Is there such a thing as too much college basketball to bet on?
We think the answer to that question is no, but Friday is a great day to put it to the test. In addition to being the second day of the men’s NCAA tournament, the first round of the women’s NCAA tournament also begins. That means there are 32 NCAA Tournament games to bet on.
We’ll start with the men’s tournament, where the underdogs went 8-8 against the spread on Thursday. USC and Michigan State kick things off and the Spartans are 1.5 point favorites. We’ll be rooting for MSU after a strong Big Ten showing on Thursday.
Xavier is a 12.5-point favorite over Kennesaw State in a matchup of #3 vs. #14 in the Midwest. We’ll take Kennesaw to get the cover, though Xavier should win outright. This game starts right before another No. 3 vs. No. 14. Baylor is a 10.5-point favorite over UC Santa Barbara. We’ll take the Bears to win this one despite their slow start to the season, but UCSB should get the coverage.
Saint Mary’s is only a 4.5-point favorite over VCU, and the total in this game is just 122.5. Let’s get weird and go with the floor there.
Vermont is a 10.5-point underdog against Marquette, and we’ll take the Golden Eagles as we root for them to reach the Final Four. Pitt is a 4.5-point underdog against Iowa State after beating Mississippi State in the play-in game. Iowa State drops often against non-conference opponents, so we’re going under 131.5.
Creighton is a 5.5-point favorite against NC State, and we’ll take the Blue Jays. There wasn’t much of a difference in quality between the Big East and the ACC this year. UConn is a 9.5-point favorite over Iona in what could be Rick Pitino’s final game with the Gaels. We’ll go with Jonah to cover that.
Kentucky starts the night session as a 4.5-point favorite over Providence. We’re banking on Britain’s talent in this case. We want Drake to win outright as a 1.5-point underdog against Miami, and Gonzaga should get a lot of points against Grand Canyon as a 15.5-point favorite.
FAU vs. Memphis is one of the intriguing first-round matchups, and we’ll take the Owls as 1.5-point underdogs. Kansas State is now only a 7.5 point favorite against Montana State and we will use that line to our advantage and take on the Wildcats. Another possible upset is Kent State as a 4.5-point favorite against Indiana — we’ll take the Golden Flashes in this one — and the final game of the day is Arizona State and TCU. The Horned Frogs are 5.5 point favorites and we will continue to weaken the Pac-12.
The women’s tournament begins
There are much larger lines on the women’s side. If you decide to bet on some of these games, you might be sweating by the end of the game.
Take, for example, the line between Norfolk State and South Carolina. The undefeated Gamecocks are -145 to win the NCAA Tournament and have been great all year. South Carolina is a whopping 50.5-point favorite over Norfolk State. Are you ready to put so many points?
No. 2 seed Maryland is a 26.5-point favorite over Holy Cross, while fellow No. 2 seed Iowa is a 29.5-point favorite over Southeastern Louisiana. LSU is a 31.5-point favorite over Hawaii and Utah is a 23.5-point favorite against Gardner Webb. Our strongest chance in a huge spread game comes between Southern Utah and Notre Dame. The Irish are 21.5-point favourites, but star Olivia Miles is out for the tournament. We’re rooting for Southern Utah to cover in this case.
There are also some close games. Marquette vs. South Florida kicks things off at 11:30 a.m. ET on Friday, and the line is just 1.5 points. We like the Bulls to be the favorites in this game and earn the right to play South Carolina in the second round.
Eight NBA games
Friday night’s eight NBA games make 40 NCAA Tournament and NBA games available for betting. Not a bad day. The biggest game of the night is the last one as Dallas hosts the Lakers. The Mavericks are in the second night of a back-to-back after beating the Spurs on Thursday. Dallas is a game ahead of Los Angeles for eighth in the West and will be without Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving questionable. That’s why the Lakers are 4.5 point favorites.
Who redeemed tickets on Thursday?
While the favorites and underdogs split the men’s 16 games against the spread, the underdogs have rattled off five straight wins. Missouri was a 1.5-point underdog against Utah State, Maryland was a 2.5-point underdog against West Virginia, Penn State was a 2.5-point underdog against Texas A&M, Furman was a 5.5-point underdog against Virginia, and Princeton was a 15.5-point underdog to Arizona.