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March Madness Day 1 preview & best bets – NCAAB 2022

March Madness betting tips

March Madness is finally here and sports fans can’t wait. It is going to be wall-to-wall basketball from noon on Thursday (EST) through Sunday.

Many gamblers consider it the best time of the year, and for good reason. The entertainment and excitement is palpable and the chaos will come. This year, it is as unpredictable as ever.

The 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament kicks off this Thursday with 16 games. Here are the three best picks from that slate.

South Dakota State Jackrabbits vs Providence Friars

Providence has been one of the most disrespected teams in college basketball. Despite an impressive 25-5 record, the Friars have been noted as being the luckiest team going around. They win a lot of close games, which is a good thing, but it has been used against them. Now, Providence is a no.4 seed playing a no.13 seed but only favored by two. The Friars have succeeded in the Big East this year and should have an easy time against South Dakota State. Expect Providence to come out and prove they belong with the big dogs of college basketball.

While South Dakota State is a good, disciplined team full of upper-classmen, this squad hasn’t played a team like Providence. The Jackrabbits have an impressive 30-4 record, but those wins are mostly against weaker competition. The Friars are a legit team in a strong conference and will just prove to be too much for South Dakota State. It may not be pretty at times, but Providence is a substantially more talented side and should cover this number in a first round victory.

Providence Friars -2


Richmond Spiders vs Iowa Hawkeyes

Both of these teams won their conference tournaments and will come into this one hot. Richmond was a middling team all year but won the A-10 tournament and was able to grab a no.12 seed in March Madness. Do not be fooled by recent performances, however; this is not a great team, and while the Spiders have an average offense, KenPom has them as the 104th best defensive team in college basketball. They will have nothing to stop Iowa.

The Hawkeyes won the Big 10 tournament on the back of NBA prospect Keegan Murray, who has averaged 23.6 points per game and 8.6 rebounds per game. He is one of the best players in college basketball and should carry Iowa relatively far in the tournament. KenPom says Iowa has the second-best offense in the country, which suggests this team should feast on Richmond’s defensive woes. While this is a big line, Iowa should get off to a hot start and blow out a lesser opponent.

Iowa Hawkeyes -10.5


Indiana Hoosiers vs St. Mary’s Gaels

This is an interesting game. Usually, you would expect the blue-blood powerhouse of Indiana to be the no.5 seed against a scrappy St. Mary’s team. Instead, St. Mary’s is no.5 and favored to beat 12th-seeded Indiana – and rightly so. The Gaels have had a great season, and while they haven’t played the best of competition, they are one of three teams to beat tournament favorites Gonzaga. Indiana has struggled this season but got into the tournament’s play-in game and dispatched of a good Wyoming squad. The Hoosiers have momentum heading into this game and should use that to get past St. Mary’s.

Indiana is led by big man Trayce Jackson-Davis. He is a true NBA prospect who is averaging 18.4 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. St. Mary’s has played very few games against guys like Jackson-Davis, who should be able to dominate the paint in this clash. Indiana had an up and down season against Big 10 competition, but St. Mary’s is not on that level. While the Gaels are good, Indiana has played better opponents all year long and will not be fazed by being an underdog. Take Indiana at the moneyline in an upset.

Indiana Hoosiers to win


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