March Madness is back! Covid took it from us last year, but the greatest tournament in sports is back, which means glorious four-day weekends of betting are back too. The tournament is a different animal than, say, football betting, or even regular season college basketball betting. So many different factors come into play outside of just the two teams playing and the spread. If you’re new to betting, check out BetRivers. If you like what you see, sign-up via this link to receive up to a $250 initial deposit match.

Some Betting Items for March Madness

  • Don’t add in your own adjustments for conferences. A lot of times you’ll see a major conference team vs a mid-major and instantly think to adjust the line in your head because of strength of schedule and better players. Vegas has already accounted for you thinking that, and the lines are generally inflated already because of it. Mid-majors have great players too, and a lot of times older players, which is a good thing in such a fast turnaround lose-and-go-home tournament.
  • Ignore seeds when thinking about your bets. Just because a team is highly seeded doesn’t automatically make them a good bet. Look at the lines more than the seeds.
  • If you like an underdog, I recommend do a split bet. What this means is taking whatever you would have bet on the spread and halving it. Put half on the spread and the other half on the money line. 

Money Maker 3-Star March Madness Round One Bets

Florida -0.5 vs Virginia Tech
Florida has played a much harder schedule this season (23rd vs 60th according to ESPN) while also being better on the road and non-conference. My model has Florida by 3.5 points, so there is a lot of value on this line.

Wisconsin +1.5 vs UNC
The Big 10 was absolutely loaded this year, and I think Wisconsin fell a little under the radar. This is a very good team, especially on the road. Wisconsin also is a more efficient team on both sides of the ball. My model has Wisconsin winning 68 to 65 so getting a point and a half here makes for a very solid bet.

Money Maker 2-Star March Madness Round One Bets

Oklahoma State -7.5 vs Liberty
Oklahoma State has the best player in the country and future number one pick Cade Cunningham. They also played some great basketball in the Big-12 tournament. I could see Liberty scoring with OK State early on, but the talent of the Cowboys will win out later on in this game as they have a much better defense. My model sees close to a 15-point win here for Oklahoma State with a score around 78-63.

VCU +5.5 vs Oregon
The Ducks have a very good offense, but VCU has the better defense. And despite Oregon being in a major conference, the opponents these teams have faced are fairly similar. I see this game being very close as my model predicts a 69-68 squeaker of a win for the Ducks. So take the 5.5 points (and sprinkle some on the VCU money line too).

Some Upsets I Like in Round One

  • Maryland over Connecticut (50% chance)
  • MSU over BYU (46% chance)
  • Syracuse over San Diego St (42% chance)
  • Georgetown over Colorado (38% chance)

High Seeds that Could make it to Next Weekend

  • Georgetown beating Colorado and then Florida State/UNCG winner
  • Michigan St beating BYU and then Texas
  • Maryland beating UConn and then Alabama
  • Wisconsin possibly taking down 1-seed Baylor
  • Rutgers beating Clemson and then beating Houston

All lines via BetRivers