March Madness Round 1 Parlays 2024

Frank AmmiranteSenior Sports Writer
Last Updated: Mar 21, 2024

March Madness is one of the most exciting sporting events of the year. There’s no shortage of options in the NCAA Tournament, making it an ideal event to build parlays.

On this page, we’ll provide you with a best bet, longshot parlay, and same game parlay, for the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

With that in mind, here are our March Madness parlays for Round 1.

March Madness Round 1 Parlays

All CBB odds used for March Madness parlay bets are current as of 1 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 21, and are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

March Madness Round 1 Top Parlay (+102)

WAGER: 1 unit • DraftKings Sportsbook

  • Baylor ML (-1050) vs Colgate
  • San Diego St. ML (-278) vs UAB
  • Marquette ML (-1350) vs Western Kentucky
  • Auburn ML (-800) vs Yale
  • Duke ML (-800) vs Vermont

March Madness is usually filled with upsets, but I’m going with five moneyline favorites for the Round 1 top parlay.

Let’s start with Baylor, which boasts the sixth-ranked offense in the nation, per Ken Pomeroy’s rankings. It’s going to be tough for Colgate (106th on defense) to slow down the Bears here.

Next, we’ll dive into our riskiest pick of the parlay in San Diego State. The Aztecs are stout defensively, ranking 8th in the country. UAB comes in at 254th in three-point percentage, so it will be tough to break down this Aztecs defense.

Marquette ML is our third pick because the Golden Eagles are a balanced squad that ranks in the top 25 on both ends of the floor, per KenPom. Meanwhile, Western Kentucky is 190th on offense, so it’ll be difficult for them to keep pace.

I like Auburn to go deep in this tournament, starting with a convincing win vs Yale, who ranks 86th on KenPom. The Tigers just won the SEC tourney and look poised for an impressive run in March Madness.

I’ll finish it off with Duke ML because the Blue Devils have too much firepower for Vermont. Look for Duke to rely on senior guard Jeremy Roach to get them through the first round.

March Madness Round 1 Longshot Parlay (+1239)

WAGER: 0.1 units • DraftKings Sportsbook

  • Charleston ML (+370) vs Alabama
  • Grand Canyon ML (+185) vs Saint Mary’s

The March Madness Round 1 longshot parlay includes two heavy underdogs to win outright.

I’ll start with Charleston, which ranks 57th in adjusted offensive efficiency, per KenPom. On the other hand, Alabama is 113th on defense, so the Cougars could cause some problems for the Crimson Tide.

It’s also worth noting that Charleston ranks 23rd in rebounds and 18th in offensive boards, so they could get some second-chance opportunities vs Alabama.

The Cougars are currently on a 12-game winning streak, while the Crimson Tide have lost four of their last six, so this game looks ripe for an upset.

I’ll add Grand Canyon on the moneyline because the Antelopes are better than your average 12-seed, ranking 52nd on Pomeroy’s rankings.

Saint Mary’s is a well-balanced team that comes in 18th on these ranks, but the Gaels shoot 67.8% from the free throw line (315th), which could cause them to leave points on the board.

This is a slow-paced side (354th in pace), so missing free throws could be a major issue in a game with fewer possessions.

Grand Canyon could put a scare into Saint Mary’s in this one, which I expect to come down to the wire, so I’ll take the Cougars to pull off the upset.

Northwestern vs Florida Atlantic Same Game Parlay (+222)

WAGER: 0.5 units • DraftKings Sportsbook

  • Boo Buie Over 20.5 Points (-110)
  • Johnell Davis Over 17.5 Points (-115)

Northwestern vs. Florida Atlantic is a game with a relatively high total at 142 points, and it’s a good spot for each team’s leading scorer.

I’ll start with Wildcats senior guard Boo Buie to go Over 20.5 points because he averaged 19.2 points per game while shooting 45% from the field and 43.3% from beyond the arc.

Buie has scored at least 20 points in three of his last four games, including 29 against Wisconsin.

I’ll finish it off with Owls junior guard Johnell Davis to go Over 17.5 points, since he put up 18.2 points per game on 48.7% field goal shooting with a 45.7% three-point percentage.

In a matchup that could be high-scoring, each of these players should put up their fair share of points, especially if the game is as close as the spread suggests (FAU -3.5).


Frank Ammirante

Frank Ammirante is a Senior Sports Writer at The Game Day. Previously, he wrote for 4for4 Football and RotoBaller. Frank is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writer's Association while maintaining an active presence within the community. He has competed in industry contests like the Scott Fish Bowl, The Great Fantasy Baseball Invitational, and more. Frank will be making his debut in Tout Wars this year. He's got a diverse sporting background, but specializes in football and baseball.

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