The brackets are set, and March Madness is upon us, starting with the Final Four games, which will be played over the next couple of days. There is no such thing as an easy path to the National Championship, but for the #1 seeds in the tournament, the opening round is essentially a bye. In the history of the tournament, we have only ever seen a single #16 seed beat a #1, so this is essentially the safest bet in sports, albeit one that won’t pay much given the odds. We will get to see a #1 seed, and the defending champions, take on a #16 on Thursday when Baylor opens up their defense against Norfolk State. The bears are a 21-point favorite, with the total set at 137 ½. That said, it’s time to take a look at both teams and how they arrive to this Baylor Vs Norfolk matchup so you can bet against their March Madness Odds.
March Madness First Round Betting Preview for Baylor Bears vs Norfolk State Spartans
#1 Baylor Bears versus #16 Norfolk State Spartans Match Info
- When: Thursday, March 17 at 2 PM EST
- Where: Dickies Arena, Fort Worth
- TV: TBS
Why bet on the Baylor Bears
There are a lot of people looking at the Baylor Bears as a good bet to repeat as champions, but we perhaps got a little bit of a warning shot in the Big 12 Conference Tournament. The Bears were out early there, losing to Oklahoma at the quarterfinals stage, which means their overall record is now at 26-6. You could say that getting a bad performance out of the way prior to the tournament might not be so bad, but will it raise doubts about their ability to win? The Bears have beaten Norfolk State in each of their last 2 meetings and have won their last 10 versus the Mid-Eastern Conference. They are, though, just 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall. In terms of the point total, 15 of their last 17 games in the month of March have gone OVER the point total.
Why bet on the Norfolk State Spartans
You do have to feel sorry for the teams that come into the tournament as the #16 seed, as it tends to be a very short postseason visit. The Spartans are coming in on a high, though, closing out the season with 6 straight wins and a MEAC Championship under their belt. Realistically, you do have to say that this game is probably more about keeping it close and putting in a good performance as opposed to springing the upset, as getting the win here is about as much of a longshot as it gets. The Spartans might well be worth a look in the point spread, as they have managed to cover in 4 of their last 5 games. They have also covered in 5 of their last 6 Thursday games. The UNDER has hit in 5 of their last 6 games overall.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
I think we see Baylor bounce back with a much better performance after their showing in the conference tournament, but I am going to be steering clear of the point spread in this one. I like the OVER here, as I think we will see Baylor put some points up.
Pick: Baylor Bears 86 Norfolk State Spartans 72