2022 March Madness Round 1 Picks for Thursday

2022 March Madness Round 1 Picks for Thursday

The first round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament officially kicks off on Thursday, March 17 and there are 16 games that will be taking place. With so many games on the table, there are also some terrific betting opportunities.

Here is a look at the five best betting picks to make for the 16 games set to take place on Thursday.

(11) Michigan Wolverines vs. (6) Colorado State Rams

Michigan vs. Colorado State Pick

Best Bet: Wolverines -2.5

The Michigan Wolverines had a very interesting season, but they did just enough to get into the tournament as a number 11 seed. The Colorado State Rams went 25-5 during the regular season in the Mountain West, and this team is terrific on both ends.

The biggest difference in this game will come in the paint, and that is where Michigan has a huge advantage. Hunter Dickinson is averaging over 18 points per game this season, and he will be tough for Colorado State to deal with.

It’s been a terrific season for Colorado State, but Michigan wins this game and covers the slim 2.5-point spread.

(9) Memphis Tigers vs. (8) Boise State Broncos

Memphis vs. Boise State Pick

Best Bet: Boise State ML (+129)

The Boise State Broncos are another team from the Mountain West Conference and they got into the field as a number eight seed. Memphis looked buried earlier in the year, but they had a nice finish to end the year with a 21-10 record.

This game will feature two teams that like to win games in very different ways. Boise State will try to slow this game down, while Memphis will try to score points in a hurry.

NCAA Tournament games are typically played at a slow pace, and that should favor the Broncos in this matchup. This game will be tight throughout but take the underdog Broncos to pull off the small upset.

(9) Marquette Golden Eagles vs. (8) UNC Tar Heels

Marquette vs. North Carolina Pick

Best Bet: Tar Heels -3.5

Another interesting matchup on Thursday is another 8-9 matchup between the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Marquette Golden Eagles. North Carolina is a slight favorite in this game, and it should be a really good matchup.

This could be one of the most physical games of the day as both teams will try to get scoring from the interior. Armando Bacot is scoring 16.5 points per game for UNC and Justin Lewis is averaging 17.1 points per game for Marquette.

The team that makes the most shots from deep will win this game, and North Carolina has that ability. Take the Tar Heels -3.5 as they pull away late.

(16) Georgia State Panthers vs. (1) Gonzaga Bulldogs

Georgia State vs. Gonzaga Pick

Best Bet: Gonzaga -23.5

You aren’t going to see a point spread over 20 points often in the NCAA Tournament, but that will happen in the First Round. Gonzaga is the top overall seed yet again and they face Georgia State on Thursday.

This game doesn’t need much of a breakdown and doesn’t expect this one to be close for long. Gonzaga is clearly better at every position on the floor and they will cruise to a blowout win in this game.

(10) San Francisco Dons vs. (7) Murray State Racers

San Francisco vs. Murray State Pick

Best Bet: Racers -1

One of the later games on Thursday will feature a matchup between the 30-2 Murray State Racers and the 24-9 San Francisco Dons. Murray State is a slim favorite in this game, despite nearly going undefeated.

San Francisco has some big wins on the year as well, and they are a team that has three-point shooters all over the floor. Jamaree Bouyea leads the team with 16.7 points per game, and he will be a player to watch in this one.

KJ Williams of Murray State is scoring over 18 points per game, and the Racers are a team that wants to play fast. This will be a challenge for Murray State, but they are clearly the better team.

Take the Racers -1.0 as they win and advance to the next round.