Lock Winning Picks for the First Round of 2018 March Madness

Locked Winning Picks for the First Round of 2018 March Madness

Written by on March 13, 2018

With the first round of the 2018 March Madness getting underway in just over 48 hours, college basketball betting enthusiasts everywhere are looking for the best advice and expert picks they can find. Well, look no further! I’ve got a trio of outstanding first round picks that are all offering the value you’re looking for. With the start of the Big Dance quickly approaching, let’s get down to business.

Locked Winning Picks for the First Round of 2018 March Madness

No. 2 Purdue (28-6) vs. No. 15 Cal State Fullerton (20-11)

  • When: Friday, March 16, 2018, 12:40 PM ET
  • Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan
  • TV: TruTV
  • Live Stream: MM Live
  • 2018 March Madness Odds: Purdue -20.5 (Total 145.5)
No. 2 Purdue may have gotten upset by Michigan in the Big Ten conference tournament last weekend to see their five-game winning streak come to an abrupt halt, but the Boilermakers have the look of a possible Final Four participant if you ask me. Purdue is elite at both ends of the floor in ranking 35th nationally in scoring (81.1 ppg) and 26th nationally in points allowed (65.6 ppg). No. 15 Cal State Fullerton won three straight to claim the Big West Conference tourney in a surprise after finishing fourth in the conference during the regular season. The Titans have won five of their last six games overall, but in this contest, they’re really overmatched at both ends of the floor. Case in point, Cal State Fullerton played two ranked teams during the season and lost both emphatically by falling to USC 84-42 in their regular season opener and then losing to Saint Mary’s 76-57 in its next contest. Still, I think the Titans have just enough in them to cover the big, 20-point spread in this one. The Titans have two excellent scorers in Kyle Allman (19.4 ppg) and Khalil Ahmad (15.3 ppg) and I believe they’ll find a way to keep the final score at least respectable against Purdue stars, Carsen Edwards (18.5 ppg) and the unrelated Vincent Edwards (14.5 ppg). Cal State has gone 4-0 ATS in their last 4 non-conference games, 5-1 ATS in their last six games overall and 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 neutral site games. Pick: Cal State Fullerton +20

No. 4 Wichita State (25-7) vs. No. 13 Marshall (24-10)

  • When: Friday, March 16, 2018, 1:30 PM ET
  • Where: Viejas Arena, San Diego, California
  • TV: TNT
  • Live Stream: MM Live
  • 2018 March Madness Odds: Wichita State -11.5 (Total 166.5)
Fourth-seeded Wichita State has dropped two of three including their 77-74 loss to Houston in the AAC Tournament semifinals this past Saturday, but I like the Shockers heading into the NCAA Tournament. Offensively, Wichita State averages a healthy 83.0 points per game to rank 20t nationally. Defensively, the Shockers are solid in limiting the opposition to 71.3 points per contest (152nd). 13th-seeded Marshall enters the NCAA Tournament having won four straight including their 67-66 upset over Western Kentucky in the Conference USA championship on Saturday. Marshall can certainly score the ball as they averaged a stellar 84.3 points per game to rank an eye-opening 12th-nationally, but the Thundering Herd also gave up a whopping 78.8 points per contest defensively to finish 321st in points allowed. For me, Marshall’s lack of defense will be the difference in this contest against a Wichita State team that has a ton of depth with four double-digit scorers and four more players that average between 5.3 and 8.5 points per game. I expect Shockers sophomore guard Landry Shamet, (15.0 ppg) to be the best player on the floor in this contest with senior forward Shaquille Morris (14.0 ppg) just behind him. Marshall is not a safe bet for 2018 March Madness. Marshall has gone 6-1 ATS in their last seven neutral site games and 10-4 ATS in their last 14 games against a team with a winning record, but I like a focused Wichita State team to get the win by a dozen points to improve on their 4-1 ATS mark in their last five games against teams from Conference USA. Pick: Wichita State -11.5

No. 5 West Virginia (24-10) vs. No. 12 Murray State (26-5)

  • When: Friday, March 16, 2018, 4:00 PM ET
  • Where: Viejas Arena, San Diego, California
  • TV: TNT
  • Live Stream: MM Live
  • 2018 March Madness Odds: West Virginia -10 (Total 145.5)
No. 5 West Virginia has lost two of their last four games including their 81-70 loss to Kansas in the Big 12 Tournament on Saturday. The Mountaineers look like they could have their hands full against a No. 12 seed Murray State squad that has won a whopping 13 straight games coming into the NCAA Tournament. West Virginia averages 79.6 points per game () while allowing 69.0 points per game defensively (92nd), but Murray State has put up nearly identical numbers in averaging 78.9 points per game (59th) and limiting the opposition to just 65.5 points per contest defensively (25th). The biggest difference in this matchup though will be the caliber of opponents each team plays. While Murray State has beaten up on the likes of Belmont, Austin Peay and Jacksonville State in the mid-major, Ohio Valley Conference, West Virginia plays much stiffer competition in facing Big 12 conference rivals like Kansas, Texas Tech, K-State, and TCU. West Virginia’s pressure defense forces an impressive 16.5 turnovers per game and they’ve got a great two-way play in star Jevin carter that I expect to shut down Murray State’s leading scorer Jonathan Stark (21.8 ppg), much like he’s done to several high-scoring opponents this season. Carter was an All-Big 12 first-team selection and won the league’s Defensive Player of the Year honors for the second straight time. He’ll lead the Mountaineers to the win and super narrow cover in this one. Pick: West Virginia -10