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March Madness Betting Preview: Third of the First Four

March Madness Betting Preview: Third of the First Four

Posted by: Charlie Smith

With Tuesday’s March Madness betting action officially under wrap, sportsbook players can now turn their attention to the second round of the First Four matchups. Once these contests have concluded, we’ll be in the full swing of March Madness. But until then, bettors can take a deep breath, relax, and place a college basketball best bet on Wednesday’s matchups in order to get a feel for this year’s NCAA Tournament.


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Tuesday’s round of First Four action featured Mount St. Mary’s holding of New Orleans in one of the most competitive matchups we’ve seen all season. The final score read 67-66 in the Mountaineer favor, and proved to bettors that they can anticipate heated contests all tournament long.

The second match of the night wasn’t as thrilling and featured Kansas State sliding past Wake Forest 95-88. Now that we’ve gotten those two matchups out of the way, players can turn their attention to Wednesday’s action.

Wednesday brings with it the final matchups of the First Four contests. First up is a heated contest between NC Central and UC Davis, which will promptly be followed by a matchup between USC and Providence. Let’s break down the first of these contests, and check in on the NCAA basketball tournament lines to see what the bookies have to say about this pairing.

NC Central vs. UC Davis – Wednesday, March 15th

When: 6:40 pm ET

Where: UD Arena, Dayton, Ohio

TV: truTV

NCAA Basketball Tournament Line:

NC Central Eagles -3 ½ (-110)         132 ½ (-110)   -170

UC Davis Aggies +3 ½ (-110)           132 ½ (-110)   +150

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NC Central Eagles

Coming off a 13-19 losing season, the Eagles had their eyes set on one goal; making the NCAA Tournament. Now the only thing standing in the way of 25-8 NC Central are the Aggies, but the sportsbooks think the Eagles will be able to overcome UC Davis.

In addition to their stellar record, North Carolina Central posted a near flawless MEAC record of 13-3 that was good enough to rank them 1st in the conference. Furthermore, in the MEAC Tournament, the Eagles were able to advance to the championship round where they overcame Norfolk State 67-59 to earn bragging rights in the MEAC.

Wednesday night, the March Madness betting favorites will turn to Patrick Cole to lead them against the Aggies. Cole is currently averaging 19.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 5.7 assists per game. Second in points for NC Central is Dajuan Graf who is netting 14.3 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 5.2 assists per contest.

UC Davis Aggies

Like the Eagles, the Aggies were coming off a disappointing season; albeit, one that was 11-19. However, UC Davis delivered a prompt turnaround and posted a 22-12 record this year.. In addition, the Aggies went 11-5 in the Big West, earning them a No. 2 spot in the conference. Like the Eagles, who won their conference’s tournament, the Aggies found success in the Big West tournament, winning the championship game 50-47 against UC Irvine.

The NCAA basketball tournament lines are siding against UC Davis, but the Aggies are hopeful that Brynton Lemar can lead them to an upset victory. Lemar is putting up 16.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per contest. Second in points for UC Davis is Chima Moneke who is draining 14.4 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 0.8 assists per matchup.

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