The release of the NCAA tournament series is a big event, even for casual and serious college basketball fans.
The release of the point spreads for the first round later on Sunday evening is what bettors are looking forward to.
The first weekend of the NCAA Tournament has become a four-day holiday on the sports betting calendar, and the first-round bets are huge, with a few days to check out the odds before the action starts. Here are the point spreads for the 28 games in the first round on BetMGM’s board (the four games, including the first four winners from Tuesday and Wednesday, will be added when those matchups are determined):
No. 8Maryland vs. No. 9 West Virginia (-1.5)
No. 5 San Diego State (-4.5) vs. No. 12 Charleston
No. 4 Virginia (-5.5) vs. No. 13 Furman
No. 7Missouri vs. No. 10 Utah State (-1.5)
No. 2 Arizona (-14.5) vs. No. 15 Princeton
No. 1 Houston (-20.5) vs. No. 16 Northern Kentucky
No. 8 Iowa (-1.5) vs. No. 9 Maroon
No. 7 Texas A&M (-2.5) vs. No. 10 Penn State
No. 2 Texas (-15.5) vs. No. 15 Colgate
No. 1 Kansas (-22.5) vs. No. 16Howard
No. 8 Arkansas (-1.5) vs. No. 9 Illinois
No. 7 Northwest vs. No. 10 Boise State (-1.5)
No. 2 UCLA (-18.5) vs. No. 15 U.N.C. Asheville
No. 5 Duke (-7.5) vs. No. 12 Oral Roberts
No. 4 Tennessee (-12.5) vs. No. 13Louisiana
A pair of feisty No. 12 seeds in Charleston and Oral Roberts are pretty minor underdogs in their Thursday games. There are a few No. 10 seeds that are favorites. Boise State gives 1.5 points to No. 7 seed Northwestern and Utah State is a 1.5 point favorite over No. 7 seed Missouri. No. 9 West Virginia is another preferred lower seed, as a 1.5 point favorite over No. 8 seed Maryland. Kansas is the top favorite on the board, although two No. 1 seeds don’t get their matchups until the first four are played. Houston is the other team with more than 20 points in the first round.
No. 6 Creighton (-4.5) vs. No. 11 NC State
No. 3 Baylor (-10.5) vs. No. 14 UC Santa Barbara
No. 5 Miami, Florida (-3.5) vs. No. 12 Drake
No. 4 Indiana (-6.5) vs. No. 13Kent State
No. 3 Xavier (-13.5) vs. No. 14 Kennesaw State
No. 5 St. Mary’s (-5.5) vs. No. 12 VCU
No. 4 UConn (-9.5) vs. No. 13 Iona
No. 3 Gonzaga (-15.5) vs. No. 14 Grand Canyon
No. 8 Memphis (-2.5) vs. No. 9 Florida Atlantic
No. 6 Kentucky (-4.5) vs. No. 11 Providence
No. 3 Kansas State (-8.5) vs. No. 14 Montana State
No. 7 Michigan State (-1.5) vs. No. 10 USC
No. 2 Marquette (-13.5) vs. No. 15 Vermont
The opening lines for the Friday games did not favor a lower series. Gonzaga is a heavy favorite for a No. 3 seed at 15.5 points. No. 2 seeds Arizona and Marquette don’t score as many points. Kansas State has the lowest spread among No. 3 seeds, with only 8.5 points against Montana State.