NCAA Tournament Mega Parlay at (+1268 odds) For First Round Day 1: Will Furman pull the upset?
March Madness is finally here! After a wild and unpredictable regular season, this year’s NCAA tournament could be one of the best in recent memory. We’ve got 16 games on tap for Thursday, as the college hoops action should be electric for over 12 consecutive hours. With so many exciting games, I have combed through the board and found a few edges that I believe can create a parlay with an excellent payout at over 12/1 odds!
Let’s take a look at my 3-team mega parlay on Thursday, but make sure you also check out our March Madness basketball picks for the day’s biggest games.
Furman ML (+205)
Penn State ML (+135)
Houston -18.5 (-110)
NCAAB parlay odds: +1268
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Furman Paladins ML (+205) over Virginia Cavaliers
I have no doubt that this will be a popular upset pick for sharp bettors and the general public alike, and I won’t be going against that train. Furman is a deep and experienced group that shoots a ton of 3-pointers and makes them at a very efficient clip. The Paladins sit at 33rd in adjusted offensive efficiency at KenPom, so they’ll be able to keep up with most teams in the field, especially a Virginia side that struggled mightily to score against most ACC competition over the last 4-6 weeks.
Furman has roughly a 35% chance to pull off the upset here, and #4 seeds with a 70% or lower chance to reach the Round of 32 represent 8 of the 16 first-round losses for #4 seeds in the last 20 years. Given that Virginia sits at 34th in KenPom with an adjusted offensive efficiency outside the top 75, the Cavaliers profile closer to a #7 or #8 seed and certainly shouldn’t be 6.5-point favorites over this veteran Furman group that has played with each other for over 3 years now. Give me the Paladins on the money line at over 2/1 odds.
Penn State Nittany Lions ML (+135) over Texas A&M Aggies
Penn State was flirting with the bubble for the majority of conference play, but Micah Shrewsberry’s side has been playing like a completely different team in recent weeks. The Nittany Lions ended the season with a pair of buzzer-beater victories over Northwestern and Maryland, before rattling off 3 consecutive wins in the Big Ten tournament. Having come just 2 points shy of knocking off Purdue in the Big Ten title game, this is a team that is playing with a ton of confidence at the moment.
One factor that gives the Nittany Lions a major leg-up in this contest is that they won’t turn the ball over against an aggressive Texas A&M defense and they won’t foul. The Aggies’ offense thrives on getting to the foul line, but they don’t do much otherwise. This game should be played at a very slow pace, as both teams have no problem with taking at least 20 seconds per possession on offense. This is an aspect that should favor the underdog Nittany Lions as well, especially with how well they shoot from beyond the arc. In a game that should come down to the final moments, I’ll gladly take a shot with Penn State on the money line.
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Houston Cougars -18.5 (-110) over Northern Kentucky Norse
This line is a little low in my estimation considering how dominant Houston should be on the glass here. The Cougars are one of the best rebounding teams in the country, especially on the offensive glass, and that should carry them to an easy victory. On the other side, Northern Kentucky is an abysmal 333rd in the nation in defensive rebounding rate. This is just a terrible matchup for the Norse, and I expect them to be overmatched from the opening tip. Many people will point out that Houston could be without Marcus Sasser, but that shouldn’t be an issue in this matchup. Houston will need Sasser’s scoring and defensive prowess down the road, but the Cougars should be able to win by 20+ points in this matchup purely on the strength of their defense and interior rebounding presence.
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