Expert 2018 March Madness Betting Preview: First Round

Expert 2018 March Madness Betting Preview First Round

Written by on March 13, 2018

Today is the day when the March Madness Betting action finally gets underway, although it’s just a pair of First Four games that we have on tap for Tuesday and Wednesday. The first-round proper gets started on Thursday, which is when the betting options go into overdrive. It is going to be a frantic 1st round filled to brimming with drama, buzzer beaters, and potentially a few upsets. We are going to use this space to preview the opening round, and while we can’t possibly cover every single game, we will tell you which teams seem like obvious NCAA Basketball betting picks, as well as where the upsets might like. Let’s break down the 1st round by region.

Expert 2018 March Madness Betting Preview: First Round

  • Season: 2017–18
  • Begins: March 13th
  • Ends: April 2nd
  • Teams: 68
  • TV: CBS, TBS, TNT
  • Live Streaming: MM Live
  • Finals Venue: Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas

Should Duke Be Your Betting Pick to Win the Title?

Region by Region

South

I think it’s fair to suggest that the #1 and #2 seeds are going to be safe in this region, which means that Virginia and Cincinnati will be moving on. Keep in mind that a #1 has not lost to a #16 in the history of the tournament, so you may want to consider playing a parlay with all the #1 seeds and a couple of other teams at a better price. Arizona is another team to keep an eye out for in the South region, while an upset pick here might well be the Texas Longhorns over Nevada. Also, consider playing Loyola-Chicago as a longshot pick in the 1st round.

West

Xavier and North Carolina, who just happen to be the defending champions, are the #1 and #2 seeds in here, so look for them to move on without too much fuss. Michigan finished the season strong and should move on to Round 2, as should Ohio State. This is where things start to get a little trickier, as there are some potential upsets on tap here. Missouri, who is in as the #8 seed looks like a good pick, but I think the team to keep an eye on in the opening round is Providence, who go against the Texas A&M Aggies. Potential upset on the cards there.

East

Villanova is in as the #1 seed and is a legitimate threat to win it all, not just get past the first round. Purdue struggled a little coming down the stretch but should still be fine as the #2 seed. As far as potential upsets go, Arkansas might well be in trouble against #10 Butler, while #4 Wichita State are going to have their hands full with Marshall. Villanova is one of the 2018 March Madness Betting favorites to win it all. Texas Tech, Florida, and West Virginia all look like solid bets to move on to the next round, with the Mountaineers, in particular, a team that could do some real damage in this region.

Midwest

Let’s stick with the format of automatically picking the #1 and #2 seeds, which mean that Kansas and Duke will be moving on. Auburn and Michigan State also look like a lock here, but I know that what we are all looking for are those one or two upset specials that can turn a bland parlay ticket into something a little special. The March Madness betting pick that I like here is the New Mexico State Aggies over the Clemson Tigers. Trae Young and Oklahoma may also be able to come up with something special against the Rhode Island Rams, so watch out for that one.

Last 20 NCAA Basketball Champions

  • 2017: North Carolina
  • 2016: Villanova
  • 2015: Duke
  • 2014: Connecticut
  • 2013: Louisville
  • 2012: Kentucky
  • 2011: Connecticut
  • 2010: Duke
  • 2009: North Carolina
  • 2008: Kansas
  • 2007: Florida
  • 2006: Florida
  • 2005: North Carolina
  • 2004: Connecticut
  • 2003: Syracuse
  • 2002: Maryland
  • 2001: Duke
  • 2000: Michigan State
  • 1999: Connecticut
  • 1998: Kentucky