NCAA First Four Betting Odds Preview
March Madness officially begins Tuesday with the First Four.
Getting things started on Tuesday in the South Region is a matchup of No. 16 seeds between the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders and the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks. At Bovada Sportsbook, the Islanders are 3.5-point favorites.
The Islanders have won four straight and 12 of their last 13 games with a 10-2-1 record against the spread. When favored this season, they were 17-6 straight up and 14-7-2 ATS. In last year’s First Four, the Islanders lost to the Texas Southern Tigers 76-67 as 3.5-point underdogs.
The Redhawks won the Ohio Valley Conference tournament to get into the NCAA Tournament and have won four straight both straight up and ATS. As an underdog this season, they were 3-10 SU and 6-6-1 ATS. In their only NCAA Tournament appearance in 2000, the Redhawks were knocked out in the first round.
Bulldogs favored over Panthers in Midwest Region
In Tuesday’s other matchup, No. 11 seeds from the Midwest Region face off when the Mississippi State Bulldogs take on the Pittsburgh Panthers as 2-point favorites.
The Bulldogs head into the First Four on a four-game ATS losing streak, When favored, the Bulldogs are 7-2 SU and 5-4 ATS in their last nine, and when favored this season they were 19-5 SU and 11-12-1 ATS. In the NCAA Tournament, they’ve lost three in a row at 1-2 ATS.
The Panthers have lost three straight as an underdog and they were 7-8 SU as an underdog this season. However, they were a solid bet as an underdog this season at 10-4-1 ATS. In the NCAA Tournament, the Panthers are 1-4 SU and ATS in their last five.
The Bulldogs and Panthers met up in the 2001 NIT and the Bulldogs won 66-61 as a 2-point underdog.
Tigers have posted three wins as First Four chalk
Wednesday’s action begins with a matchup of No. 11 seeds in the East Region when the Texas Southern Tigers face the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights as 2-point favorites.
The Tigers won the SWAC tournament and carry a three-game winning streak SU and ATS into the First Four. When favored this season, the Tigers were 8-8 SU and 4-12 ATS. In four previous appearances in the First Four, the Tigers went 3-1 SU and ATS with all three wins coming as the favorite.
The Knights were 4-2 SU and ATS in their last six as an underdog, and this season as an underdog they were 5-8 SU and 7-6 ATS. In the NCAA Tournament, the Knights are 0-4 SU and 2-2 as an underdog. They have appeared in the First Four twice, going 1-1 SU and ATS.
Arizona State has been a bad wager as a favorite
The First Four concludes on Wednesday in the West Region with a matchup of No. 11 seeds featuring the Arizona State Sun Devils and Nevada Wolf Pack. At Bovada, the Sun Devils are 2-point favorites.
Arizona State was a bad bet when favored this season at 1-8 ATS in its last nine games, and 6-13 ATS overall. In the NCAA Tournament, the Sun Devils are 1-4 SU and 1-3-1 ATS in their last five games.
Nevada heads into the First Four on a three-game losing streak. This season as an underdog, the Wolf Pack were 4-6 SU and 5-5 ATS. As an underdog in the NCAA Tournament, they’re 4-4 SU and ATS in their last eight.
The Sun Devils and Wolf Pack have met up four times in recent years, splitting the series with two wins apiece. Nevada was 2-1-1 ATS in those matchups and the favorite won three of the four contests.