NCAA Tournament gambling picks: First Round

Ten winners to make you rich

The greatest weekend on the sports calendar is almost here with four days of non-stop hoops. The only movement I envision between the 11 a.m. to midnight hours will include routes from couch-to-fridge, fridge-to-couch, couch-to-bathroom, bathroom-to-couch all day long in a constant cycle.

There is really nothing else in life quite like the opening weekend of March Madness if you do things correctly. If you have a job, take vacation. If your boss won’t let you take vacation, quit your job. If you’re unemployed, you’re doing living your best March life. Good on you. Maybe get a job next week, but be sure to return to your jobless status just in time for the 2020 NCAA Tournament.

This is a fun time for all involved. The weather is starting to be nice, there’s a little extra daylight in the evening hours, everybody is in a good mood come bracket time. But when you threw a few bucks into that office pool, do you really think you’re going to win it? Of course not, but you love it even though you’re losing money.

Since you’re already essentially throwing your hard-earned cash into the trash, join in on this new crazy thing called sports gambling where you experience the lowest of lows and every once in a while you might get lucky and pick a game correctly. Get in on the action now because this is one mighty fine time in the gamblin’ season, folks.

We are currently smack dab in the middle of the First Four, but we’re skipping to the first round. I’ve got 10 guaranteed NCAA Tournament gambling winners for all to enjoy from the opening round.

Let’s make a dollar or two.

Louisville -5 vs. Minnesota

The selection committee doesn’t try to create storylines with matchups, right? It was just a coincidence Minnesota matched up with Louisville when the Gophers are coached by a fella whose dad is suing Louisville, right? Love that move by the NCAA, but that’s not the point. The point is you’ll start your March Madness experience with an easy cover right off the bat with Louisville.

Yale +7 vs. LSU

One school has its coach suspended and is all tangled up in an FBI scandal. The other school just got busted taking a $1.2 million bribe for a fake women’s soccer player. I love college sports. Anyways, I picked against these Yale fellas in the Ivy League Tournament against Harvard, and I watched them as they continued to destroy all my hopes and dreams. Turns out they’re pretty good, and they have this NBA prospect named Miye Oni. A NBA player from Yale. What the hell is this? LSU is a total mess right now and Yale is going to win this game outright, but take seven points just to be safe.

New Mexico State +7 vs. Auburn

You know which teams are fun to bet on in the NCAA Tournament? Teams that win. New Mexico State is one of five teams in the field with 30 or more victories. This is a good team. Auburn has been on fire riding an eight-game winning streak, capped off by a domination over Tennessee. The Tigers are feelin’ themselves a little bit, Bruce Pearl is doing his usual wacky stuff, but they’re going to be looking past Aggies on Thursday afternoon.

Marquette/Murray State OVER 149

This will be the most exciting game of the first round. Cannot wait for this game. It’s going to be incredible. This may as well be a one-on-one matchup between the NCAA Tournament’s top two scorers Markus Howard and Ja Morant. are going to shoot, shoot and shoot a little more. Howard is coming off a terrible game, shooting 1-for-15, but what do shooters do? Shooters shoot. Fun fact: he finished with 21 points. SHOOTING 1-FOR-15. What a world. And Morant, who is projected to go second in the NBA Draft (I saw this on The Athletic. Not to brag, but I’m a subscriber), and he will finally be introduced to the public. Enjoy the points, and enjoy what could be the best game of the opening round.

St. Mary’s/Villanova OVER 131

You’re not going to believe this. St. Mary’s and Villanova played each other in the 2010 NCAA Tournament at a similar location this game will be played at. There were 143 points scored in that game. What does that have to do with this contest? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Not one thing. Just take the over and don’t ask questions.

Wofford -3 vs. Seton Hall

This is the final bet of Thursday, and I am all about Wofford here. The Terriers’ last loss came in December. Three months ago. That’s wild. Wofford rolled through an impressive Southern Conference this year, and its four losses this season came against teams like Mississippi State, Kansas, North Carolina and Oklahoma. The best player on the court is on the Wofford roster with Fletcher Magee. Take the Terriers to close out a money-making Thursday.

Virginia -24 vs. Gardner-Webb

This number could have been 100 and I’d still take Virginia to cover. I don’t know if you remember this, but Virginia was a 1 seed last year and lost to the 16 seed UMBC. This will be brought to your attention every single season for the rest of time. Virginia has gone through the entire offseason being reminded of this constantly. Just think if it were to happen two years in a row. There’s no way Virginia will even get close to letting that happen. Pray for Gardner-Webb because the Runnin’ Bulldogs (definitely didn’t look that up) are going to be the victim of a Virginia beat down. Put everything on the Cavaliers for your first victory on Friday.

Wisconsin +1 vs. Oregon

The disrespect. The ultimate disrespect. Wisconsin is a 5 seed. Oregon is a 12 seed. When I placed this bet, the Badgers were underdogs. It has since been corrected, and Wisconsin is a small favorite, but I will not stand for this. Oregon finished in a three-way tie for fourth place in the Pac-12, which is the worst power conference in quite a while. You think the Ducks are just going to waddle on in and take down Wisconsin? Get out of my face with that. Brad Davison takes seven charges, slaps a few genitals and the Badgers cover. No doubt about it. Biggest bet of the opening round.


Watching North Carolina is absolutely fascinating. We’re dealing with two 20-minute fastbreaks when the Tar Heels are playing, and Iona goes fast as well. Among the 64 teams in the NCAA Tournament, North Carolina is No. 1 in pace of play, while Iona comes in at No. 9. Both teams are going to be flyin’ around scoring points, and you may as well put the shot clock at 10 seconds. This is March. There is no time to be the under. Enjoy your life, and take the over. It’ll be good for ya.

Ohio State +6 vs. Iowa State

By this point, you’re 9-0 just looking for one final cover to get yourself to that perfect 10-0 opening round of the NCAA Tournament. The Buckeyes lost their final three games of the regular season with their big dog Kaleb Wesson suspended for bein’ a bad boy. But guess what? He’s back. Ohio State will be ready to go, and the Buckeyes will cover. I also think the Buckeyes win, so sprinkle a little on that moneyline.

Enjoy the basketball. Enjoy the Madness. Enjoy being rich.

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