Early Betting Shortens Longshots in First Round of NCAA Tournament

March Madness has arrived. The NCAA regular season is over, the conference tournaments have concluded and just the NCAA Tournament is left.

Odds makers in Vegas and online have posted the spreads for the first round of the tournament.

Once the first point spreads were posted, bettors pounced on the lines with money coming in strong on Bovada and topbet for some of the biggest dogs of the first round.

After just a few hours, the Wofford Terriers had been bet as a No. 15 seed from an underdog of 19 points to 17 points against Michigan the No. 2 seed.

Coastal Carolina, a No. 16 seed saw its line shrink to 20.5 points from 22 points as an underdog against Virginia a No. 1 seed.

American entering the tournament as a No. 15 seed on betonline and sportsbook.com moved to a dog of 13.5 points from its opening line of 15 points versus Wisconsin a No. 2 seed.

It is still early but the lines late Sunday were moves by a more sophisticated bettor, than those betting later this week when the public converges on the online sites to make their picks.

Teams that were given higher seeds by the selection committee are those at the top of their game. Louisville, Michigan, St. Josephs and Tennessee have all played well down the stretch and could be teams that need to be reckoned with in this tournament.

The Michigan State Spartans are seeded fourth in the East and have become the third pick on many futures boards for the national title. The Spartans are 7 to 1 and behind just consensus favorite Florida at 3 to 1 and the Arizona Wildcats at 6 to 1.

One Bovada odds maker said Florida has some liability on winning it all as the Gators opened last fall at 25 to 1 to win the title.

Some other odds makers have Michigan State listed ahead of Arizona in their futures boards. The Spartans started their run for the trophy against No. 13 seeded Delaware and are chalk by 14 points.

Louisville, liked the Spartans, is a four seed that many felt was a higher seed. The defending national champions are the only school in the country to have been chalk in every one of their games during the season and now have been favored in their past 45 games.

Last season during the Cardinals run to the title they were 4-2 against the number. Louisville tips off its defense of the title against Manhattan as a 14.5-point favorite.

Just two teams that are lower seeds in their opening games have been chosen as favorites. Oklahoma State is seeded ninth and is a favorite by 2-points over Gonzaga the eighth seed. Pittsburgh is a No. 9 seed but is favored by 5.5 points over Colorado a No. 8 seed.

Wichita State, the Midwest top seed and undefeated on the season, opens it tournament against the winner of Texas Southern and Cal Poly. This season Wichita State has the best record at 24-6-1 against the number of any team in the tournament. The Shockers are 8-0 ATS over their past 8 games played.