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NCAA First Four – Tuesday, March 14th Odds and gambling preview

Taking A Sportsbook Look at the First Four

Posted by: Charlie Smith

The official start of the March Madness betting tournament is less than 24 hours away as the teams competing in the First Four games are set to take center stage in order to earn one of the final seeds left ahead of this year’s NCAA Championship. March Madness marks one of the busiest times for sportsbook players, as the tournament offers more betting opportunities than one can care to count. As with most other betting lines, getting to know the favorites and underdogs is crucial to turning over a profit. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the First Four games of this year’s tournament, to find out which teams have the highest probability of snagging up one of the final highly-contested tournament seeds.


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In recent years, there has been some confusion amongst those who bet on college basketball regarding the difference between the opening round, first round, and First Four games. Historically, the first round referred to the first contests between the 64 schools who had qualified for the tournament.

But since the NCAA expanded the format in 2011 to introduce more games into the tournament, the media began referring to these amended games as the ‘First Four’ and ‘First round of games’ interchangeably. This caused some confusion as ‘First round of games’ had always specifically referred to the first contests between the 64 seeds.

In 2016, the NCAA decided to do away with all the sportsbook confusion by officially calling the opening round of games, the ones to determine who will get the final seeds in the tournament, the First Four. Additionally, the first contests between the 64 qualifiers will be referred to as the ‘First Round’.

This year’s First Four will feature 8 teams competing for one final shot at a bid in the March Madness betting tournament. Let’s take a look at the last of the potential qualifiers.

NCAA First Four – Tuesday, March 14th

Mt. Saint Mary’s vs. New Orleans

When: 6:40 pm ET

Where: UD Arena, Dayton Ohio

TV: truTV

Sportsbook Betting Line:

Mt. Saint Mary’s +1½ (-110)  –           +103

New Orleans U -1½ (-110)     –           -123

Kansas State vs. Wake Forest

When: 9:10 pm ET

Where: UD Arena, Dayton Ohio

TV: truTV

College Basketball Betting Line:

Kansas State +1 (-110)           –           -102

Wake Forest    -1 (-110)          –           -118

NCAA First Four – Wednesday, March 15th

NC Central vs. UC Davis

When: 6:40 pm ET

Where: UD Arena, Dayton Ohio

TV: truTV

Sportsbook Betting Line:

NC Central -3 (-110)   –           -155

UC Davis +3 (-110)    –           +135

Providence vs. USC

When: 9:10 pm ET

Where: UD Arena, Dayton Ohio

TV: truTV

March Madness Betting Line

USC -1 (-110) –           -118

Providence +1 (-110)  –           -102

 

These 8 teams will take to the court to officially herald the start of this year’s March Madness. Once the First Four games have concluded, the First Round of games will officially commence on Thursday. Notre Dame and Princeton will be the first two teams to take center stage this Thursday.

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