NCAA Basketball First Round | Top Total Picks


The most exciting time of the year is upon us for college basketball fans. The NCAA men’s tournament starts on Thursday, with numerous different games to watch across several nationally televised stations. There are plenty of wagers available when it comes to picking the national champion or the spreads of matchups, but don’t forget about the scoring totals.


The NCAA tournament is a unique event in that the games are played on unfamiliar neutral courts. Some teams will adapt quickly to the new environment while some will take some time to adjust. That could factor into the amount of points scored, and it’s crucial to dissect how easily the buckets will come in these games.

RELATED: NCAA Basketball Tournament Betting | Props and Predictions

Check out below the best NCAA tournament total picks for the Thursday night games. Odds provided by

NCAA Tournament Over/Under Picks 

Florida Gators vs Nevada Wolfpack OVER 133.5

The night action will kick off with a matchup between the No. 10 seed Florida Gators and the No. 7 seed Nevada Wolfpack. Florida is a slight underdog and likes to play at a measured pace, so it will aim to control the tempo in this one. However, Nevada should be able to get out and find easy transition hoops. The Wolfpack may be from a smaller conference but they made a nice March Madness run a year ago and are primed for more. Nevada will hit on all cylinders from the jump and will help this game go “over” the scoring total of 133.5 points.

Michigan Wolverines vs Montana Grizzlies UNDER 130.5

The Michigan Wolverines are sizable favorites to take care of the Montana Grizzlies in a rematch of last year’s NCAA Tournament game. Both teams were very good this year but Michigan is from a much bigger conference and has the talent advantage. The Wolverines have a stingy defense and were victorious last year by a score of 61-47. There are some new faces but many of the same elements will be the same. The scoring total is listed at 130.5 points and that seems too high. Take the “under” as Montana has enough talent to keep the Wolverines from sprinting away with this victory.

Baylor Bears vs Syracuse Orange UNDER 131.5

Another night game to watch features the Baylor Bears and the Syracuse Orange. This is another game that is expected to be tight, as Syracuse has been listed as a two-point favorite. The scoring total is pretty low as it has been set at 131.5 points. However, that is not low enough. Both sides are fine playing in a halfcourt style, and the Orange’s 2-3 zone can be hard to crack for teams not used to seeing it consistently. Look for this game to be a grind, with the “under” the easy choice on the total.

NCAA Tournament Over/Under Best Pick

Our favorite pick: Gonzaga and Fairleigh Dickinson to go “over” 152.5 points 

Those picks on the scoring total should certainly be considered, and there is one more that stands out among the slate of games on Thursday evening. The Gonzaga Bulldogs are going to be huge favorites in their opening-round matchup against Fairleigh Dickinson. The spread shouldn’t be touched because it is listed at 26.5 points, and there is no way of knowing how quickly Gonzaga will pull their starters.

However, it’s clear the Bulldogs want to get the sour taste of losing to Saint Mary’s out of their mouth, and should come out running and gunning in this one. Fairleigh Dickinson may try to slow the pace early, but once it gets down by double digits it will have no choice but to push the ball. The scoring total is listed at 152.5 points, and the “over” should be the pick.

Check out the latest NCAA March Madness betting odds for today.