NCAA Basketball Picks: First Round Tournament Possible Upsets

Swinging Johnson

Monday, March 7, 2016 4:33 PM GMT

The precursor to the Big Dance is always the conference tournaments and here we explore the NCAA basketball odds and look for a dark horse to emerge as the victor. Let’s get ready for the week.

Atlantic Coast Conference

Virginia               +220

North Carolina      +250

Duke                   +440

Miami                  +440

Notre Dame        +1700

Pittsburgh           +2500

Syracuse            +5000

Florida State      +5500

Clemson            +6500

Georgia Tech     +7500

Virginia Tech     +19000

NC State           +20000

Wake Forest      +80000

Boston College  +300000

Upset Pick: No one would be surprised if the Tar Heels or Cavaliers came out on top as they are seeded No. 1 and 2 respectively. However, if we scan down a bit we find a team that could pay off in a big way in our NCAA basketball picks. The Fighting Irish won this tournament last season and went all the way to the Elite Eight. Experience matters and if the NCAA basketball odds makers want to give me +1700 then I will take it. Notre Dame +1700 at Bookmaker

 

Big 12 Conference Champion  

Kansas                 +125

West Virginia         +275

Oklahoma             +450

Iowa State            +900

Baylor                  +1250

Texas                  +1300

Texas Tech          +6000

Kansas State        +8000

Oklahoma State   +22500

TCU                    +80000

Upset Pick: The Sooners started the season off like a house on fire ripping off 12 consecutive victories and soaring to as high as No.2 in the nation. They ended the season winning four of their last five but what gives me hope is their narrow three point road loss to the Jayhawks in the middle of the season. Buddy Hield is the real deal and top scorer in the Big 12 averaging 25.1 points per game. Let’s grab Oklahoma +450 at 5dimes

 

Big East Conference Champion  

Villanova            +120

Xavier               +260

Butler                +530

Seton Hall         +1050

Creighton          +1400

Providence       +1700

Georgetown      +3400

Marquette         +6700

DePaul             +70000

St. John's         +110000

Upset Pick: Creighton defeated their first round opponent on the road this season when they handed Seton Hall an 82-67 defeat as four-point road dogs. The Bluejays stumbled down the stretch but gave Xavier a tough time in a 98-93 loss as 10-point road underdogs. This is a wide open conference and Creighton could find themselves in a good spot once they get through the Pirates as there will be upsets. Bet Creighton +1400 at 5Dimes

 

Conference USA Champion 

UAB                                -125

Middle Tennessee           +525

Old Dominion                   +550

Marshall                          +600

Louisiana Tech                +675

Charlotte                        +2500

Western Kentucky          +2700

UTEP                            +2700

Florida International        +5000

Rice                              +17500

North Texas                  +40000

Florida Atlantic              +80000

UTSA                           +200000

Upset Pick: UAB is a big favorite for a reason at -125 but our task is not look at the chalk but to find a hidden gem, a dark horse with a decent chance of crossing the finish line first. At the very least if we can get this pony to the conference finals against ostensibly UAB, we can at least hedge the bet and toss a few bucks on the favorite as long as the money line (not the point spread mind you, as we don’t want to risk losing both ends) is not prohibitive.

Therefore, we will turn our eyes towards Western Kentucky, a team that won four of its last five games and had ATS covers in all of them including their 71-67 road loss to the iron of the division, UAB, as nine-point underdogs. This team has the skills to compete with any team in the conference yet ended the season with a less than stellar 8-10 conference mark. But it’s not how you begin, it’s how you finish and the Hilltoppers look solid heading into the tourney. Bet Western Kentucky +2700 at BetOnline