NCAA Basketball Betting – The best of the first-round matchups

College Basketball Betting Lines2010 March Madness odds are the first sign of spring, and with the NCAA Tournament on the horizon, there’ll be a lot of action in your online sportsbook. Here’s a peek at the best matchups to watch during the first two days (roughly 24 hours of basketball).

Houston vs Maryland odds – Friday, 9:40 PM ET

The No.4 Terrapins are favored by nine points in this Midwest region matchup against No.13 Houston, who upset UTEP in the Conference USA championship game for their first trip to the big dance in 18 years. This will be an explosive clash between top individual players as Maryland’s Greivis Vazquez will go against Houston’s Aubrey Coleman, so it’ll be a matter of which supporting cast steps up more.

Florida vs BYU odds – Thursday, 12:20 PM ET

The No.7 Cougars are a 4.5-point favorite in this West region clash against the No.10 Gators, who are back in the Tournament for the first time since winning back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007. BYU is powered by Jimmer Fredette, who scored 75 points in two games during the MWC tournament. The Gators are balanced and tough defensively, and they have a great coach in Billy Donovan. This has upset written all over it, especially when you consider that the Cougars have gone out in the first round of the dance three straight years and haven’t won a Tournament game since 1993.

Washington vs Marquette odds – Thursday, 7:20 PM ET

NCAA March Madness odds have No.6 Marquette as a 2-point favorite in this East region contest between two teams that went out in the second round of last year’s big dance, and the Golden Eagles are a much better team than the one that was belted by Georgetown in the Big East semifinals. No.11 Washington won the Pac-10 tournament to get here, and they’ve gotten hot at the right time of year with seven straight wins. This could turn out to be the best game of the whole first round.

Siena vs Purdue odds – Friday, 2:30 PM ET

No.4 Purdue is a 4-point favorite in this South region contest, but some are calling for Siena to be favored after winning their third MAAC tournament in a row. The Boilermakers were rolled by Minnesota in the Big Ten semifinals, scoring 11 points in the first half. Purdue lost their leader, Robbie Hummel, to an ACL injury and he was the glue that kept this team together, and they looked all out of sorts against Minnesota. Siena, led by Alex Franklin, is balanced and they’re very disciplined, ranking first in fouls with 12.2 turnovers. Don’t be afraid to take the Saints’ March Madness odds.

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