March Madness: Forget about what teams will win--which teams will cover?

Basketball Mar 16, 2022

Thursday morning means it's "March Madness" time. The NCAA college basketball tournament tips-off early, at 11:15 am ET and runs all day Thursday, and then repeats again on Friday. The opening two days of Round 1 will cut the initial 68/64-team field down to 32.

March Madness is a fun time, not only for basketball fans and sports bettors, but casual viewers, as well. Everyone and their uncle's dog seems to have a March Madness bracket filled out. Of course, within hours, most of those pipedreams of winning big prizes will fizzle and then implode.

Perhaps the best use of one's time is focusing on specific matchups, instead. There's money to be made studying these games, and often going against what's called--the conventional wisdom.

Pro Tip: Beware of overhyped teams. They are always over-valued by oddsmakers and the betting public. This year's overrated "caution teams" may include Wisconsin, Providence, Miami, and yes even Baylor (reigning champions).

Here's the Thursday schedule, with odds from

OPINION (courtesy of

Remember that we can make smart wagers by betting against teams just as much as betting on teams.

So. look for teams with weaknesses, inconsistencies, poor recent results (conference tournaments), and lots of pressure from fans and the media.

Two highly-ranked teams that appear to be wise fades include #1 seed Kansas (Midwest) and #4 seed Arkansas (West).

That means taking betting on Texas Southern +21.5 (tip-off at 8:40 pm ET) and Vermont +5.5 (tip-off at 9:00 pm ET).