Tyus Battle Syracuse Duke
Tyus Battle #25 of the Syracuse Orange drives to the basket against the defense of Tre Jones #3 of the Duke Blue Devils during the second half at the Carrier Dome on February 23, 2019 in Syracuse, New York. Duke defeated Syracuse 75-65. Rich Barnes/Getty Images

Prior to the “First Four” games of the 2019 NCAA Tournament, 10 teams are favored by double-digits in the first weekend of March Madness. One team is an underdog against a lower-seeded opponent, and there are seven betting lines of three points or fewer.

Below are picks against the spread for every first-round game in the 2019 NCAA Tournament, as well as updated betting odds at Las Vegas and online sportsbooks, courtesy of OddsShark.

Thursday, March 21

No.10 Minnesota (+5.5) vs. No.7 Louisville

The Golden Gophers are lucky to be in the tournament after posting a sub-.500 record in the Big Ten. After a poor finish to the season, Louisville could get back on track with a big win to start off March Madness.

Prediction ATS: Louisville

No.14 Yale (+7) vs. No.3 LSU

LSU is without their head coach, and they were upset in their first SEC Tournament game. Yale has an experienced team that can shoot the ball well and potentially cut the Tigers’ March Madness run very short.

Prediction ATS: Yale

No.12 New Mexico State (+6.5) vs. No.5 Auburn

Both of these teams can flat out score with top-15 offenses. Nineteen of the Aggies’ 30 wins have come in a row, and they only lost to Kansas by three points early in the season.

Prediction ATS: New Mexico State

No.13 Vermont (+10) vs. No.4 Florida State

Anthony Lamb has put up impressive numbers for Vermont in their toughest games, averaging 27.7 points on 55.6 percent shooting against Kansas, Louisville and Yale. He could come up big and help the heavy underdogs keep this contest competitive.

Prediction ATS: Vermont

No.15 Bradley (+18.5) vs. No.2 Michigan State

Bradley only went 9-9 in the MVC, and they haven’t faced a team that’s even close to the level of Michigan State all year long.

Prediction ATS: Michigan State

No.11 Belmont/Temple (N/A) vs. No.6 Maryland

No.13 Northeastern (+7) vs. No.4 Kansas

Northeastern is in the top-25 in field goal percentage and three-pointers made, giving them the recipe to possibly pull off a major upset. The Jayhawks have just one victory away from home in the last two months.

Prediction ATS: Northeastern

No.12 Murray State (+4.5) vs. No.5 Marquette

It’s hard to feel too confident in Marquette after Markus Howard missed 14 of 15 shots while battling a wrist injury as the Golden Eagles were upset in the Big East semifinals. Ja Morant has what it takes to carry Murray State to a win or two in the first weekend of March Madness.

Prediction ATS: Murray State

No.10 Florida (+2) vs. No.7 Nevada

With a 29-4 record in one of the better mid-major conferences, Nevada is a legitimate threat to make a deep tournament run. Florida has 15 losses on the season, and they really strengthened their resume with recent two wins over LSU.

Prediction ATS: Nevada

No.15 Abilene Christian (+22.5) vs. No.2 Kentucky

Maybe Kentucky feels they have something to prove after missing out on a No.1 seed. The Wildcats had three non-conference wins of at least 27 points.

Prediction ATS: Kentucky

No.11 Saints Mary’s (+5) vs. No.6 Villanova

This is not the same Villanova team that won two of the last three national titles. The Wildcats can’t shoot the lights out like they used to, and Saint Mary’s proved they are a dangerous team by defeating Gonzaga handily in the WCC Championship Game.

Prediction ATS: Saint Mary’s

No.16. Fairleigh Dickinson/Prairie View A&M (N/A) vs. No.1 Gonzaga

No.15 Montana (+15.5) vs. No.2 Michigan

Montana is a top-20 defensive team in the country, and Michigan only ranks 73rd in offensive efficiency. This could be a low-scoring game that’s relatively close most of the way.

Prediction ATS: Montana

No.10 Seton Hall (+2.5) vs. No.7 Wofford

Wofford is a real threat to make a deep run. They make threes at a better rate than anyone in the field, and they are arguably the tournament’s hottest team with a 20-game winning streak.

Prediction ATS: Wofford

No.9 Baylor (+2.5) vs. No.8 Syracuse

Four of Syracuse’s starters were part of the team that won three NCAA Tournament games a year ago. Baylor is in the bottom half of the nation in three-point percentage, and they could struggle with the Syracuse 2-3 zone.

Prediction ATS: Syracuse

Friday, March 22

No.10 Iowa (+3.5) vs. No.7 Cincinnati

The Bearcats are probably underseeded after finishing second in the AAC with a 14-2 record. Iowa doesn’t even have a top-200 defense, and that will be a problem against Cincinnati.

Prediction ATS: Cincinnati

No.9 Oklahoma (+2) vs. No.8 Ole Miss

With Breein Tyree and Terence Davis leading the way in an experienced Ole Miss backcourt, the Rebels will be a tough matchup for Oklahoma.

Prediction ATS: Ole Miss

No.14 Northern Kentucky (+14) vs. No.3 Texas Tech

North Kentucky’s only games against tournament teams were a pair of 13-point losses to Cincinnati and UCF. This game could be over early into the second half, especially since Texas Tech has the nation’s top defense.

Prediction ATS: Texas Tech

No.13 UC Irvine (+4.5) vs. No.4 Kansas State

Kansas State could be in trouble if Dean Wade doesn’t return from a foot injury. No matter who is on the floor for the Wildcats, it’d be a mistake to sleep on UC Irvine, who has 30 wins this season.

Prediction ATS: UC Irvine

No.15 Colgate (+17.5) vs. No.2 Tennessee

The Volunteers haven’t played their best basketball down the stretch with four losses in 10 games and two losses in four games. This one might be closer than some will expect.

Prediction ATS: Colgate

No.16 Gardner-Webb (+23.5) vs. No.1 Virginia

Virginia might look to embarrass Gardner-Webb after suffering a shocking loss to a No.16 seed last year.

Prediction ATS: Virginia

No.11 Arizona State/St. John’s (N/A) vs. No.6 Buffalo

No.12 Oregon (+1.5) vs. No.5 Wisconsin

Despite Oregon’s Pac-12 Championship run, Wisconsin is the better team. Laying the points is the smart play.

Prediction ATS: Wisconsin

No.9 Washington (+2.5) vs. No.8 Utah State

Utah State had a terrific regular season, and they might be a candidate to go on a run if they weren’t headed for a second-round matchup with North Carolina.

Prediction ATS: Utah State

No.16 North Carolina Central/North Dakota State (N/A) vs. No.1 Duke

No.14 Georgia State (+11.5) vs. No.3 Houston

Georgia State barely has a top-100 offense. The Panthers could have a lot of trouble scoring on the No.5 ranked defense.

Prediction ATS: Houston

No.12 Liberty (+6.5) vs. No.5 Mississippi State

Liberty might be one of the most dangerous double-digit seeds. They’ve got a top-36 offense and defense, and the Flames rank 12th in the country in field goal percentage.

Prediction ATS: Liberty

No.16 Iona (+24) vs. No.1 North Carolina

Head coach Tim Cluess has led Iona to four straight March Madness appearances. The Gaels haven’t lost by 25 points in the tournament during that stretch.

Prediction ATS: Iona

No.9 UCF (-1.5) vs. No.8 VCU

Neither team scores a ton of points. VCU ranks second in the nation in defensive efficiency, and they had won 12 straight games before losing in the A-10 Tournament.

Prediction ATS: VCU

No.11 Ohio State (+5.5) vs. No.6 Iowa State

Even with the Buckeyes getting nearly six points, it’s hard to take them after going 8-12 in the Big Ten. Ohio State has lost four of their last five games, and each defeat has come by six points or more.

Prediction ATS: Iowa State

No.13 Saint Louis (+10.5) vs. No.4 Virginia Tech

It’s easy to forget how good Virginia Tech is because the ACC is so top heavy. The Hokies have the No.10 offense and a top-35 defense. Saint Louis has one of the worst offenses in the field.

Prediction ATS: Virginia Tech