Twelve of the 32 First Four/first-round games have double-digit point spreads, mostly involving the top seeds.
Here’s a full list of betting odds for the first batch of 2017 NCAA Tournament games.
NCAA Tournament betting odds
Tuesday, March 14
New Orleans -2 vs. Mt. Saint Mary’s
Wake Forest PK vs. Kansas State
Wednesday, March 15
NC Central -4 vs. UC Davis
Providence PK vs. USC
Thursday, March 16
Wisconsin -4.5 vs. Va. Tech
Notre Dame -6.5 vs. Princeton
West Virginia -13.5 vs. Bucknell
Virginia -8 vs. UNC Wilmington
Florida -10 vs. East Tennessee State
Florida State -11 vs. Florida Gulf Coast
Maryland -1 vs. Xavier
Iowa State -6 vs. Nevada
Purdue -9 vs. Vermont
Minnesota -1 vs. Middle Tennessee State
Butler -11 vs. Winthrop
Gonzaga -22.5 vs. S. Dakota State
Vanderbilt -1 vs. Northwestern
Arizona -17 vs. North Dakota
St. Mary’s -4 vs. VCU
Friday, March 17
Duke -18.5 vs. Troy
South Carolina -1 vs. Marquette
North Carolina -25 vs. Texas Southern
Arkansas -1 vs. Seton Hall
Louisville -20 vs. Jacksonville State
Michigan -1 vs. Oklahoma State
Kentucky -19 vs. Northern Kentucky
Wichita State -6 vs. Dayton
Baylor -12.5 vs. New Mexico State
Miami -2 vs. Michigan State
Oregon -14 vs. Iona
Creighton -2 vs. Rhode Island
UCLA -16.5 vs. Kent State
NCAA Tournament betting preview
The South Region appears to be the toughest to crack, with North Carolina, Kentucky and UCLA as the top seeds. Dark horse Wichita State, which the advanced numbers love, is buried as a 10-seed in that bracket.
All three of the top seeds in that region are listed at 10-1 or lower to win the championship — all among the eight best in the country.
But despite the difficulties UNC could face in the bottom of that bracket, the Tar Heels probably have the easiest path to the Elite 8. Butler and Minnesota are the No. 4 and No. 5 seeds in that region, and UNC would be at least a 6-point favorite over either team on a neutral court.
Villanova and Gonzaga have the easiest roads to the Elite 8 after that, but West Virginia looms as a No. 4 seed that could give Gonzaga trouble in the West. They’re our best value pick to win the NCAA Tournament.
Villanova may have some trouble in the Sweet 16 should they get there. Florida and Virginia, two teams the numbers love, could be waiting for the Wildcats in that game.
While bettors may be looking for a long shot in a tournament that seems like a complete toss-up, teams outside of 10-to-1 rarely cash. They may make a run to the Elite 8 or even the Final Four — think Wichita State in 2013, Syracuse in 2016, VCU in 2011. But since 1998, just one team outside of a top-three seed has won the NCAA Tournament — seventh-seeded Connecticut in 2014. The best teams usually win out in this tournament.
As for the Big Ten teams, here’s how they opened, from most likely to least in terms of betting odds:
Michigan State: 150/1