NCAA Tournament First Round Picks for Friday

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NCAA Tournament First Round Picks for Friday

March Madness has returned after two years of waiting. So here are a couple of bets to get your Friday bankroll growing at the best betting sites for the start of the NCAA Tournament. The Loyola Chicago Ramblers will take on the ACC Champions in the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, let’s check their NCAAB odds and dive in.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. Loyola Chicago Ramblers

Friday, March 19, 2021 – 04:00 PM EDT at Hinkle Fieldhouse

Loyola Chicago Tidbit: They force the most off-the-dribble jumpers in the country. They go under screens and are extremely active on defense.

Georgia Tech Tidbit: They use a 1-3-1 defense more than 25 percent of the time. Very active and efficient.

The Matchup

Georgia Tech has a COVID issue with one of their players/staff members. Already that’s concerning. Georgia Tech has struggled on defense at times, allowing teams to shoot an effective field goal percentage of 52.2 percent. Also nott great defensive rebounding and allow teams to shoot 36.6 percent from three this season.

Loyola Chicago is one of the best teams in the nation and they’d be appreciated more if they were in a different conference. 9th in effective field goal percentage and dominate inside scoring 58 percent inside. Loyola Chicago should have no trouble scoring against Georgia Tech. They have a slow tempo and get really good looks.

Defensively, Loyola Chicago allows a 46.7 percent effective field goal percentage. They won’t get a high amount of turnover against Georgia Tech but they’re sneaky when it comes to producing them. Also dominant on the glass defensively and limit fouls extremely well while Georgia Tech doesn’t get to the line often in the first place.

Loyola is underappreciated and with Georgia Tech winning the ACC, they’re going to be even more underappreciated but this team simply went to the Final Foul two year ago. They’re well coached and are absolutely dominant and that's what makes them my NCAAB pick.

NCAAB pick: Loyola Chicago -2.5 (-110) via BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

Loyola Chicago -2.5 (-110)
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Wisconsin Badgers vs North Carolina Tar Heels

Friday, March 19, 2021 - 07:10 PM EDT at Mackey Arena

UNC Tidbit: Best offensive rebounding team in the country. Their best offense comes when they miss shots! Lots of depth at the 4 and 5.

Wisconsin Tidbit: Uses swing offense which helps them limit turnovers throughout the game.

The Matchup

Wisconsin limits turnovers and shoots a high volume of threes while knocking down 36 percent of them. Struggle to score inside and don’t rebound well at all. That will really hurt against a UNC team that is deep down low and are the top offensive rebounding team in the country.

Wisconsin should shoot better but UNC will have plenty more chances in this game. Wisconsin won’t get to the line often against UNC but shoot 76.4 percent from the foul line which is really good. UNC is shooting 31.7 percent from three and 48.9 percent from inside. You can also expect UNC to turn the ball over more often but Wisconsin really isn’t a huge threat to force turnovers.

March Madness

Ultimately, Wisconsin has the better offense and both defenses are solid. It comes down to Wisconsin shooting at a high percentage from deep and UNC dominating the glass. If Wisconsin nails a bunch of shots, they won’t have to worry about rebounding and win the game. If Wisconsin shoots poorly, UNC should dominate the glass and win this game.

UNC’s three-point defense hasn’t been great this season, allowing 34.4 percent from deep this season. But in the Big Ten Tournament, Wisconsin shot well from the deep, going 52 percent on 23 three point shots vs Penn State and 41 percent from three on 17 threes.

The thing is that that’s not enough volume against UNC inside. Wisconsin struggles inside so much that UNC should capitalize enough. This is an extreme toss up. Can go either way. But I’ll go with the team that should have more opportunities to score and that’s UNC via offensive rebounding. They won’t get turnovers on defense but should clean the glass well against Wisconsin.

NCAAB Pick: UNC -1.5 (-110) via BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

UNC -1.5 (-110)
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*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.