NCAA Basketball First Four Spread Predictions for 2018
Odds are courtesy of Bodog.eu.
Arizona State Sun Devils (-125) vs. Syracuse Orange (+105)
Bobby Hurley’s Arizona State Sun Devils enter March Madness with a couple notable victories during the 2017 season. The Sun Devils defeated Kansas on the road and also took down Xavier — two wins that got them to the big dance. Now, Arizona State will face the Syracuse Orange in the First Four round of the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament on Wednesday night. The Sun Devils, who enter the contest as -125 favourites, finished with a 20-11 record in the Pac-12 Division but wrapped up the regular season with back-to-back defeats. Syracuse were the last team added to the tournament by the March Madness committee after the club finished with a 23-9 overall record. You can make the case that the Orange — once considered to be a basketball powerhouse — plays in a tougher conference and are more battle tested. Oddsmakers also have Syracuse as the +1.5 underdogs, a line bettors should take as the Orange will prevail and advance to the next round.
Texas Southern (-225) vs, NC Central (+185)
A powerhouse program in the SWAC division, the Texas Southern Tigers are heading into March Madness on a high note. In mid-January, the Tigers slipped to 3-15 on the season, which seemed to be anything but a write off. That is when the club turned it around, going on to win 12 of their next 16 games and getting into the NCAA tournament. Texas Southern, which is a -225 favourite to defeat NC Central in Thursday evenings First Four matchup, may have finished with a 15-19 overall record, but bettors will want to focus in on the club’s 10-4 mark against the spread. The Tigers are favoured by a 5-point spread as the club looks to win just their second NCAA Tournament game in program history. The Eagles finished the season at 19-15 overall and had a ATS record of 11-4. This will be a tight game but take the Tigers to come out on top in the end.
Radford Highlanders (-210) vs. LIU-Brooklyn Blackbirds (+175)
The Highlanders are red-hot heading into Tuesday night’s First Four matchup against the LIU Blackbirds. Radford has posted wins in seven straight games, while also holding opponents to under 53.6 points during that impressive run. The Highlanders are -210 favourites straight up, but bettors will be intrigued with the point spread line of -4.5 for Radford. While there is no arguing how strong the Highlanders have been down the stretch, the club hasn’t necessarily been great against the spread. The Highlanders are 7-8 ATS on the season and 5-4 in their last nine contests heading into Tuesday matchup. The Blackbirds have been equally bad ATS, going 10-13-1 on the season and 3-4 in their last seven games. Radford holds a 5-0 record as a favourite and look for the club to keep that streak alive on Tuesday.
UCLA Bruins (-175) vs. St. Bonaventure Bonnies (+155)
It’s rather odd to see UCLA — a basketball program with such a storied history — in a First Four play-in match to begin with. However, the Bruins still head into Tuesday’s contest as -175 favourites against the St. Bonaventure Bonnies. UCLA, which has won 11 NCAA basketball championships, finished with a 21-11 record overall this season. The Bruins are also 4-pointn favourites heading into Tuesday night’s contest, but the club hasn’t been all that impressive against the spread this season. With a 15-16-1 record ATS, bettors will shy away from taking the Bruins on the spread. Can the Bonnies pull off the upset against the Bruins, who have more NCAA tournament experience? The fact that the club is 13-1 straight up in its last 14 games can’t be ignored, but experience will once again prevail. Take the Bruins to defeat the Bonnies and cover the spread at the same time.
Pick: UCLA Bruins (-175, -4)
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