2019 March Madness First Round Sure Winning Picks

2019 March Madness First Round Sure Winning Picks

With the start of the 2019 college basketball national championship set to get underway in just over 24 hours, now is a perfect time to offer up a trio of expert March Madness betting  predictions on three first round matchups that will all be going down on Thursday’s and Friday’s second day of NCAA Tournament action.

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Now, let’s find out who my top three ‘sure’ picks are for Thursday’s and Friday’s action.

2019 March Madness First Round Sure Winning Picks

Northeastern (23-10) vs. Kansas (25-9)

  • When: Thursday, March 21, 2019 at 4:00 PM ET
  • Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • 2019 March Madness Odds: Kansas -6.5 / Total: 143.5

Analysis: Northeastern might be in the Big Dance for just the second time since 1991-92 after upsetting top-seeded Hofstra 82-74 in the Colonial Athletic Association title game March 11, but the Huskies nearly blew a commanding 18-point first-half lead and they just don’t have the the size or talent to keep up with a Kansas team that is going to be very focused in this affair after failing to win the Big 12 for the first time in 15 years!

Each of Northeastern’s top four scorers stands 6’6” or shorter and I just don’t see the Huskies being able to contain Kansas’ Dedric Lawson (19.1 ppg) or big man Udoka Azubuike (13.4 ppg). Despite their recent struggles that have seen them drop three of their last eight games, Kansas still has a bunch of elite talent and a head coach that has few equals.

The Jayhawks are 5-1 in neutral-site games this season and 15-2 over the last two seasons. Kansas has also gone an encouraging 39-18-3 ATS in their last 60 games following a straight up loss and 5-2 ATS in their last seven neutral site games. While Northeastern has gone 6-0-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall, the Huskies are also a discouraging 0-2-2 ATS in their last four non-conference games. Kansas wins and covers the chalk with room to spare!

March Madness First Round Pick: Kansas 78 Northeastern 69

No. 7 Nevada (29-4) vs. No. 10 Florida (19-15)

  • When: Thursday, March 21, 2019 at 6:50 PM ET
  • Where: Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, Iowa
  • 2019 March Madness Odds: Nevada -1.5 / Total: 134

Analysis: Despite being a Top 5 preseason national championship favorite and returning almost the same roster that made a nice run to the Sweet 16 a year ago, seventh-seeded Nevada isn’t getting the respect I feel they deserve, but that’s okay…I’m expecting the Wolf Pack to take out their recent frustrations on No. 10 seed Florida on Thursday. I know Nevada lost three of their last eight games coming into March Madness, but it’s not like Florida is playing at a super high level, seeing as how the Gators have lost four of their last six games while getting held to 62 points or less in three of those losses.

While Florida has an elite defense, Nevada averages about 12 points per game more than the Gators and they are the only team in this matchup with more than one legitimate NBA prospect on their roster. Florida is just 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up loss while Nevada has gone 19-6-1 ATS in their last 26 games following a straight up loss. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I genuinely believe that Nevada is capable of reaching the Final Four and their tourney run starts win and ATS cover over Florida in this one.

March Madness First Round Pick: Nevada 77 Florida 72

No. 7 Wofford (29-4) vs. No. 10 Seton Hall (20-13)

  • When: Thursday, March 21, 2019 at 9:40 PM ET
  • Where: Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, Florida
  • 2019 March Madness Odds: Wofford -2.5 / Total: 144

Analysis: I know Seton Hall has recorded a pair of wins over Marquette and one over Villanova over their last five games, but the Pirates also fell to the Wildcats the last time out and have been wildly inconsistent in dropping four of their last eight games overall. Seton Hall also averages just 2.4 points per game more than they allow (71.5 ppg) and really, they’re not much more than mediocre at both ends of the floor.

Despite their ‘small school’ status as a Southern Conference program, seventh-seeded Wofford has been a revelation this season and enters March Madness riding the nation’s longest winning streak (20 games).

More importantly, Wofford has been outstanding at both ends of the floor in averaging a stupendous 83.0 points per game (12th) while limiting the opposition to just 65.6 points per contest defensively (40th). Three of the Terriers top four scorers all shoot at least 42.8% from beyond the arc and at least 84.4 percent from the free throw line while three players also shoot at least 51.1 percent from the field.

Seton hall is just 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games following a straight up loss while Wofford has gone 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS win, 5-0 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games and a near-perfect 11-1 ATS in their last 12 games following a straight up win. 54 percent of public bettors might like Seton hall to cover the chalk in this one, but I don’t.

March Madness First Round Pick: Wofford 78 Seton Hall 71

No. 10 Iowa (22-11) at No. 7 Cincinnati (28-6)

Analysis: Let’s see…10th-seeded Iowa has lost five of their last six games including an emphatic 74-53 blowout loss against Michigan in the Big Ten conference championship tournament last weekend.

“We’re disappointed from our performance (Friday). …,” Iowa senior Nicholas Baer said afterward. “But at the same time we’re proud of the season we’ve had. We’ve got 22 wins. . … this time of year, if you lose in the conference tournament, some teams, this is the end of their season. But for us, this is just the beginning.”

On the flip side of the coin, seventh-seeded Cincinnati is on a fantastic roll at just the right time, having won three straight games to claim the AAC conference championship while bagging eight wins in their last 10 games overall. The Bearcats knocked off nationally-ranked Houston 69-57 in Sunday’s championship game as AAC Player of the Year  Jarron Cumberland scored a game-high 33 points.

“Today showed us what we’re capable of when we defend and rebound at an elite level,” Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin told reporters after the win. “To hold Houston to 30.6 percent shooting is just an unbelievable job by the kids defensively.”

There’s a reason why a whopping 73 percent of college hoops bettors are backing Cincinnati in this contest and it’s because the Bearcats are far superior to the Hawkeyes at the defensive end of the floor and they’ll have the best player on the floor in this one as well.

Iowa has gone 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up loss, 1-7 ATS in their last 8 NCAA Tournament games and a pitiful 1-9 ATS in their last 10 games overall. Conversely, Cincinnati has gone 4-1 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 non-conference games. This opener might be the best first round lock on the board college basketball bettors!

March Madness First Round Pick: Cincinnati 75 Iowa 64

Oklahoma (19-13) at Mississippi (20-12)

  • When: Friday, March 22, 2019 at 12:40 PM ET
  • Where: Colonial Life Arena, Columbia, South Carolina
  • 2019 March Madness Odds: Mississippi -1 / Total: 142.5

Analysis: Oklahoma enters the national championship tournament looking like a wounded team that is just bound for a one-and-done exit in my opinion. The Sooners have lost two straight, three of five and six of their last 10 games overall, although they did put up a good fight against West Virginia in the Big 12 championship tournament the last time out.

“The parameters are that all 30 games count the same. It doesn’t matter whether they’re conference or non-conference,” Sooners coach Lon Kruger told reporters. “Our guys won a lot of ballgames, but we’d have liked to win a couple more.”

While Mississippi has lost four of five coming into March Madness, the Rebels are the more explosive offensive team in this matchup and they’ll have the best two player on the floor in junior point guard Breein Taylor (18.1 ppg) and senior shooting guard Terence Davis (15.1 ppg).

“(Kermit’s) a great coach. He knows the game, he’s well-respected,” Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork said when he found out the program had snapped a four-year stretch of failing to reach the NCAA Tournament.

On paper, this looks like it could be a close contest, but really, Ole Miss is the better and more confident team coming into this matchup and the low spread is why 64 percent of college hoops bettors are backing them to win and cash in!

While Oklahoma has gone 4-9 ATS in their last 13 neutral site games and just 3-9 ATS in their last 12 NCAA Tournament games, Mississippi has gone 13-3 ATS in their last 16 non-conference games and a bankroll-boosting 24-9 ATS in their last 33 games overall. Ole Miss wins a tightly contested affair.

March Madness First Round Pick: Mississippi 76 Oklahoma 70

No. 11 Ohio State (19-14) vs No. 6 Iowa State (23-11)

Analysis: Let me get started with my pick on this matchup by saying that there is definitely a reason why a massive, 73 percent of public bettors are backing Iowa State to win and cover the chalk in this opening round affair. Ohio State enters March Madness completely reeling, having lost four of five and seven of their last 10 games overall including a 77-70 loss to Michigan State the last time out.

On the flip side of the coin, Iowa State is feeling pretty good after winning three straight to claim the Big 12 conference championship including a statement-making 78-66 smackdown of Kansas in the title game last weekend. I know the Cyclones dropped five of their previous seven games, but the Cyclones are the far better offensive team in this matchup and almost as good as the Sooners statistically speaking on defense.

The Buckeyes are just 1-4 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games, a winless 0-8 ATS in their last 8 NCAA Tournament games and dismal 0-6-1 ATS in their last seven games against teams from the Big 12. Meanwhile, Iowa State has gone 5-1 ATS in their last 6 neutral site games and 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 non-conference games. Iowa State has four double-digit scorers to Oklahoma’s two and really, the Sooners just don’t have enough offensive firepower to keep up with the Cyclones.

March Madness First Round Pick: Iowa State 77 Oklahoma 68


2019 March Madness Expert Betting News

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