’t seen a team even close to this good.

(11 ) Ohio State vs (6) Iowa State
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(9) Central Florida vs (8) VCU
VCU shocked us all going out to Rhode Island in their conference tournament and UCF made an abrupt exit vs Memphis in their Tournament. Before betting this game keep your eye on Marcus Evans for VCU who is questionable. If the star guard doesn’t play or isn’t 100% VCU is in trouble here. Before even thinking of betting this game I’d wait to see his status. If he does play this game is a coin flip.

(13) Saint Louis vs (4) Virginia Tech
Saint Louis has been a scrappy dog to get here and like I tweeted they are just heating up at the right time. Virginia Tech is going to be a tough out for them tough. 10 is a big number to get and they’ve beaten some good teams to get here but is VA Tech just a league above them? I’m not sure this is a game I’m torn on. More viewing than betting pleasure for me on this one.

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