March 15, 2022

Corrigan's Gambling Corner: March Madness First Four Best Bets: +258 Parlay Odds

Welcome back to the gambling corner. We are back with some best bets for another wonderful night of college hoops.

Today signals the first day of the tournament, but let me remind you that it is only the first four, so it counts, but also not really. Either way, both games look very promising, and there is some significant value on the spread in both matchups. I had a pretty good run during conference tournament week, and I plan to stay hot as we enter the greatest postseason in all of sports.

The NIT also starts up today, but good luck getting me to care. As far as I am concerned, there are only two games today, and I cannot wait to watch and gamble on both of them. 

We would love you to tail our picks, but we would especially love you to make a lot of money. As a sign of courtesy, we included the parlay odds for all three of our picks. We just ask that you always remember to gamble responsibly.

Here are tonight's plays.

*Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders vs. Texas Southern Tigers

Technically, this is the first game of the NCAA tournament, but it also isn't at the same time. It feels very mean to force teams to play each other for the right to get smashed by Kansas. Neither team won their respective conference tournaments, but they both proved to be good teams worthy of a spot in the first four. 

The Islanders finished the season with a 20-10 record ATS, and they have covered in seven of their last eight heading into the tournament. While their defense is the worst part of their game, they are a very bad shooting team, despite having the 67th-ranked scoring offense in the country (73.8). On the season, Texas A&M-CC is ranked 288th in effective field goal percentage, 251st in shooting percentage, and 222nd in shooting efficiency. The Islanders get the majority of their point at the rim, which is fine since it clearly works, but it is hard to bet on a team that literally cannot shoot. 

On the other side, the Tigers are only 16-13-1 ATS this season, but they have won 13 of their last 15 heading into March, and while they are not a very profitable team, the Tigers are 2-0-1 ATS in their last three. Texas Southern is only scoring 69.2 points per game, but their defense is ranked 54th in scoring, 13th in effective field goal percentage, 20th in shooting percentage, and 9th in shooting efficiency. They also only allow teams to shoot 45.2% from two-point range, which is where the Islanders cook. 

Texas Southern opened as a two-point favorite, and the line has continued to climb all week. I would play this number up to four, but I like the Tigers in this matchup. 

Pick: Texas Southern -3.5 (-114)

Indiana Hoosiers at Wyoming Cowboys

On paper, this just feels like a great matchup. Wyoming has looked good coming down the stretch, and Indiana, who entered the Big Ten tournament as one of the first four teams out, went on a little run that secured their spot in the first four. 

The Hoosiers are getting a lot of love because they are a name brand in college basketball, and they took down Michigan and Illinois in their conference tournament. Not only is Indiana coming into this game hot, but they are also 6-1 ATS in their last seven, and the late-season resurgence of Trayce Jackson-Davis gives them one of the most important weapons for a tournament team, an "X-factor" type of player. 

On the other side, the Cowboys are not an overwhelming offense, but they shoot the ball very well, with a 45.5% team shooting percentage. Wyoming is also solid on defense, as they only allow 65.7 points per game, and they limit teams from beating them on the outside, allowing the opposition to only shoot 30.3% from deep. 

However, those stats make Wyoming sound a lot better than they are, and Indiana is a really good shooting team. Both Wyoming and Indiana have been profitable teams to bet on this season, but I think Indiana is playing a lot better basketball against a lot better competition, so I will side with the Hooisers. 

Pick: Indiana -4 (-110)


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