2017 March Madness Betting - Early Upsets To Enhance Your Brackets

Virginia Tech Hokies player in action

Willie Bee

Monday, March 13, 2017 4:40 PM GMT

Monday, Mar. 13, 2017 4:40 PM GMT

Winning a bracket pool means finding the right upsets according to the NCAA basketball odds, and our handicapper has three early games that look ripe to send chalk home.

Watching the March Madness brackets unfold last night, my focus was on one team and one team alone. No, it was not a team I was hoping would get a No. 1 seed, nor was it a team perilously balanced on the bubble to get into the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.

Baylor was my focal point, simply because I've felt the Bears have been overrated all season. The selection committee decided to continue that exercise by placing Baylor on a No. 3 line, instead of No. 6 where the Bears belong, and they're definitely inside my radar range picking up high-seeded teams ripe for an early upset.

Their opponent in the East Region is New Mexico State, the Aggies currently getting 12½ at Bookmaker for their St. Paddy's Day matchup in Tulsa. Moneyline plays on New Mexico State are running in the around +650.

Baylor's defense is not the question here, but the offense is. The spread is right in line with the NCAA basketball odds for two recent meetings between the schools (2014-15), and a play on the Aggies plus the points is definitely warranted.

 

Free NCAAB Picks: New Mexico State +675Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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Hokies An Upset Play Vs. Badgers

Am I putting too much emphasis on their 71-56 beating at the hands of Michigan in Sunday's Big Ten Championship? After all, the Wisconsin Badgers did look good in winning two games to get to the tournament title tilt. Still, their offense was inconsistent towards the end of the regular season when they dropped five of seven, and the Badgers simply don't look like a team that can make a deep run into March Madness.

Greg Gard's gang drew a No. 8 seed in a tough East Region where overall No. 1 Villanova resides. The Wildcats will be next in line for the winner of the Wisconsin/Virginia Tech contest that tips late Thursday in Buffalo. The Badgers opened -4 with early betting on them enough to send the spread to -5 or -5½.

The Hokies were pushed out of the ACC Tournament by Florida State after beating Wake Forest, but they did show us several times during the regular season they were capable of taking down chalk with home wins over Duke, Virginia, and Miami, plus an upset in Ann Arbor over the Wolverines. Put me down for a small play on Va Tech.

 Free NCAAB Pick: Virginia Tech +205Best Line Offered: at SportsInteraction

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No. 9 Spartans The Pick Vs. No. 8 'Canes

Another 8/9 matchup I have my eyes on is in the Midwest Region and also takes place in Tulsa where Baylor is about to be upset by New Mexico State. One of the final contests on Friday's college basketball betting card finds the 8th-seed Miami Hurricanes currently giving up a bucket to No. 9 Michigan State, and the Spartans are my play here.

Yes, the Hurricanes did have that January upset of North Carolina, then took down Virginia in overtime on the road and Duke at home back-to-back. The Spartans had that early exit from last year's Big Dance, and come into this year's event having dropped three of four. I'm not bothered by that in the least, however, and will add Michigan State to my free college basketball picks this week.

 Free NCAAB Pick: Michigan State +111Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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