Sportsbooks Show A Chalk First Round Except For 3 Games

  • West Virginia is a nine seed but holds a two-point advantage over #8 Maryland Terrapins.
  • The #9 Auburn Tigers is a one-point favorite over #8 Iowa Hawkeyes.
  • #10 Utah State is -1.5 against the #7 Missouri Tigers.

HOUSTON – With 68 teams ready to start their NCAA Bracket experience beginning Tuesday, Americans everywhere will fill out a bracket in hopes to get as close to perfection as possible.

While this is statistically almost impossible, using betting odds on the tournament games can lead one in the right direction. Yet, every lower seed team is projected to win their matchup – another concept that is statistically impossible to happen – with the exception of three games.

  • #9 WVU -2 vs #8 Maryland
  • #9 Auburn -1 vs #8 Iowa
  • #10 Utah State vs #7 Missouri

Still, knowing the tournament betting lines can help when filling out a bracket, by seeing what favorites are “a lock” versus the fraudulent favorites.

South Region

#1 Alabama will play the winner of the 16-seed play in. At -1.5, online sportsbooks say this will be Texas A&M Corpus Christi. Though the Bama basketball spread is not posted, assume a 20-point spread favoring the Crimson Tide.

Alabama's opponent could be #9 West Virginia should they cover their 2-point spread and "upset" the eight-seed Maryland Terrapins.

#3 Baylor (-11.5) is a double-digit favorite over UC Santa Barbara, as is #2 Arizona (-14.5) over Princeton.

Moving down the bracket, #5 San Diego State holds a 5.5-point advantage of Charleston while #4 Virinia (-5) and #6 Creighton (-5) holds a similar projection over Furman and N.C. State, respectively.

With another upset pending, #10 Utah State (-1) holds a slim advantage over Missouri.

South Region Winners By The Odds

  • #1 Alabama
  • #9 West Virginia
  • #5 San Diego State
  • #4 Virginia
  • #6 Creighton
  • #3 Baylor
  • #10 Utah State
  • #2 Arizona

East Region

With another 16-seed play in game, #1 Purdue will take on the winner of Texas Southern and Fairleigh Dickinson. As Texas Southern has a two-point advantage at places to bet on March Madness, they will come into the matchup vs Purdue likely as a near 20-point underdog as well.

Purdue could then take on #8 Memphis, whose two-point spread has them edging out Florida Atlantic.

#5 Duke having a six-point spread matches the four-point spread by #6 Kentucky. Meanwhile, Michigan State (-2) is a slight favorite over USC.

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#2 Marquette (-11) finds themselves as double digit favorites over just like #4 Tennessee (-10.5) over Louisiana. #3 Kansas State is just behind (-8.5) versus Montana State.

With 100% chalk in the East, sportsbooks don't see any upsets occurring in Round 1 of the tournament.

Midwest Region

Things look rather chalky in the Midwest too with the exception of the 8/9 matchup, as #9 Auburn holds the one-point spread advantage over Iowa.

Otherwise, all lower seeds are projected to take care of their matchups. One thing to note for the Midwest region though is the uncertainty in the 4-13 range.

  • #4 Indiana -4 vs Kent State
  • #5 Miami -2 vs Drake
  • #7 Texas AM -3 vs Penn State

For the 6-11 matchup, #6 Iowa State will play an 11 seed between the winner of Mississippi State (-2.5) and Pitt. Iowa State should be a possession or two favorite as well to join the group of close favorites.

While it is chalk, it seems the college basketball sportsbooks think many upsets could happen here, evident from having the closest spreads of any region for the middling teams.

For the top dogs, #2 Texas (-13.5) and #3 Xavier (-11.5) are projected to handle their opponents just fine. The same can be said for Houston, whose 19.5-point spread is the second largest tournament spread after Kansas (-22).

West Region

Building off Kansas, the west region hosts some powerhouses with very large spreads. Both #2 UCLA (-17.5) and #3 Gonzaga (-16.5) seem secure to advance, while #4 UCONN is closing in on double digit status as well (-9.5).

#6 TCU must wait for their spread between the winner of Arizona State and Nevada. As Arizona State holds the 2.5-point advantage, sportsbooks are saying it will be them.

Down the line, both #7 Northwestern (-1.5) and #8 Arkansas (-2) are a one possession favorite while #5 St Mary's holds a four-point spread vs VCU. While the latter games are close, this results in a full chalk bracket for the west region as well.