Breaking Down West’s First Round of March Madness BettingPosted by: Anthony Yaylor
With the March Madness betting tournament officially commencing this Tuesday, sportsbook players can begin to heat up NCAA basketball tournament line – something East Coast players could probably use right around now. With the first half of the First Four contests under wrap, bettors now have the complete bracket, or at least the East and West half of the bracket.
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Wednesday’s round of sportsbook action will bring with it the final two games of the First Four. Once concluded, the second half of the NCAA bracket will be complete. But since the East and West sides of the bracket are all filled out, there’s nothing stopping March Madness betting fans from filling out most of the bracket. Let’s take a look at the first round of contest from the West’s quarter of the bracket.
First Round – West
Gonzaga vs. South Dakota State – March 16 – 2:00 pm ET
In the history of the NCAA, 5 teams have started 29-0 (like the Zags did earlier this season), 4 of which have advanced to the Final Four. Furthermore, Gonzaga has only trailed three times in the second half all year. Needless to say, the NCAA basketball tournament lines will be ruling out South Dakota State.
Northwestern at Vanderbilt – March 16 – 4:30 pm ET
Northwestern has waited 78 years for a shot at an NCAA title, but since they lost 7 out of their last 12, it’s hard to imagine them making a deep push. Likewise, Vanderbilt has won 7 out of their last 9.
Notre Dame at Princeton – March 16 – 12:15 pm ET
In the last 7 years, the Ivy League has given sportsbook fans 5 March Madness upsets. With Princeton riding a 19-game win streak, it’s likely that number will extend to 6.
West Virginia vs. Bucknell – March 16 – 2:46 pm ET
The Mountaineers only suffered 8 losses this season, by an average of 4.4 points. In fact, it’s the first time since 1961 that West Virginia had no double-digit losses. Bucknell will eagerly try to put an end to that streak.
Maryland vs. Xavier – March 16 – 6:50 pm ET
Xavier lost their point guard, which gave way to 6 consecutive losses. However, they’ve turned things around recently, unlike Maryland who’s lost 4 out of their last 6.
Florida State vs. Florida Gulf Coast – March 16 – 9:20 pm ET
This will mark the second time in NCAA history that these two programs have faced each other, with the first being in 2014 in the NIT. Florida State came away with that one 58-53. We’ll have to see if things remain that competitive this time around.
Saint Mary’s vs. VCU – March 16 – 7:20 pm ET
Saint Mary is one of the few teams that can boast about using the same lineup all season long. The March Madness betting lines are predicting that they’ll be able to carry that moment into the second round of the Tournament.
Arizona vs. North Dakota – March 16 – 9:50 pm ET
The Wildcats have only lost four games, all of which were against top-ranked teams (Gonzaga, Butler, UCLA, and Oregon). Furthermore, Arizona has posted a 9-1 record since Allonzo Trier cracked the starting lineup.