Odds format
United States
Share to Facebook
Share to Twitter
Copy Link
Expert Basketball Handicapper Matt McCuen takes you through the three best NCAA March Madness bests to make for the first round. He's eyeing the Virginia Tech vs Texas, University of North Carolina vs Marquette, and Creighton vs San Diego State matchups.

March Madness 2022: 3 NCAA Tournament Bets to Make Right Now

It is finally that time of year to take off work on Thursday and Friday and gamble on every college basketball game. March Madness is here, and I am fired up for it! This article is going to get into my three best bets to make right now and beat some of these lines. The season was wild in college basketball, and March Madness will have many more surprises in store for us, as we all know. The goal here is to have a perfect bracket and get rich betting on all of these games. Here are three bets to make right now!

March Madness First Round Odds

Error fetching data.

Virginia Tech Hokies vs Texas Longhorns - March 18, 4:30 PM

The first game I want to get into will be an affair between the ACC Champion Virginia Tech Hokies and the Texas Longhorns repressing the Big 12. Texas came into the year expected to compete for the national championship, and despite their seeding as a number six, I still believe this team is talented enough to compete for a national championship. Timmy Allen will be the main man for the longhorns along with point guard Marcus Carr. Texas is one of the best defenses in all of college basketball, so Virginia Tech will have their hands full scoring the basketball.

Virginia Tech, however, comes into this tournament riding a ton of momentum. Success has such slim margins sometimes as Virginia Tech trailed Clemson by two points with three seconds in their first game of the ACC Tournament. Virginia Tech would go on to hit a game-winning buzzer-beater three, and the rest is history as they went on to win the ACC tournament. If Virginia Tech did not win the tournament, I do not believe they would be playing in March Madness, but now they have a chance to prove why they belong.

March Madness: Bet $5, Win $150 with this FanDuel promo - Even if your wager loses

The play I am going within this game will be to back the Texas Longhorns. Virginia Tech is going to be a public darling, and this time of year, I love to fade public darlings. Texas allowed the sixth least points in all of college basketball, so this is an elite defense. I think they come prepared here for round one in a game they match up very well with the Hokies across the board. Let’s get Texas and start off with a winner. 

Bet $5, Win $200 on Any Team to Win March Madness. Click here to get this awesome DraftKings promo!

Error fetching data.

North Carolina Tar Heels vs Marquette Golden Eagles - March 17, 4:30 PM

The second game I am looking to lock in early will be a showdown between the North Carolina Tar Heels representing the ACC and the Marquette Golden Eagles of the Big East. The Golden Eagles had a Jekel and Hyde kind of season led by first-year head coach Shaka Smart. The Tarheels, who are also led by a first-year head coach in the form of Hubert Davis, will be looking to get a first-round win over this tough Marquette Team.

North Carolina has a very good combination of big men in Armando Bacot and Oklahoma transfer Brady Manek. The guard play for the Heels improved this season, most notably due to the play of Caleb Love. Marquette prides itself on being a tough defensive team that likes to shoot the three-ball. The star for the Golden Eagles has been Baltimore native Justin Lewis. Lewis has been a matchup nightmare for opposing teams this season, scoring north of seventeen points per game while ripping down nearly eight rebounds per game. Veteran guard Daryl Morsell has also really stepped up for this team this season, bringing them winning experience and scoring.

Bet $5, Win $200 on Any Team to Win March Madness

I will be backing North Carolina in this game due to their ability to control the pace. Marquette is an extremely streaky team, and this is going to be a fast-paced game. Marquette is averaging nearly seventy-four possessions per game, while North Carolina is averaging about one possession less. The bottom line is both of these teams will play with pace, but I think that favors the Tarheels. The Heels are the better shooting team, in my opinion, and I think they hold a significant advantage in the paint. Armando Bacot is one of the best big men in all of the nation I do not think that the Golden Eagles will have an answer for him in this one. Manek will also have his way in the paint and can stretch you out and beat you from the three-point line. I love the Heels in this one to cover the -3 for us. 

March Madness: $1100 First Bet Insurance

Error fetching data.

Creighton Blue Jays vs San Diego State Aztecs - March 17, 7:27 PM

The final play I am looking in early will be a battle between the Creighton Blue Jays of the Big East and the runner-ups in the Mountain West Conference, the San Diego State Aztecs. These teams both reached their conference championship but were not able to scratch out a win. These are two very well-coached teams who played hard on the defensive side of things, so this game could turn into a rock fight.

San Diego State is ranked number in defensive efficiency. This team makes it extremely difficult to get off any clean shots, and their defensive style typically wears teams by the time the second half comes around. The star for the Aztecs is Cal transfer Matt Bradley who will certainly make an impact in this game. I will be backing San Diego State on the short money line. I love the way they are playing heading into the tournament, and I think this line is an absolute steal. Creighton is not a great offensive team, to begin with, but this defense will make them look like a JV team for the majority of this game. I will not fade the best defense in the entire nation in a March Madness game! Let’s sweep these three plays up! 

Bet $5, Win $200 on Any Team to Win March Madness

3 NCAA Tournament Bets to Make Right Now

Click here for the best offers in your state

Article Author


Matt McCuen is a native of Delco, PA. He has been working in the sports gambling industry and creating content for the last few years. He is an expert in numerous different sports, including the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and collegiate sports. You can follow Matt on Twitter at @DeadPresPicks.


Almost there!

We are loading your bets, and they will be here in a second.