March Madness First Round Bets: Thursday 3/16

Mar 15, 2023
March Madness First Round Bets: Thursday 3/16

The first weekend of march madness is always a blast with unexpected upsets galore. We have been betting on college basketball sides, totals, and player props in our discord for months but are excited to start pumping out more articles. We have Greg (@GHsportsandTech), a professional player prop bettor, Shane (@Sjacksonbet), a knowledgeable college basketball handicapper, and myself all throwing in bets with write-ups. 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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2023 March Madness First-Round Bets

University of Virginia and Furman First Half Under 61.5 (-110 at CZRS)

From my early first-round bets article, “The data on first half unders in the first round of the NCAA tournament is really interesting.

Over the past 10 years, first-half unders in the first round are 225-157-14 (58.9% hit rate) if you bet them blindly. If you bet them all every year, you would have been profitable in 7-of-10 seasons. I'm not one to blind-bet anything, but adding an extra edge for a bet that I don't think the books have adjusted much to, is a good place to start. (H/T our friends at Capswize and SGP for the research).”

On top of this, games that start before 2 PM EST with a first-half total of less than 70, have gone under 66% of the time in the past 10 seasons!

UVA ranks 360th in pace and 25th in adjusted defense, while Furman is 124th in pace. Furman’s offense looks great on paper but is yet to play against a single top-75 defense. Virginia's defense ranks 24th according to Kenpom. This game is going to be extremely slow, so even the slightest misstep in efficiency will have this total end up well short of the 61-point total.

If you want a bet on the side, I definitely lean towards Furman at +5.5, given how their offense operates with spacing and their defense taking a step forward later in the season.

Risk 0.55 units to win 0.5 a unit

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