Key First Four trends to help win your March Madness Bets

Drake Bulldogs guard D.J. Wilkins (0) shoots as Loyola Ramblers guard Tate Hall (24) defends during the first half in the finals of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament at Enterprise Center
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Andrew Ortenberg

NCAAB· 7 months ago

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I'm an editor here at Pickswise who was raised in a household full of sports fanatics. Since I unfortunately never had LeBron James' jumping ability I wasn't able to make it to the NBA, and chose writing about sports as the next best thing. An avid sports bettor myself, I'm excited to get to write about the industry as it gets set to take off across the country. Buckle up.

Well, we made it. The NCAA Tournament is finally here, and things will kickoff with the First Four on Thursday. With a highly anticipated Michigan State vs. UCLA showdown, many analysts are calling this the best First Four in tournament history. It’ll also be our first test of what the bubble environment is like, so it should be very revealing.

Check out our March Madness hub to stay on top of everything that goes on. Also, be sure to check out our picks on the side and total for every single game in the tournament. But before you get to all that, right now we’re going to be talking about some trends. Specifically, ones which can help inform your First four wagering. Let’s dive in:

Drake is 20-6-1 ATS in their last 27 games

Drake only played 29 games this year. In their last 27, they went an incredible 20-6-1 against the spread. If you had just blindly bet Drake this season, you would’ve cashed at a nearly 77 percent clip. Everyone dismissed them as fraudulent the whole year, and they just kept demanding respect. They’re once again being overlooked here, and shouldn’t be underdogs against Wichita State on Thursday.

We’re siding with this trend and taking the Bulldogs. Wichita State is also just 3-7 ATS in their last ten, and 0-3-1 ATS in their last four NCAA Tournament games.

The under is 6-0 in Michigan State’s last six games

The game that’s getting the most attention is this aforementioned Spartans vs. Bruins clash, and deservedly so. You can check out our thoughts on the spread in our full game preview, but we also think the under makes a lot of sense here. Michigan State had a late season turnaround, and it was spearheaded by their defense as the under went a perfect 6-0 in their last six games.

Tom Izzo has coached a lot of March games for the Spartans, and the under is also 4-0 in MSU’s last four NCAA Tournament games. UCLA coach Mick Cronin is a defensive coach, and the under is 4-1 in the Bruins’ last five tournament games. The intensity will be off the charts in this one.

Texas Southern is 4-0 ATS in their last four games

Texas Southern is also entering the tournament hot, and we like them in this 16 vs. 16 play-in matchup. The Tigers are also 7-1-1 ATS in their last nine neutral site games and 10-4-1 ATS in their last 15 games against teams with winning records, so they won’t be fazed by the bright lights or the moment.

Norfolk State is 5-0 ATS in their last five games

The Tigers aren’t the only 16 seed playing Thursday that’s been covering numbers left and right recently. Norfolk State has also been perfect against the spread in their last handful of games, and the supporting trends don’t end there. They’re 4-0-1 against the spread in their last five neutral site games, and 10-1 against the spread in their last 11 games against teams with winning percentages above .600. Roll with the Spartans in this one.

Check out our March Madness Hub for more expert NCAAB analysis Predictions and all of the latest round-by-round Odds.

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