The Big Dance Officially Starts With These Top 1st Round Selections

Nevada Wolf Pack

Mark Lathrop

Thursday, March 16, 2017 1:31 PM UTC

Thursday, Mar. 16, 2017 1:31 PM UTC

I’m not getting anything done today at work, just like you, so let’s make some money above and beyond our unbeatable brackets. Add Notre Dame -6.5 to this list as well, because they are the taller team. No need to write that one up!

  North Dakota vs. Arizona

West Region, 1st Round 
9:50 pm E.T

Arizona is picking up some heavy public action as a 2-seed against the 15-seed out of the Big Sky Conference. They’ll win the game, but Arizona should expect a fight.

Out in the West Region at Salt Lake City we have the 15th seed North Dakota Fighting Hawks matching up against the 2nd seeded Arizona Wildcats. Both of these teams come in rather hot, with North Dakota on a 17-3 SU run and Arizona having a 30-4 SU regular season. With Arizona ranked 4th in the country in the polls they are a huge favorite here pulling in 17-point chalk across the board. There are a few reasons I like North Dakota to keep this game competitive in the first half.

First of all, North Dakota actually shoots better than Arizona from the floor. The Fighting Hawks shoot 48.3% from the field and the Wildcats shoot 47.6%. A hot shooting team will be needed to cover this huge spread against what is the more talented team in Arizona. Second, and this is a surprise, but the average power rating of teams that North Dakota has played on the season is 66.5, while Arizona has played opponents with an average power rating of 79.2. North Dakota’s 17-9 ATS performance this year has been against some higher-level competition. Finally, as an underdog this season North Dakota has compiled a 7-2-1 ATS record. I’m looking for this team to put together a scrappy performance and keep it within the number in the first half at Pinnacle.

Free NCAA Basketball: North Dakota +17Best Line Ordered: at Pinnacle

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  Nevada vs. Iowa State

Midwest Region, 1st Round 
9:50 pm E.T

Nevada comes into this game with a 28-6 record, but it is their ATS performance lately that has my attention. Read on as I describe the value they’ve had all year for sports bettors.

Even though Nevada has only been an underdog 5 times this year, they have provided excellent wagering value on the Moneyline. With their 28-6 record. they have picked up an incredible +20 units for sports bettors. They are also on a 9-0 ATS streak coming into the NCAA tournament. Here the 12-seed Wolf Pack get the 5-seed Iowa State Cyclones in a matchup that will be played in Milwaukee. The Wolfpack have been listed as 6.5-point underdogs at 5Dimes in this game.

These teams play at nearly the same pace and offensive output of each other, yet Nevada has the better defensive numbers on the year. Nevada only allows 72 points per game on the road this year, while Iowa State allows 77. And while I definitely like Nevada plus points in this game, I see great value with Nevada on the moneyline as well. This looks primed to be a classic 12-5 upset so I am taking Nevada at +260 on the moneyline at 5Dimes as one of my Thursday college basketball picks.

Free NCAA Basketball: Nevada +260Best Line Ordered: at 5Dimes

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