March Madness 2022: First Four Predictions
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The NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Tournament is finally here! March Madness 2022 starts on Tuesday, and I share my First Four predictions in this post.
The betting odds for the opening four games of the Big Dance are already out, so you can try your luck with a wager if you fancy any of the teams. I’m sure all of them will be eager to earn a spot in the main March Madness 2022 bracket.
Let’s take a look at what they have to offer and the prices before I share my March Madness 2022 First Four betting picks.
Texas A&M vs. Texas Southern Betting Odds, Predictions, and Pick
- Texas A&M (+3.5); -110
- Texas Southern (-3.5); -110
- Over 135; -110
- Under 135; -110
For some reason, the moneyline odds for the First Four games are not yet out at the time I’m writing my previews. We have the spreads and the totals, though, so that’s more than enough to work with. I’ve used BetOnline’s lines in this post.
Let’s start my NCAA First Four predictions with the clash between Texas A&M Corpus Christi Islanders and Texas Southern Tigers. Both teams had their ups and downs this season, but they did enough to earn a spot for March Madness after winning their conferences.
The Islanders will be part of the Big Dance only for the second time in their history. No one expects much from them, even in the opening clash.
The team lacks consistency on both ends of the floor, but I see two positives here.
The first one is related to Isaac Mushila. The power forward underperformed slightly in the Southland Conference Tournament after winning the Newcomer of the Year prize for his run in the regular season.
Texas A&M still won the competition thanks to a solid team effort. If Mushila turns up in the First Four clash, the Islanders can certainly win.
I also like the squad’s toughness. This is a very physical side that knows its limitations and tries to make up for them with a lot of hustle plays. I don’t expect wonders from the Islanders in the tournament as a whole, but they won’t go down without a fight.
That should be helpful against a Texas Southern team that has struggled offensively all season long. The Tigers had one shocking victory against Florida and have failed to overcome any other notable opponent during the campaign.
0-7 Texas Southern beat 20th-ranked Florida, 69-54. Since 1980, the previous worst record by any team that defeated an AP-ranked opponent was 0-3 (Louisville over Maryland on Dec. 13, 1980). pic.twitter.com/CxrA72b3oN
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 7, 2021
The team doesn’t have a double-digit scorer, and the defense is Texas Southern’s biggest hope. The Tigers can limit a team like Texas A&M rather comfortably.
All things considered, this should be a very scrappy game. I won’t be shocked if neither team scores more than 65 points, so my opening First Four betting pick is to go for under 135 points here.
Under 135 Points
Indiana vs. Wyoming Betting Odds, Prediction, and Pick
- Indiana (-4); -115
- Wyoming (+4); -105
- Over 132; -110
- Under 132; -110
The second clash on Tuesday is between Indiana Hoosiers and Wyoming Cowboys. Both sides looked competitive in the past few months, which was enough to reach the Final Four.
Some were surprised to see the Cowboys in March Madness 2022, but they certainly made a strong statement recently. Wyoming’s offense can rely on two prolific scorers like Graham Ike and Hunter Maldonado.
The rest of the starters chip in too, but the big issue here is that there isn’t much scoring on the bench. That’s going to be a problem against the Hoosiers, who have a solid defense.
Indiana’s offense also looked better in the last few months. Xavier Johnson reduced the number of turnovers which has helped a lot. What bothers me is the lack of three-point shooting in this team.
It looks like the Hoosiers rely too much on Trayce Jackson-Davis attacking the post. The forward has been excellent this season, but it would be hard for him to carry the team during the Big Dance.
If the Cowboys limit the rest of the squad, they have a chance. The best March Madness betting sites view Wyoming as the underdog, but I’m not so sure.
The Ike and Maldonado duo will be very dangerous, so I’m backing the underdog here. The price of -105 for the spread is excellent. I expect First Four betting odds of around +160 for the Cowboys to win when the moneyline is out, so that’s a good pick too.
Notre Dame vs. Rutgers Betting Odds, Prediction, and Pick
- Notre Dame (-1); -110
- Rutgers (+1); -110
- Over 132; -110
- Under 132; -110
Time to move on to my March Madness 2022 Final Four predictions for Wednesday. The early game of the day will feature two of the most intriguing teams in this stage of the Big Dance.
Notre Dame had a 15-5 regular season record in the strong ACC, but somehow failed to impress. The side lost against Virginia Tech in the opening round of the Conference tournament, which didn’t help.
The biggest issue of the Fighting Irish is that they allow five more shots for their opponents each game. They are not good at blocking, forcing turnovers, or grabbing offensive rebounds. You can’t expect to have a strong March Madness run with so much weaknesses.
At the same time, Notre Dame’s players don’t commit a lot of turnovers either. If you add the excellent outside shooting, the Fighting Irish are probably among the most unpredictable teams in the entire tournament.
The funny thing is that you can say the same about Rutgers.
The team had an impressive run in February, beating the likes of Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Illinois. The Scarlet Knights also had a win against a top-ranked opponent like Purdue in December.
On the negative side, they had embarrassing defeats against Massachusetts and Lafayette early in the season. Rutgers was also eliminated in the first round of the Big Ten Conference Tournament.
The team’s offense is the main problem here. You won’t find many consistent shooters, and the bench doesn’t contribute much. That’s why Rutgers is a slight underdog against Notre Dame. And yet, I think the Scarlet Knights have a higher ceiling, and I prefer them for my Final Four betting picks.
Bryant vs. Wright State Betting Odds, Prediction, and Pick
- Bryant (+2); -110
- Wright State (-2); -110
- Over 152.5; -120
- Under 152.5; -100
Many believe that the clash between the Bryant Bulldogs and the Wright State Raiders will be the most entertaining one in the March Madness 2022 Final Four. Both sides heavily rely on their offense to win games and can’t defend well.
The Bulldogs have the top scorer in college basketball in Peter Kiss. The guard is averaging over 25 points per game. His efficiency is questionable, but the upcoming opponent doesn’t have the resources to stop him.
It must be mentioned that Kiss and his teammates had their best game of the season when it mattered the most. The Bulldogs demolished Wagner by 70-43 to win the NEC title just recently.
“To finish it off with a championship — especially in the manner we did, it’s just the best feeling in the world,” said Bryant senior Hall Elisias
— Providence Journal (@projo) March 14, 2022
Bryant’s momentum is a big factor coming into March Madness. And yet, Wright State is still the favorite according to the bookies. The team has three solid scorers in Tanner Holden, Grant Basile, and Trey Calvin.
Only the latter is efficient from three, though, and that’s the biggest problem of the Raiders’ offense. They need to be patient and pick their shots from the outside well. If they fail to do that, they are going to struggle.
I’m not sure they will be reasonable enough, though, especially against an opponent like the Bulldogs. Wednesday’s game should be a wild shootout, and the tempo will be extremely high. It’s a coin flip for me which is the reason why I prefer going for the higher odds.
The moneyline for Bryant should be around the +120 mark or higher, and that’s excellent value. The safer (+2) option is among the better March Madness 2022 Final Four picks too.
I hope that my March Madness 2022 Final Four predictions can help you make some money from the opening games of the tournament. The Big Dance is just starting, so you can expect more betting picks from our team.
Make sure to return to our blog for more gambling content. We also have a list of betting tips for March Madness. They can help you improve your picks, so feel free to check them out.