2017 March Madness Betting Predictions

Posted by Eric Williams on Wednesday,February 22, 2017 3:09, EDT in

Okay, college basketball betting buffs, with the 2017 NCAA March Madness championship tournament quickly approaching, college basketball betting lines enthusiasts everywhere are looking to gather as much expert betting information as possible.

With that said, I’m going to offer up my picks for the Final Four, Elite Eight and the handful of possible first round upsets that might take place. Now, let’s get started with a look at the March Madness Tournament dates, followed by my first round upset picks.

Analyzing The 2017 March Madness Betting Predictions

2017 NCAA Tournament

First Four
Dayton (March 14-15)

First and Second Rounds
Buffalo, Milwaukee, Orlando, Salt Lake City (March 16, 18)
Greenville, Indianapolis, Tulsa, Sacramento (March 17, 19)

Regionals
Kansas City, San Jose (March 23, 25)
Memphis, New York (March 24, 26)

Final Four
Phoenix (April 1, 3)

 

 

First Round Upset Picks

No. 10 Kansas State over No. 7 Northwestern

Northwestern may be 20-8 right now while K-State is a more modest 17-10, but make no mistake about it, K-State could very well pull off the upset over Northwestern in a battle of Wildcats.

While Northwestern is ranked a phenomenal 37th in points allowed (64.8 ppg) K-State ranks a stellar 58th nationally in points allowed (67.1 ppg) and is the more efficient offensive team with four double digit scorers to Northwestern’s three.

No. 10 Michigan State over No. 7 USC

The Spartans have uncharacteristically struggled this season and owns a modest 16-11 record at the time of this writing while USC has compiled an impressive 21-6 mark, but the fact of the matter is that the Spartans have the better defense (68.9 ppg) and a head coach that knows how to win games once March Madness rolls around.

No. 9 VCU over No. 8 Virginia Tech

VCU (22-5) might not play in the powerful ACC like Virginia Tech (19-8), but the Rams have the far better defense in allowing almost seven fewer points per game than Virginia Tech while averaging just two fewer points per game offensively. If these to meet in the first round, I smell an upset.

Elite Eight

Villanova vs. Arizona

I’ll keep it simple by saying that Villanova’s (26-2) defense – and on-court mental superiority – will beat back Arizona’s (25-3) athleticism to advance to the Final Four. Villanova has the better statistical offense and defense – and the only Player of the Year candidate in this matchup in shooting guard Josh Hart (18.8 ppg).

Duke vs. Oregon

Oregon (24-4) beat the hell out of Duke (22-5) 82-68 in last year’s Sweet Sixteen matchup, prompting Coach K, to go all bonkers on Oregon star Dillon Brooks, so this is a matchup that everyone would love. This time around, however, I like the Blue Devils to extract some revenge as Brooks has struggled to regain his form this season. Duke has the slightly better offense and deeper bench this year and are my pick to advance to the Final Four if they do indeed meet the Ducks this March Madness.

Kansas vs. Florida State

Kansas (24-3) has the higher national ranking and slightly better record, not to mention the fact that the Jayhawks rank 18th in scoring nationally.

However, Florida State (22-6) has the slightly better offense (16th) and defense in this hypothetical matchup. More importantly, the Seminoles are a bit more athletic and certainly more battle-tested playing in the powerful ACC. I like the Noles for the stunning upset to reach the Final Four.

North Carolina vs. UCLA

UCLA (24-3) has the higher national ranking and the most potent offense in all of college basketball (92.3 ppg), but North Carolina (23-5) has an explosive offense too that ranks sixth nationally (86.9 ppg) and the better defense. UCL will have the edge in the backcourt, but I like Carolina’s quartet of big men to do their share of damage down low to get the ‘upset’ win to advance to the Final Four for the second straight year.

Final Four

Villanova vs. North Carolina

The Wildcats and Tar Heels met in last season’s national championship and I can easily see them meeting again this season – although I think we’re looking at an identical outcome as Villanova gets the narrow win because of their headier backcourt play and ability to ‘outsmart’ teams late in tight ballgames.

Florida State vs. Duke

In my other Final Four pairing, I’m going with Florida State to hand Duke their second beat down of the year after pounding the Blue devils 88-66 earlier this season. Florida State uses their superior athleticism – and hatred of polarizing Blue Devils’ guard Grayson Allen to get the ‘W’.

National Championship

Villanova vs. Florida State