March Madness Chalk Plays: Favorites that are locks to advance

During the Big Dance there aren’t very many locks. As we have seen in the past, anything can happen in any game. All we need to do is look back to last season’s March Madness tournament when the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament, Virginia, was curb-stomped by a 16-seed, making UMBC a household acronym and part of history.

However, there are a few very attractive picks that stick out if you like to slam the favorites and play it safe.

3 March Madness Chalk Picks

Nevada (-1.5) vs. Florida

The Nevada Wolf Pack, not to be confused with the N.C. State Wolfpack, have the Martin Twins, who used to play for, yes, N.C. State. Caleb and Cody must really like wolves. Anyway, Nevada was one of the surprise teams last season under Eric Musselman, running their way to the Sweet Sixteen before losing to Cinderella, Loyola-Chicago.

Joey Public is all over the Gators because they’re 4-0 ATS in the past four, 5-0 ATS in the past five neutral-site games, etc. And the Wolf Pack are 1-7 ATS in their past eight games. However, experience matters, and Nevada has a ton of it. And Vegas isn’t in the business of losing money. All of those casual bettors holding Florida tickets have losing paper in their hands. Nevada is moving on to the second round. Book it.

Iowa State (-6.5) vs. Ohio State

The Buckeyes were on the bubble and a surprise addition to the field. They don’t have a terribly strong resume, and they haven’t been strong against the number, either. Ohio State is 9-23 ATS in the past 32 neutral-site games and 0-8 ATS in their past eight NCAA Tournament appearances. They’re also 9-19 ATS in the past 28 against winning teams.

The Cyclones, on the other hand, who won the competitive Big 12 Tournament, have picked up covers in five of the past six neutral-site games while going 6-2-1 ATS in the past nine non-conference tilts. Iowa State will not only advance, but they will cover, too.

As an added bonus, look into the ‘over’. The total has cashed over in six of the past seven for Ohio State, and six straight in neutral-site battles. The over is 5-1 in Iowa State’s past six, and 8-2 in their past 10 NCAA Tournament games.

Utah State (-3) vs. Washington

A lot of casual bettors might see a Mountain West Conference team favored over a Power 5 Conference side and it raises some eyebrows. But USU is a studly group, and they have had a rich history in the NCAA Tournament, too. The Aggies went to the Elite Eight in 1970, losing to the buzzsaw that was UCLA. They pulled an upset over Ohio State in 2001, too. Since then, they have only scared people.

However, USU is 7-2 ATS over the past nine and they’re playing well. Washington is 1-6 ATS in the past seven, and 0-3-1 ATS in the past four non-conference games while going 1-4 ATS in the past five neutral-site affairs.

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