March Madness is finally upon us after taking a one-year hiatus and I cannot wait to start firing on some games — so let me get started immediately with a 2021 First Four Bet Pick for the NCAA Tournament.
Thursday is the first day of action with 4 play-in games to decide the final quartet of teams in the field of 68. When it comes to betting I seldomly will bet on totals and typically stick to betting spreads and money line bets.
However, that does not mean that I wont absolutely hammer an over or under when all of the stars align. And that’s exactly what we have here for the under in the game between Appalachian State Mountaineers and Norfolk State Spartans.
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2021 First Four Bet Pick
Appalachian State Mountaineers (-3) vs Norfolk State Spartans
Under 134 (-110)
A few things jump out here.
First, looking at the X’s and O’s both of these teams grade out to have pretty solid defenses. Norfolk State for starters runs a zone called the “floppy zone," which is a hybrid defense that switches back and forth between man-to-man, a 2-3 zone, and a 3-2 zone.
This defense is intended to confuse opponents which ultimately forces them into making mistakes or take bad shots. When you look at the other side of the ball, Appalachian State plays superb defense while committing very few fouls which has earned them the 23rd-ranked defense in the country.
I expect both of these teams to come out and do what they do best: Rely on strong defense to try to get the win and secure one of the final spots in the tournament.
Furthermore, when looking at the handle distribution for this game, the Under is a no-brainer for me.
At the time of writing, more than 90% of the money bet on this game has been placed on the Over.
Even with all of that money on the Over for some reason, we have seen this line drop.
Oddsmakers opened this total at 135.5, and it now it’s currently at 133.5. This reverse line movement can sometimes be attributed to sharp action or the books taking a stand trying to entice bettors to wager more money on the lower line.
I’m buying half a point to lock in the Under 134.
Check out our full 2021 March Madness Predictions & Picks Guide. Then, make this 2021 First Four Bet Pick — and other 2021 NCAA Tournament bets — at one of our partner sportsbooks. 👇