Best bets for First Four games

Tyus Battle and the Syracuse Orange will look to slow the pace against Arizona State on Wednesday. Abbie Parr/Getty Images

The NCAA tournament kicks off with the First Four in Dayton, Ohio. On Wednesday, the action continues with the North Carolina Central Eagles tipping off at 6:40 p.m. against the Texas Southern Tigers. Then, it's a pair of tournament regulars dueling for the final spot in the round of 64, when the Arizona State Sun Devils meet the Syracuse Orange at 9:10 p.m. ET.

Here's a look at how to bet Wednesday's two games.

Note: All odds are via Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, as of March 13.


No. 16 North Carolina Central Eagles vs. No. 16 Texas Southern Tigers (-5)

It's hard to ignore the massive strength of schedule discrepancy in this matchup. Like most SWAC schools, Texas Southern spent virtually its entire nonconference slate playing "paycheck" games against power conference foes. In an eight-day span, it took on Ohio State, Syracuse, Kansas and Clemson. The Tigers also faced Gonzaga and TCU. The end result was 0-13, but the experience undoubtedly aided in the Tigers' current seven-game win streak (average win came by 15 points).