With the First Four complete, it’s time to get March Madness cranked up.  The First Round games of the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament start today and there’s no telling what’s going to happen.  Based on how some games have gone lately, gamblers need to think hard before placing their bets.

Gators And Hokies In Tight Game

The Florida Gators and the Virginia Tech Hokies face off today in what can only be described as a coin-flip game.  Both teams exhibit completely different styles of offense, which is going to liven up the court.  The Hokies suffered late in the season because of COVID-19 issues, or they would likely have finished higher in the ranks.  As it stands now, Virginia Tech is getting -117, just slightly ahead of the -107 to the Gators on a 1-point differential.  This is going to be a battle.

It will be interesting to see if the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles can continue to pull off surprise wins.  They face the Ohio State Buckeyes and, as much as some people like to always root for the underdogs, this is probably not the time.  The Golden Eagles are +850 dogs against the -2000 Buckeyes and are only getting a mention because this is the first time in 13 years they’ve made it to March Madness. They’ve never won, but made it to the Elite Eight in 1974.

The matchup between the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Wisconsin Badgers should be another interesting game.  The Tar Heels had some difficulty getting into the tournament series and lost out on an ACC Championship title when they fell to the Florida State Seminoles in the semifinals.  However, the Badgers are riding into the tournament off of wins against sub-par teams.  The Tar Heels are favored at -125 (the Badgers are at +102) on a spread of just 1.5 points, so this is a game worth watching.

The Orange Have Tough Game Today

The Syracuse Orange have done well to get where they are, but will have difficulty today.  They face the San Diego State Aztecs, who are riding into March Madness on a 14-game winning streak.  This will be the 25th appearance in the tournament for Jim Boeheim, Syracuse’s head coach, and he knows what’s at stake.  After the Orange performed well in the ACC tournament, the +135 they’re getting tonight might need a little attention.  The Aztecs are still favored, at -167 and 3.5 points, but don’t be too quick to jump on that train.

The Villanova Wildcats meet the Winthrop Eagles today in a game that should see the Wildcats advance easily, despite dealing with injuries.  The Eagles aren’t an unknown team and have a lot of depth, but don’t have a lot of stamina.  That could be where the Wildcats take the advantage.  They’re getting -335 and seven points today and are likely to win, but not before a solid fight from the Eagles.

The Texas Tech Red Raiders will face the Utah State Aggies in yet another game that is going to be close.  The biggest difference is the experience these two teams have coming into March Madness.  The Aggies didn’t play any high-ranking NCAA teams and are just one of two teams in the Mountain West to make it to the tournament.  The Red Raiders, however, had a number of tough games this season and are ready.  The odds are close, though, with Texas Tech getting -190 and four points against the Aggies’ +150.

Top Teams Get Top Odds

There are plenty more games on tap and endless options for sports gamblers.  None of the top teams, such the Baylor Bears and the Illinois Fighting Illini, need a lot of attention.  They’re heavy favorites (the Bears at -10000 and the Fighting Illini at -2750 in their respective games) and haven’t been given much competition to get their March Madness presence going.  Still, the lineup of games starting today is enough to make any hoops fan want to call in sick from work.