2024 NCAA Tournament First Four Betting Odds: Predictions, Spreads, Moneylines, Totals

Brandon Gdula
Brandon Gdula@gdula13
2024 NCAA Tournament First Four Betting Odds: Predictions, Spreads, Moneylines, Totals

The men's NCAA Tournament bracket is set, and the action kicks off on Tuesday, March 19th with two First Four games.

Here are the college basketball odds for each game in the First Four round. All game predictions via numberFire.

NCAA Tournament Betting Odds: First Four

Home Spread
Away Moneyline
Home Moneyline
Wagner at Howard-2.5+128-154128.5
Colorado State at Virginia+1.5-137+114120.5
Grambling at Montana State-3.5+138-166134.5
Colorado at Boise State+2.5-134+112138.5

Wagner vs. Howard Betting Odds

  • Wagner Moneyline: +126
  • Howard Moneyline: -150
  • Spread: Howard (-2.5)
  • Total: 128.5
  • numberFire Prediction: Wagner (52.4%)

The spread favors Howard in this matchup, a team with an automatic bid via a MEAC title, over Wagner, who is representing the NEC.

Howard won the MEAC for a second straight year and is 9-3 since the start of February.

Wagner is 7-5 overall since the start of February and won their first NEC tournament since 2003.

Via BartTorvik, Wagner ranks 333rd in the nation in adjusted offense with Howard sitting much better (192nd). However, those ranks are essentially flipped on defense with Wagner 174th and Howard 335th.

Colorado State vs. Virginia Betting Odds

  • Colorado State Moneyline: -130
  • Virginia Moneyline: +108
  • Spread: Colorado State (-1.5)
  • Total: 120.5
  • numberFire Prediction: Colorado State (64.3%)

A matchup with 7 seed Texas awaits the winner of Colorado State and Virginia.

numberFire's model and the spread both favor the CSU Rams.

Colorado State ranks 35th via numberFire's ratings, 45th in BartTorvik's, and 38th per KenPom's. Virginia sits between 57th and 68th in all three ratings.

A big differentiator for the two is the adjusted offense, with Colorado State ranking top-50 at BartTorvik and KenPom and Virginia 190th or worse at both sites.

This matchup could be slow, as Virginia is 362nd in adjusted tempo, via KenPom, with Colorado State 270th.

Grambling vs. Montana State Betting Odds

  • Grambling Moneyline: +142
  • Montana State Moneyline: -172
  • Spread: Montana State (-3.5)
  • Total: 134.5
  • numberFire Prediction: Montana State (56.3%)

There's a slight lean toward Montana State in the numberFire model (56.3%) and spread (-3.5).

Montana State ranks, on average, 211.0 at numberFire, BartTorvik, and KenPom. Grambling's average rank is 270.3.

An interesting note here is that Grambling ranks 30th in offensive free throw rate and just 332nd in three-point rate. If they can impose their style, that's their path to an upset win and a meeting with Purdue.

They're 12-2 since the start of February. Montana State is 7-6 in that span, as well.

Colorado vs. Boise State Betting Odds

  • Colorado Moneyline: -134
  • Boise State Moneyline: +112
  • Spread: Colorado (-2.5)
  • Total: 141.5
  • numberFire Prediction: Colorado (55.4%)

This matchup to determine the 10 seed in the South means a meeting with 7 seed Florida awaits.

Colorado is favored both at FanDuel Sportsbook (-2.5) and via numberFire's model (55.4%).

Their average rank across the three analytics sites is 24.7 with Boise State at 41.3.

Colorado sits 18th in effective field goal percentage but can turn it over (249th in turnover rate) and not necessarily put the heat on opponents (295th in defensive turnover rate).

Also interesting here: both teams are top-15 in defensive rebounding rate.

This game could be determined based on who has an edge on the glass.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.