First Four March Madness Odds: Will Virginia Justify NCAA Tournament Committee’s Decision?

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Written By Eli Hershkovich | Last Updated
First Four Picks

Rejoice! March Madness odds are officially underway tonight, and you have the opportunity to make First Four picks. Howard tips off the action as a spread favorite versus Wagner — in a battle of No. 16 seeds. Then, No. 10 seeds play one another for the first time in the history of First Four odds, with Colorado State favored by against Virginia.

Just click on any of the odds to place a bet. You can track your picks with our free printable bracket and opening first-round odds.

howard bison vs. wagner seahawks

This game could feature one potential absentee among notable March Madness injuries. Bison backup forward Shy Odom has missed 16 of the last 21 games, including the MEAC tournament, with a lingering back injury. Nevertheless, the Seahawks only possess seven healthy scholarship players in uniform for the last two-thirds of the season, making their NCAA bid quite commendable.

My raw numbers make this line closer to Howard -3.5. Conversely, our partner Haslametrics forecasts a final score of 65.6-64.1, favoring Howard’s Final Four moneyline odds but Wagner on the point spread.

Related: March Madness Bracket Picks, Upset Predictions

Colorado State rams vs. Virginia cavaliers

Thanks to bid stealers like North Carolina State and Oregon, winning their respective conference tournaments, there is a quartet of No. 10 seeds in Dayton, Ohio. Although the Rams were on thin ice to make the NCAA tournament, the Wahoos showcased the most questionable resume among bubble teams.

Unsurprisingly, Virginia also owns the third-worst rating in Haslametrics’ Paper Tiger Factor (PTF), accounting for which schools perform better against weaker opponents. Moreover, nearly 40% of its wins came by two possessions or less. Generally speaking, these outcomes are coin-flip results, meaning the Cavaliers have received their fair share of record luck.

However, the market has certainly accounted for that. My raw numbers have this one lined near a pick’em. Haslametrics’ projection is set at 60.4-59.3, also marginally favoring the Rams.

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Where Can You Bet On College Basketball Player Props?

Regarding wagering on March Madness, most legal betting jurisdictions allow wagering on college sports. With that being said, some states ban wagering on collegiate player props.

Other states have bans on wagering on in-state schools or collegiate events. For example, New Jersey doesn’t allow betting on NCAA teams located in the state. Always check your state’s regulations before placing a wager.

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