NCAA Tournament Parlay Picks for Thursday, March 21, 2024

NCAA Tournament Thursday, March 21, 2024 Parlay Picks

Let the madness begin! The first day of the first round of the NCAA Tournament takes place on Thursday, March 21 with 16 games highlighting the schedule. One of the most wagered on sporting events of the year, March Madness takes on a life of its own at this time. And while bettors flock to their favorite sportsbook the number of people calling in sick *cough* to work also has to be an all-time high. All that aside, though, there are a number of ways to make money wagering on college basketball and a parlay is the perfect method with such high-profile games.

Upsets happen every year in the tournament. The trick is picking the right teams to pull the shocker. Only twice since the field expanded in 1985 has a No. 16 seed beaten a No. 1. North Carolina is the only top-seed in action Thursday and will be a heavy favorite over the winner of the Howard/Wagner First Four matchup. The point spread evens things out and No. 1 seeds have traditionally dominated the first round matchup. There are some big spreads on the board with the largest being No. 2 Tennessee favored by 21-points over Saint Peters. Also, Arizona is laying 20.5-points in its matchup with Long Beach State.

Bet NCAA Tournament at

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Long Beach St. +20.5 vs. Arizona

Gonzaga -6 vs. McNeese St.

Nevada vs. Dayton UNDER 136.5

Samford +7.5 vs. Kansas

Bet $100 to win $1308

I’m getting caught up in the excitement of March Madness that I have four winners to get me a nice payday on the first day of the Tournament. There’s a lot to be said about emotion when the games begin and Long Beach State is very emotional after the school announced just before the Big West Tournament that coach Dan Monson would not return next season. The Beach was riding a five-game losing streak but appeared motivated by the news extending Monson’s season with each win. They beat top-seed UC Irvine in the semis and No. 3 seed UC Davis in the final.

There’s no mistaking that Arizona is the better club cruising to the Pac-12 regular season title with a 15-5 record. But I can honestly say the Pac is probably the weakest it’s been in a number of years and Arizona was the best of a mediocre group. The Cats will likely win the game bringing the tenure of Monson to a close, but when spotted double-digits on the betting line LBSU was a decent 4-3 and only once during their closing five-game slide did they get blown out.

You have to hand it to former LSU coach Will Wade for turning the McNeese State program around. Not many teams won 30 games, but the Cowboys were one of them, claiming the Southland Conference Tournament by an average of 17.5 points. I don’t know much about the conference but one-bid leagues typically don’t fare well. And the Cowboys schedule wasn’t exactly menacing. They did win the games, though, and that’s something. But facing a Gonzaga squad that’s flying under the radar is something I don’t want to deal with. The Zags are well-balanced led by Graham Ike and the first ranked opponent for McNeese this year.

I was going to go with a three-team parlay but the Nevada/Dayton game caught my eye. The Mountain West was so competitive this season with six teams getting an invite, and the Wolf Pack were right at the top going 13-5 in league play. The Pack ended the regular season with 10 wins in 11 games allowing more than 66 points just twice. They are aggressive on defense ranking among the top 50 in points allowed and field goal percentage. This game has UNDER written all over it.

Kansas stumbled down the stretch losing four of its last five games, including a 30-point loss to Houston in the regular season finale and a 20-point drubbing to Cincinnati in their Big 12 Tournament opener. And there’s a chance Kevin McCullar Jr. and Hunter Dickinson won’t be healthy for this contest leaving an already thing group more short-handed. With that news out there Samford will be pumped for an upset or at least a cover.

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