March Madness betting, odds: Point spreads released for 1st-round games

Marquette's Oso Ighodaro (13) dunks against Connecticut's Jordan Hawkins (24) during the Big East tournament. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

The release of the NCAA men's tournament bracket is big, even for casual college basketball fans.

The release of the point spreads for the first round later Sunday night is what bettors look forward to.

[Free bracket contests for both tourneys | Printable Men's | Women's]

The first weekend of the NCAA tournament has become a four-day holiday on the sports betting calendar, and the betting for Round 1 is huge, with a few days to pore over odds before the action begins. Here are the point spreads for the 28 first-round games on BetMGM's board (the four games including the First Four winners from Tuesday and Wednesday will be added when those matchups are set):


No. 8 Maryland vs. No. 9 West Virginia (-1.5)

No. 5 San Diego State (-4.5) vs. No. 12 Charleston

No. 4 Virginia (-5.5) vs. No. 13 Furman

No. 7 Missouri vs. No. 10 Utah State (-1.5)

No. 2 Arizona (-14.5) vs. No. 15 Princeton

No. 1 Houston (-20.5) vs. No. 16 Northern Kentucky

No. 8 Iowa (-1.5) vs. No. 9 Auburn

No. 7 Texas A&M (-2.5) vs. No. 10 Penn State

No. 2 Texas (-15.5) vs. No. 15 Colgate

No. 1 Kansas (-22.5) vs. No. 16 Howard

No. 8 Arkansas (-1.5) vs. No. 9 Illinois

No. 7 Northwestern vs. No. 10 Boise State (-1.5)

No. 2 UCLA (-18.5) vs. No. 15 UNC Asheville

No. 5 Duke (-7.5) vs. No. 12 Oral Roberts

No. 4 Tennessee (-12.5) vs. No. 13 Louisiana

A couple of feisty No. 12 seeds in Charleston and Oral Roberts are fairly small underdogs in their Thursday games. There are a couple of No. 10 seeds that are favored. Boise State is giving 1.5 points to No. 7 seed Northwestern and Utah State is a 1.5-point favorite over No. 7 seed Missouri. No. 9 West Virginia is another lower seed that is favored, as a 1.5-point favorite over No. 8 seed Maryland.

Kansas is the biggest favorite on the board, though two No. 1 seeds won't get their matchups until the First Four is played. Houston is the other team laying more than 20 points in the first round.


No. 6 Creighton (-4.5) vs. No. 11 NC State

No. 3 Baylor (-10.5) vs. No. 14 UC Santa Barbara

No. 5 Miami, Fla. (-3.5) vs. No. 12 Drake

No. 4 Indiana (-6.5) vs. No. 13 Kent State

No. 3 Xavier (-13.5) vs. No. 14 Kennesaw State

No. 5 St. Mary's (-5.5) vs. No. 12 VCU

No. 4 UConn (-9.5) vs. No. 13 Iona

No. 3 Gonzaga (-15.5) vs. No. 14 Grand Canyon

No. 8 Memphis (-2.5) vs. No. 9 Florida Atlantic

No. 6 Kentucky (-4.5) vs. No. 11 Providence

No. 3 Kansas State (-8.5) vs. No. 14 Montana State

No. 7 Michigan State (-1.5) vs. No. 10 USC

No. 2 Marquette (-13.5) vs. No. 15 Vermont

The opening lines for the Friday games didn't have any lower seed favored. Gonzaga is a big favorite for a No. 3 seed at 15.5 points. No. 2 seeds Arizona and Marquette aren't laying that many points. Kansas State has the lowest spread among No. 3 seeds, laying just 8.5 points against Montana State.