March Madness First Round Day One Parlay: 16 Teams at +85250 Odds  

Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo gestures during game against Ohio State
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Ricky Dimon


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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports -- just about any and all you can think of! -- and coaching tennis in Atlanta, GA. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me. For Ricky Dimon media enquiries, please email
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March Madness is here! The 2024 NCAA Tournament tips off on Thursday afternoon and 16 of the teams in the field of 64 will be eliminated by the end of Thursday night.

Which favorites will be heading for the exits? Which underdogs will lay the foundation for a Cinderella run? For now, let’s try to answer those questions by going for the jackpot with a 16-team parlay! And why not? Thursday and Friday are arguably the 2 best sporting days of the entire year.  Here is our first millionaire parlay of the Big Dance, this one for Thursday’s opening-round action.

Make sure you check out our picks for EVERY NCAA Tournament matchup! 

Michigan State Spartans over Mississippi State Bulldogs (-113)

I’m not betting against Tom Izzo in the NCAA Tournament – not in the first round, at least! 

Read our full Michigan State Spartans vs Mississippi State Bulldogs predictions 

Duquesne Dukes over BYU Cougars (+365)

The Dukes have momentum after winning the Atlantic 10 Tournament. Upset alert! 

Read our full Duquesne Dukes vs BYU Cougars predictions 

Creighton Bluejays over Akron Zips (-900)

Creighton was once a perennial Cinderella candidate. Now this program is a legitimate force. 

Read our full Akron Zips vs Creighton Bluejays predictions 

Arizona Wildcats over Long Beach State Beach (-3600)

The Beach is already one of the best stories of March. But this is where the road ends. 

Read our full Long Beach State Beach vs Arizona Wildcats predictions

North Carolina Tar Heels over Wagner Seahawks (-5000)

UNC and ‘Zona will have no trouble remaining on a collision course for the Elite Eight. 

Read our full Wagner Seahawks vs North Carolina Tar Heels predictions 

Illinois Fighting Illini over Morehead State Eagles (-850)

Terrence Shannon Jr. is averaging 23.0 points per game. He won’t let his team lose this game. 

Read our full Morehead State Eagles vs Illinois Fighting Illini predictions 

Oregon Ducks over South Carolina Gamecocks (+100)

Oregon really shouldn’t be the underdog even as the #11 seed in an 11-vs-6 matchup. 

Read our full Oregon Ducks vs South Carolina Gamecocks predictions 

Dayton Flyers over Nevada Wolfpack (+100)

This could be the best game of the day between the Flyers and the Wolfpack. It’s a very slight lean toward Dayton. 

Read our full Nevada Wolfpack vs Dayton Flyers predictions 

Texas Longhorns over Colorado State Rams (-152)

Colorado State looked good in the play-in game on Tuesday, but Virginia stinks. 


Kentucky Wildcats over Oakland Golden Grizzlies (-1100) 

The Golden Grizzlies can’t be entirely discounted, but Big Blue just has too much talent. 

Read our full Oakland Golden Grizzlies vs Kentucky Wildcats predictions 

Gonzaga Bulldogs over McNeese State Cowboys (-260)

Will Wade has McNeese flying high, but I’m not getting sucked into this upset pick like everyone else. 

Iowa State Cyclones over South Dakota State Jackrabbits (-2100)

“The Jackrabbits” is a fun mascot name, but that’s not how I fill out my bracket or make bets. 

Read our full South Dakota State Jackrabbits vs Iowa State Cyclones predictions 

NC State Wolf Pack over Texas Tech Red Raiders (+180) 

I’m fully on the bandwagon of the surprising ACC Tournament champions. 

Kansas Jayhawks over Samford Bulldogs (-285)

When you can actually gain a point on a whole bunch of people in your bracket pool by picking a heavy favorite, it’s an opportunity that should be taken. 

Read our full Samford Bulldogs vs Kansas Jayhawks predictions 

Drake Bulldogs over Washington State Cougars (-118)

We all wish Cream Abdul-Jabbar and Indian State was in the tourney, but instead I’ll pick the team that prevented them from getting there. 

Read our full Drake Bulldogs vs Washington State Cougars predictions 

Tennessee Volunteers over St. Peter’s Peacocks (-5000)

2022 ain’t walkin’ through that door. Tennessee puts the Peacocks out early. 

Read our full St. Peter’s Peacocks vs Tennessee Volunteers predictions 

A 16-team parlay pays out +85250 odds! 

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