March Madness 2023: Best Bets for Friday’s First Round Games

Mar 16, 2023
March Madness 2023: Best Bets for Friday’s First Round Games

After one day of the madness, it is time to turn our attention to Friday’s Round of 64 games. For my money, this could be the best day of the tournament, with plenty of vulnerable top seeds on upset alert.

Connor Allen (@ConnorAllenNFL) did a great job for Thursday’s best bets, so I’ll try to keep things going for Friday’s juice slate. We’ll be giving our best bets every day of the tournament, initially released in the discord but with daily articles as well.

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First-Round March Madness Bets

Some lines have moved, but discord subscribers received push notifications for every bet, and articles will include a “play-to” number for those who miss out on the initial push.

UC Santa Barbara +11.5 vs. Baylor (-110 via DraftKings)

This is a line that moved but is still playable at anything +10.5 or better. I’m all the way out on Baylor, despite having a 23/1 preseason national championship future on this team. The Bears mostly run things out of isolation, and it is honestly tough to watch when they aren’t making shots. According to Haslametrics, Baylor ranks 340th in consistency, and that makes this 3-seed vulnerable to an early upset.

Enter the Gauchos, who might actually match up pretty well here. UC Santa Barbara is 40th in frequency of attacking the rim, per ShotQuality, and that’s an area of concern for Baylor. The Bears rank in the 2nd percentile at defending shots at the rim, according to Synergy Sports Technology.

Baylor has the talent to run UCSB off the floor, especially if shots are falling. But if they aren’t, don’t be surprised when the Gauchos hang around and try to slow this game to stay within striking distance.

Risk: 0.75 units at DraftKings to win 0.68 units. Playable at +10.5 or better.

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