March Madness 2024 First Four Computer Picks

Author:
Oddstrader
Let the Madness begin! Here are a few picks from our computers in the First Four portion of the NCAA Tournament. Let’s start a winning streak!

Picks Summary

  • Wagner/Howard Over 128 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook
  • Colorado State (-130) at Bet365
  • Colorado -2.5 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook

Wagner Seahawks vs. Howard Bison

Tuesday, March 19, 2024 – 06:40 PM ET at UD Arena


Our AI Model suggests Wagner and Howard will score 129 points in the first March Madness game of the year. Caesars has the total at 128, which means the Over is the play in this First Four matchup.

The Wagner Seahawks are arguably the worst team in the NCAA’s March Madness this year. The offense has shot 31.6% from deep and 42.8% from inside the arc. However, Wagner doesn’t turn the ball over much and has also added nearly 30% of offensive rebounds. That’s where Wagner can steal some points.

The Howard Bison have allowed 30.7% of offensive rebounds and fouls at a very high rate. While Wagner doesn’t get to the line much, they’ll probably take more foul shots in this game. The Seahawks have drained 70.7% from the foul line, which is slightly below average.

On the other hand, Howard has nailed 37.5% from deep and got to the foul line at a very high clip. The team has also added 33.9% of offensive rebounds and should have more success down low, with Wagner allowing 50.9% from inside the arc this season.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this game gets into the 70’s. Let’s back the Over and stick with the AI Model.

NCAAB Pick: Over 128 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook (check our Caesars Sportsbook Review)


Colorado State Rams vs. Virginia Cavaliers

Tuesday, March 19, 2024 – 09:10 PM ET at UD Arena


The AI Model likes Colorado State to escape with a two-point victory. Bet365 has the Rams sitting at -1.5. There’s slight value on the Rams in the second matchup on Tuesday in March Madness via Bet365, with Colorado State at -130 on the moneyline.

Most bracketologists and basketball fans don’t believe Virginia should be in the NCAA Tournament, as the team has one of the worst offenses in the nation.

Virginia shot a 49.3% effective field goal percentage and only hit 46.8% from two-point range this year. Even worse, Virginia hit only 63.7% from the foul line this season and hauled in just 26% of offensive rebounds. The Cavaliers are good enough from downtown. They also won’t turn the ball over often. But on a poor shooting night from three, Virginia would be toast.

They’ll take on a Colorado State team that has held opponents to a respectable 49.3% effective field goal percentage. It’s not the best defense, but Colorado State will get the job done against Virginia’s offense.

On the other hand, Virginia is in the NCAA Tournament because of its defense. Virginia ranks 7th in defensive efficiency and was still able to win 23 games because of it.

But this is a fun clash. Virginia is terrific defensively, while Colorado State is second in the nation in assists per field goal made. The Rams have chemistry on the offensive end and don’t really turn the ball over much. If that continues against Virginia, the Rams should be able to score enough to pass the Cavaliers.

NCAAB Pick: Colorado State (-130) at Bet365 (check our Bet365 Review)


Colorado Buffaloes vs. Boise State Broncos

Wednesday, March 20, 2024 – 09:10 PM ET at UD Arena


While we wait for the AI Model to predict this game, per the analytics, the Colorado Buffaloes seem to have the edge against Boise State in this 10-seeded First Four matchup.

The Colorado Buffaloes might be one of the most underrated teams in the nation. Colorado has one of the best offenses in the nation, especially from three-point range. The Buffaloes have shot 39.4% from downtown and 53.6% from inside the arc. They’ve also shot 77.8% from the foul line and have added 32.2% of offensive rebounds per game. It’s likely Colorado gets to the foul line at a higher rate, too, with Boise State allowing a high amount of fouls per game.

That said, Boise State is still very good on the offensive glass. Colorado won’t get second chances. But who needs second chances when you’re shooting it so well from the floor?

Boise State has allowed 52.1% from two-point range, which is an area that Colorado loves to attack and is efficient in.

On the other hand, the Buffaloes will likely lose the turnover battle. They’re not always smart with the ball. Still, the defense has held opponents to 31.8% from deep and 50.1% from inside the arc. They’ve also held teams to 24.2% of offensive rebounds.

Therefore, neither team will have many second chances in this game. But inside the arc, Colorado should be the team to have more success scoring. I’ll take the Buffaloes.

NCAAB Pick: Colorado -2.5 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook

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*The line and/or odds referenced in this article might have changed since the content was published. For the latest information on line movements, visit OddsTrader’s free betting odds tool.

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