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College Basketball Thursday NCAA Tournament Parlay Picks

The arrival of March means only one thing in the world of college basketball: Madness. With the NCAA Tournament field set the three-week trek to the national championship begins with 16 games and 32 teams looking to advance out of the first round on Thursday. That gives us plenty of wagering options for a multi-team parlay with some of the best teams in the country taking the hardwood. Now, the tourney didn’t get its nickname by chance; there’s always a degree of madness in the one-and-done format. Can we pick some big upsets to increase our winnings on a parlay or play it safe backing the top-seeded teams?

I’ve highlighted a few games for my three-bet parlay backing Oral Roberts and the points in a matchup with Duke. Just a few years ago the Golden Eagles had a memorable run to the Sweet 16 and by most metrics this team is better. And never underestimate the lower seeds in a tournament where it takes one good game to advance. My three-team parlay at a risk of $100 would pay out $581.23 and I like my chances. You can bet parlays at with odds for every game on the Thursday schedule.

Colgate Raiders vs. Texas Longhorns ( -13.5 )

I’m not sure if any other team in the Dance enters with as much confidence as the Longhorns after they cruised through the Big 12 Tournament destroying Kansas 76-56 in the title game. Texas also closed the regular season with a win over the conference champion Jayhawks beating them in both games by an average of 18 points. They’re also 5-0 ATS in their last five outings. I’m not bashing the Patriot League regular season and tournament champs, but Colgate didn’t have the schedule the Longhorns had in the Big 12. Texas overcame the firing of coach Chris Beard earlier in the season rallying behind the elite play of Marcus Carr, who averaged 16.2 points during the season. Texas also won the Big 12 Tourney without Timmy Allen, who sustained a leg injury. That was a concern heading into the tournament, but after three decisive wins the Longhorns proved they can win without him.

CBB Parlay Pick: Texas -13.5

Oral Roberts Golden Eagles vs. Duke Blue Devils ( -6.5 )

The 5-12 matchups are the ones that seem to bring about the most upsets in the NCAA Tournament. It’s hard to imagine the Blue Devils getting upset by ORU since they’ve been on a roll for sometime winning nine straight games after taking down Virginia 59-49 in the ACC tournament final. A rough stretch to open the season put Duke in a weaker position as a five-seed, but they are getting healthy at the right time with Jeremy Roach, Dereck Lively and Dariq Whitehead all back after missing significant stretches during the year. And along with Kyle Filipowski, who averages 15.4 points and 9.0 rebounds, Duke has its core. But these matchups are intriguing for a reason since the No. 12 seed is often overlooked. And that’s the case with ORU. The Summit Conference isn’t a hotbed of hoops talent, but winning 30 games and 18 straight can’t be overlooked. And Max Abmas is still around after leading ORU to the Sweet 16 a few years ago.

CBB Parlay Pick: Oral Roberts +6.5

Furman Paladins vs. Virginia Cavaliers ( o/u 132.5 )

You always have to consider the UNDER when thinking about backing the Virginia Cavaliers. They held teams to an average of just over 60 points during the regular season and held all three opponents in the ACC tournament to fewer than 60 points. The total for this first round game comes in high by UVA standards. That’s probably because Furman can score the basketball averaging more than 82 points while shooting nearly 49 percent from the field. The Paladins swap offense for defense allowing a bunch of points with their last two SoCon tournament games going OVER the total. Jalen Swanson is the type of player that can give UVA’s defense problems. At 6-7 he plays at the rim and also has the perimeter game shooting 39 percent from three-point range. He’s also one of four players averaging double figures. Virginia would rather slow the pace but they can play at tempo if needed. And I think it might be needed in this one.

CBB Parlay Pick: OVER 132.5

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George Newman
George Newman
Covers NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL for George is also an avid sports bettor and daily fantasy sports fan.

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