March Madness betting, odds: Point spreads released for 1st-round games
The release of the NCAA men's tournament bracket is big, even for casual college basketball fans.
The release of the point spreads for the first round later Sunday night is what bettors look forward to.
[Free bracket contests for both tourneys | Printable Men's | Women's]
The first weekend of the NCAA tournament has become a four-day holiday on the sports betting calendar, and the betting for Round 1 is huge, with a few days to pore over odds before the action begins. Here are the point spreads for the 28 first-round games on BetMGM's board (the four games including the First Four winners from Tuesday and Wednesday will be added when those matchups are set):
No. 8 Maryland 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. 7 Missouri 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 Auburn
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. 16 Howard
No. 8 Arkansas (-1.5) vs. No. 9 Illinois
No. 7 Northwestern vs. No. 10 Boise State (-1.5)
No. 2 UCLA (-18.5) vs. No. 15 UNC Asheville
No. 5 Duke (-7.5) vs. No. 12 Oral Roberts
No. 4 Tennessee (-12.5) vs. No. 13 Louisiana
A couple of feisty No. 12 seeds in Charleston and Oral Roberts are fairly small underdogs in their Thursday games. There are a couple of No. 10 seeds that are favored. Boise State is giving 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 lower seed that is favored, as a 1.5-point favorite over No. 8 seed Maryland.
Kansas is the biggest favorite on the board, though two No. 1 seeds won't get their matchups until the First Four is played. Houston is the other team laying 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, Fla. (-3.5) vs. No. 12 Drake
No. 4 Indiana (-6.5) vs. No. 13 Kent 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 didn't have any lower seed favored. Gonzaga is a big favorite for a No. 3 seed at 15.5 points. No. 2 seeds Arizona and Marquette aren't laying that many points. Kansas State has the lowest spread among No. 3 seeds, laying just 8.5 points against Montana State.