StatsGuru | Tue 13/03/2018 - 14:41 EDT

2018 March Madness First Four Odds, Predictions

2018 March Madness First Four Odds, Predictions
Welcome to the Madness! On a journey to the NCAAB National Championship, in San Antonio, Texas, on April 2, 2018, our first stop lands us in Dayton, Ohio. The "First Four" contests set March Madness into motion as an eight-pack of schools battle for the final four spots in the Round of 64. University of Dayton Arena hosts all four matches on March 13 and 14, 2018. We're ready to rumble.

March Madness First Four Odds

Adopted in 2011, the First Four added extra spice to an already white-hot sporting event. To open the tournament, eight at-large teams battle with the winners joining the 60 schools already seeded to fill out the field of 64 squads. The NCAAB Committee decides who plays on the first Tuesday of the tournament and the teams know in advance which seed they will be if they score a victory.

Results / FixturesNCAAB

Over the first seven years, of the current March Madness format, squads that won in the First Four round have had various degrees of success. Teams that won as a 16th seed have had zero luck as those 14 squads, plus four eleven seeds, two #12’s, and one #14 were bounced in the Round of 64. That is 21 of 28 First Four winners falling in their first match once they reached the full field.

Seven teams have had better luck as Wichita State, Dayton, USC and South Florida all advanced to the Round of 32. Tennessee and La Salle made it one step further as they advanced to the Sweet 16 round. Virginia Commonwealth University enjoyed more success than any other First Four squad as the Rams made it to the Final Four in 2011. Let’s look at the matchups that kick off the Madness. 

LIU-Brooklyn Blackbirds vs Radford Seahawks Selection

March Madness tips off with LIU-Brooklyn vs Radford at 6:40 PM ET on 13/03/18 at U of Dayton Arena in Ohio. The Long Island Blackbirds (18-16) had a rough start as they opened with a 6-11 record prior to finishing strong with a 12-5 run. LIU-Brooklyn then shocked Wagner 71-61 as +9 (-110) pups to win the Northeast Conference Championship and earn their March Madness berth. 

Radford University (22-12) opened their campaign with a 5-6 record before cranking things up and finishing on a 17-6 roll. Highlanders guard Carlik Jones drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer to beat Liberty 55-52 in the Big South Conference Championship. LIU-Brooklyn are making their seventh MM appearance over 76 seasons while Radford is at the Dance for the third time in 34 years.

Final Score: Radford Highlanders 71-61

Soar With The LIU Blackbirds ATS Points LIUB +6 (-149)

St. Bonaventure Bonnies vs UCLA Bruins Prediction

As the back half of March Madness Opening Night action, UCLA battles St. Bonaventure 9:10 PM ET. Long removed from their glory days – the Bruins are in the field for the 49th time. UCLA (21-11) was strong early, jumping out to a 13-4 start but went 8-7 down the stretch and lost 78-67 to #15 Arizona in the PAC 12 Championship match. The Bonnies are not the Desert Wildcats though.

Despite crashing in the Atlantic 10 Conference Final, 82-70 to Davidson, St. Bonaventure (25-7) makes the First Four after closing the regular season with 13 straights wins. The Bonnies posted their signature victory on 16/02/18 as they took down #16 Rhode Island 77-74 at the Riley Center. Both teams can score in bunches and this projects as the most entertaining Opening Round match.

Final Score: St. Bonaventure Bonnies 65-58 UNDER

Expecting Some Fireworks - Take The OVER OV 155 (-120)

North Carolina Central Eagles vs Texas Southern Tigers

North Carolina Central and Texas Southern open a 14/03/18 double dip at 6:40 PM ET. The Eagles (19-15) soared at different levels this season – losing three straight thrice while posting six and five game winning runs. NC Central defeated Hampton 71-63, in front of a partisan Pirates crowd, to win Mid-Eastern Athletic Association title. NCC lost 67-63 to UC Davis in the 2017 First Four.

Staging a remarkable comeback, Texas Southern recovered from an 0-13 season start to finish with a 15-19 overall record. The Tigers then claimed a second straight Southwestern Athletic Conference Championship with an 84-69 route of Arkansas-Pine Bluff. TSU is in their eight MM tourney but they were blasted 103-64 in the Round of 64 by the tournament winner North Carolina last year.

Final Score: Texas Southern Tigers 64-46 

Lay The Line And Prowl With The Tigers -2.5 (-161) ATS

Arizona State Sun Devils vs Syracuse Orange ATS Pick

Deciding the final squad in the full field of 64, Arizona State squares off with Syracuse at 9:10 PM ET on Wednesday. Hotter than the desert in July, Arizona State (20-11) opened their season on a 12-0 run prior to closing their campaign on a 8-11 slide. Terrible in the Pac 12 tournament, wins over power squads Kansas and Xavier helped the Sun Devils claim the second last at-large bid.

Syracuse received  the 44th and final bid as the Orange also melted down late. Sprinting out to a 12-2 start, Syracuse (20-13) closed their season on a 8-11 skid that included a second round exit from the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament during a 78-59 loss to North Carolina. Arizona State is playing in their 15th tourney. Syracuse, 2003 Champs, are at The Dance for the 40th time.

Final Score: Syracuse Orange 60-56

Back Arizona State On The Money Line  Sun Devils (-125)

NCAAB March Madness History: First Four Games

As discussed above, the First Four Round was introduced in 2011. With the round they reached in brackets, here is the history of the March Madness tournament tipoff contests. As illustrated in the “BY” column, blowouts are common during the First Four as 12 of the initial 28 matches were won by double digits. Bettors beware when backing underdogs in the March Madness opening round.

2017
Region Winner W L BY

Runner-Up

East #16 Mount St. Mary’s 67 66 1

New Orleans

South #11 Kansas State 95 88 7

Wake Forest

Midwest #16 UC Davis 67 63 4

North Carolina Central

East #11 USC (32) 75 71 4

Providence

2016
Region Winner W L BY

Runner-Up

South #11 Wichita State (32) 70 50 20

Vanderbilt

East #16 Florida Gulf Coast 96 65 31

Fairleigh Dickinson

East #11 Michigan 67 62 5

Tulsa

West #16 Holy Cross 59 55 4

Southern

2015
Region Winner W L BY

Runner-Up

West #11 Mississippi 94 90 4

BYU

Midwest #16 Hampton 74 64 10

Manhattan

East #11 Dayton (32) 56 55 1

Boise State

South #16 Robert Morris 81 77 4

North Florida

2014
Region Winner W L BY

Runner-Up

Midwest #12 NC State 74 59 15

Xavier

South #16 Albany 71 64 7

Mount St. Mary’s

Midwest #11 Tennessee (16) 78 65 13

Iowa (OTL)

Midwest #16 Cal Poly SLO 81 69 12

Texas Southern

2013
Region Winner W L BY

Runner-Up

Midwest #11 Saint Mary’s 67 54 13

Middle Tennessee

Midwest #16 North Carolina A&T 73 72 1

Liberty

West #13 La Salle (16) 80 71 9

Boise State

East #16 James Madison 68 55 13

Long Island

2012
Region Winner W L BY

Runner-Up

South #16 Western Kentucky 59 58 1

Mississippi Valley State

West #14 BYU 78 72 6

Iona

Midwest #16 Vermont 71 59 12

Lamar

Midwest #12 South Florida (32) 65 54 11

California

2011
Region Winner W L BY

Runner-Up

East #12 Clemson 70 52 18

UAB

Southeast #16 UNC-Asheville (OT) 81 77 4

Arkansas-Little Rock

East #16 UTSA 70 61 9

Alabama State

Southwest #11 VCU (F4) 59 46 13

USC

Madness Is Creeping Into The NHL And NBA As Well

Although Hoops Madness is sweeping across North America, the NCAAB National Championship chase is far from the only game in town. Online bookmakers are also packing their betting boards with NHL and NBA options as well. Both leagues are getting down to brass tacks as there are four weeks left on the National Hockey League regular season slate and while the National Basketball Association has five weeks left on their grid. NBA and NHL Championship futures betting are hot tickets and races to capture the Larry O’Brien and Stanley Cup trophies are going to be fantastic.

Once the MM First Four tip off – we will be just 16 sleeps away from a new Major League Baseball season. Packed with watching and wagering excitement, though puzzling why it was 50 years in the making, all 30 MLB clubs hit the diamonds on Opening Day for the first time since 1968. Not to be pushed out of the Big Four picture, the new NFL season begins March 14. That is the start of free agent madness, which precedes the NFL Draft (April 26 to 28) at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. These CSB top ranked sportsbooks welcome Canuck ‘Cappers during every sports season.

Category : Picks and Parlays

Tag : college basketball , march madness , NCAAB

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