NCAA Tournament: Friday first-round games betting preview

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On Friday, 16 more games will tip off in the first round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament, and by the looks of the betting lines they will either be very competitive or extremely lopsided. Eight of the 16 matchups see double-digit favorites, but there are also six games with spreads of less than four points.

Odds courtesy of

Greenville, South Carolina might have two of the best games, with the eighth-seeded Arkansas Razorbacks (25-9) starting the betting action against the ninth-seeded Seton Hall Pirates (21-11) in the South Region.

NCAA Tournament: Friday first-round games betting previewThe Razorbacks are listed as one-point favorites and have gone 6-1 straight up and against the spread in their last seven games following an ATS loss. But the Pirates are 6-2 SU and 7-1 ATS in their previous eight games during March, and they have won six of eight versus winning teams.

Later in Greenville, the seventh-seeded South Carolina Gamecocks (22-10) will take on the 10th-seeded Marquette Golden Eagles (19-12) as one-point favorites in the East Region. The Golden Eagles have gone 2-6 ATS in their last eight March games, but the Gamecocks have failed to cover the spread in nine of their last 10 overall.

Another intriguing matchup with a low spread will take place in the Midwest Region when the seventh-seeded Michigan Wolverines (24-11) meet the 10th-seeded Oklahoma State Cowboys (20-12) as three-point favorites in Indianapolis.

The Wolverines won the Big Ten tournament in an upset, and they are 8-2 ATS in their past 10 games against Big 12 opponents. The Cowboys have lost seven straight in March (1-6 ATS).

In Tulsa, another Big Ten team will try to represent the conference well in the Midwest Region, as the ninth-seeded Michigan State Spartans (19-14) battle the eighth-seeded Miami Hurricanes (21-11) as 2.5-point underdogs.

The Spartans were upset last year in the first round as a No. 2 seed and hope to make up for that by taking out the Hurricanes, who are just 4-14 ATS in their last 18 games as favorites. Michigan State is 8-1 SU and ATS in its last nine after losing the previous game in a matchup.

The 11th-seeded Kansas State Wildcats (21-13) represented the Big 12 well in the First Four in eliminating the ACC’s Wake Forest Demon Deacons, and they will face the sixth-seeded Cincinnati Bearcats (29-5) next in Sacramento.

The South Region matchup has the Bearcats as small chalk, and they are 4-1 ATS in their previous five against Big 12 foes. With the win over Wake Forest Kansas State has covered five in a row.


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