NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Betting Preview West Region: Opening Round Lines, Upset Picks, Final Four Winner

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The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament kicks off the first round of games Thursday. Here is a look at the first round of games and betting odds broken down by region, wth a focus on the West region.

The Tournament: Games for the first round will be split between Paramount Global PARAPARAA on its CBS network and AT&T Inc T, with coverage on its truTV, TBS and TNT channels.

Games begin Thursday at 12:15 p.m. EDT.

See Also: NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Betting Preview, Midwest Region

First Round Games: Here is a look at the first round matchups for the West region, with odds from DraftKings Inc DKNG with seeds in parenthesis.

(1) Gonzaga -23.5 vs (16) Georgia State

(8) Boise State vs (9) Memphis -2.5

(5) Connecticut -7 vs (12) New Mexico State

(4) Arkansas -5 vs (13) Vermont

(6) Alabama vs (11) Rutgers/Notre Dame winner (No line yet)

(3) Texas Tech -15 vs (14) Montana State

(7) Michigan State -1 vs (10) Davidson

(2) Duke -18.5 vs (15) Cal State Fullerton

Picks: Gonzaga -23.5 - Gonzaga is the number one overall seed in the tournament and has been dominant throughout the season. The team lost only three games and they were to Saint Mary’s, Duke and Alabama, three teams that are also in the tournament. The team could roll in its first couple of games.

New Mexico State +7 – New Mexico State is a very balanced team outside of Teddy Allen who averages 19+ points a game. Only one other player averages double-digit points and the team counts on contributions from a strong rotation. Connecticut lost two of its last four games and placed third in the Big East, a conference that isn’t getting a ton of betting love for the top two conference teams Villanova and Providence.

Vermont +5 – Arkansas has won 14 of the last 17 games, which could make them a trendy pick. Vermont could prove a tough matchup though not much is known about how good the American East conference was where Vermont finished 17-1. Vermont’s non-conference losses include Providence and a then ranked Maryland. The team only lost once since early December and won its last four games by a combined 129 points.

Davidson +1 – Michigan State is always a dangerous team in the Men’s Tournament, but this year’s team has struggled to find a star player or some clutch performers down the stretch. The team posted a losing record against teams that also made the tournament.

Sweet 16: To advance to the Sweet 16, the top four seeds are offered at:

Gonzaga: -650

Duke: -250

Texas Tech: -280

Arkansas: +140

Picks: Gonzaga seems like a shoo-in for the sweet 16 and could be worth parlay betting with others. Duke at -250 would see them beating the 15 seed Cal State Fullerton Titans and the winner of Davidson and Michigan States. The value pick for me could be Alabama at +300 as the six seed. Vermont and New Mexico State are two teams I’m picking to potentially win the first round matchup. It only takes two wins to advance to the Sweet 16, which makes the two teams at +700 and +1000 potential plays as well.

Duke -250, Alabama +300, Vermont +700, New Mexico State +1000

Related Link: 11 Stocks To Watch For March Madness: AT&T, Sports Betting And Genius Sports 

Elite 8: To advance to the Elite 8, the top four seeds are offered at:

Gonzaga: -350

Duke: +145

Texas Tech: +140

Arkansas: +750

Pick: The most interesting race could be who advances in the lower portion of the region, which could make betting on both Duke and Texas Tech to advance a value play with either one advancing providing a positive return.

Duke +145, Texas Tech +140

Final 4: To win the West region, the top four seeds are offered at the following odds:

Gonzaga: -160

Duke: +400

Texas Tech: +450

Arkansas: +1400

If you think a 1 seed is going to fall before the Final 4, this could be the region to place a bet with strong odds offered to anyone outside of Gonzaga. Outside of the top four seeds, Connecticut at +1500 and Alabama at +2500 could also get some love.

Pick: Gonzaga -160

Outright Winner: Gonzaga is a top betting option to win the overall tournament with odds of +300 to be crowned champions. The team should be considered a favorite to cut down the nets and could be worth a play at this price.

Gonzaga +300

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