March Madness 2021: BetsByBob's First Round Day One Best Bets and Predictions

The first round of the tournament. Quite possibly my favorite two days of the year as a college basketball junkie. We are going to have great games going on all day long, and I can’t wait to soak it all in after missing this last year. Below are my three best bets for the day, and also my contest plays for the Pickswise $10,000 Capper Contest!

Make sure you also check out our picks on the side and total for EVERY first-round game for the NCAA Tournament. Let the March Madness continue!

Loyola Chicago Ramblers (-4.5 ) to beat Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

I have to be honest, I liked Georgia Tech’s chances in this one before the news broke loose on Moses Wright. But now, without their star big man, and ACC player of the year, the Yellow Jackets are in trouble. Wright is a massive part of the success that Georgia Tech has had this season. Rodney Howard is going to have to step in, and will have a tough time filling those shoes. Even tougher, he is going to be asked to guard Cameron Krutwig.

Loyola Chicago comes in with the number 1 rated defense according to KenPom, and are also one of the best teams at scoring at the rim. I expect the Ramblers to get the ball inside to Krutwig early and often, and I am not sure the Yellow Jackets will be able to stop him. It’s a tough break for Georgia Tech here, but Loyola Chicago should roll.

Be sure to check out our full game preview for Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets vs. Loyola-Chicago Ramblers.

North Texas Mean Green (+7.5) over Purdue Boilermakers

Backing the Mean Green here in a game that I expect to be a complete dogfight. North Texas has flown under the radar for most for the majority of the season, but they are a well-rounded squad. Led by senior guard Javion Hamlet, the Mean Green should be able to put up a solid battle against a Purdue team that I am not as high on. Both teams like to work at a slow, methodical pace, and can see this one being back and forth. I give North Texas a good shot to pull out a straight upset here as a 13 seed, so I will gladly take the points here.

Be sure to check out our full game preview for North Texas Mean Green vs. Purdue Boilermakers.

Click here to check out college basketball analyst and insider Jon Rothstein’s best picks!

Virginia Tech Hokies (PK) to beat Florida Gators

The Hokies come into their showdown against the Gators with a bit of a chip on their shoulder. They feel as they have been overlooked for much of the season, and frankly, I agree. This is solid group, and have a deep rotation of guards they can deploy against Florida. The Hokies have the ability to shoot the ball well, and they are going to need to do so to beat this Gators team. If Virginia Tech can play through Keve Aluma and Justyn Mutts and score inside, I like their chances in this one.

Be sure to check out our full game preview for Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Florida Gators.

Pickswise is the home of March Madness Predictions. Check out all of our March Madness Picks, including daily March Madness Parlays throughout the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Virginia Bonuses

See All
PointsBet

$500

Get 5x $100 Risk-Free Bets!

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Make a bet of up to $100 and receive a refund if you lose

Get this offer once a day for the first 5 days you sign up

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

DraftKings

$200

Bet $5 on Any MLB Game, Get $200 if Your Team Wins!

Sign up for a new account with DraftKings Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Bet $5 on any MLB team to win their next game

Win $200 in free bets + any cash winnings from your original wager

Offer valid for new players only. Must be 21 years or older to play. Reward paid in site credit. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim Instant Deposit Match up to $100 + Free $5 game

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

PointsBet

$2,000

Get $2,000 in Risk-Free Bets!

Register for a new PointsBet account & deposit

Receive a free bet refund up to $500 if your first fixed odds bet loses

& a free bet refund up to $1,500 if your first two PointsBetting Wager loses

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

Caesars Sportsbook

$1,500

Get up to $1,500 Risk-Free First Bet!

Sign up for a new Caesars Sportsbook account

Make your first deposit of $50+

If your first bet is not a winner, get it all back as a free bet (up to $1,100) if you lose!

21+. Terms and conditions apply.

BetRivers

$250

Get a $250 Deposit Bonus!

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code PICKSWISE

Make a deposit & get it doubled up to $250 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $100

Must be 21+. Play in IA Only. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS OFF

Unibet

$500

Get a $500 Risk-Free Bet!

Register for a new Unibet account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $500 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $500

New players only. Terms & conditions apply. 21+. VA only.

BetMGM

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new BetMGM & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

FanDuel Sportsbook

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

DraftKings

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Deposit Bonus!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account & deposit

DraftKings will match 20% of your deposit up to $1,000 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $500

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim 100% Instant Deposit Match up to $100!

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

Yahoo DFS

$25

Get $25 in Site Credit With Yahoo DFS When You Deposit $5!

Register for a new account with Yahoo DFS and deposit $5+

Enter a $5 DFS contest

Upon entry, you will receive a bonus $25 in credit into your account!

21+ and new players only. Full terms available from Yahoo DFS.

TVG

$200

Get Your First Single-Horse Win Wager Back Up to $200 if you don't win

Register for a new TVG account and make a deposit

Place your first single horse win-type bet up to $200

If your horse doesn't win you'll get a refund up to $300

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

TwinSpires

$200

Get a $200 Sign-Up Bonus with Twinspires Racebook!

Open your TwinSpires.com account using offer code BET200

$200 bonus cash will be credited in increments of $100 for every $400 wagered

To earn the full $200 bonus players must wager $800 within 30 days

21+. Terms and conditions apply.