On Thursday we get to see the Alabama Crimson Tide when they face the Texas A&M-CC Islanders, the first team to win in the First Four. The Islanders saw off the challenge of SEMO on Tuesday, and now face one of the favorites to win the 2023 NCAA Tournament. Can they pull off a shock win over the number 1 seeds? Let’s take a look with our NCAAB betting picks.
- What; NCAA Tournament Men’s Basketball March Madness – 1st Round
- Who; Alabama Crimson Tide vs Texas A&M-CC Islanders
- Where; Legacy Arena, Birmingham, Alabama
- When; Thursday, March 16th, 2023
- Tip Off; 1.45 pm ET
Betting to win the 2023 NCAA Tournament
The Crimson Tide didn’t start the season as one of the betting favorites. But they certainly ended it that way. As things stand, the Crimson Tide (+550) and the Houston Cougars (+550) are the joint favorites to win the 2023 NCAA Tournament with best March Madness betting sites.
The closest rivals to the pair are the Kansas Jayhawks and Purdue Boilermakers, who are both +1000 to win college basketball’s greatest prize. More betting odds to win the 2023 NCAA Tournament can be found below in our odds table. For more information about the bookmakers listed, please check out our top US sportsbooks reviews page.
|NCAAB Tournament Winner Betting 2023|
Betting to win the South Region
As you might expect, as joint favorites to win the competition outright, the Crimson Tide are also favorites to win the South Region. The Southeastern winners are just +150 to add the South Region crown to their list of achievements this season. Their closest challengers are Arizona at +385, and Baylor at +600.
Who are Alabama’s March Madness opponents?
In the immediate aftermath of Selection Sunday, the Crimson Tide didn’t know who their March Madness 1st Round opponents would be. This after they were drawn to play the winners of the opening First Four match. We all now know who their opponents are after Texas A&M-CC defeated SEMO 75-71 in Ohio on Tuesday.
TEXAS A&M CC WINS THE FIRST GAME OF THE TOURNAMENT 🔥
The Islanders defeat SEMO 75-71 to advance to Thursday’s First Round! #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/dPZUiCiWHW
— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) March 15, 2023
Texas A&M completed this win without guard Terrion Murdix as well. Unfortunately for them, Murdix will also miss their chance to blow the NCAA Tournament wide open when they face the Crimson Tide on Thursday. This is because the Southland Conference Defensive Player of the Year is recovering from a knee injury. As disappointing as that is – we all like to see the best players on the court, it is part and parcel of basketball.
That said, Murdix will still be looking to his teammates to cause the shockwaves for Texas on Thursday. But he knows they will have their work cut out against an Alabama side that has visibly grown in strength and confidence as the season has continued.
The win for Texas over SEMO was their fifth in a row. And it was also their 13th win in their last 14 matches. If nothing else, they should be approaching the showdown with Nate Oats’ team with confidence. But having confidence is one thing. Beating the betting (albeit joint) favorites, and number 1 seeds is another.
Alabama are on a roll
Alabama has won 11 of their last 13 matches. They won the Southeastern with a conference record of 16-2. Overall, they had a record of 29-5. While at home, their record reads 15-0. Oh, and just for good measure, they are on a winning streak of three.
Ironically, the last defeat suffered by Nate Oats’ team was away to the Islanders’ cross town rivals, Texas A&M Aggies. The 67-61 defeat for the Crimson Tide came in the final match of conference play.
1923 🤝 2023
Texas A&M earned its 15th conference win for the first time in a century by knocking off No. 2 Alabama 👍 https://t.co/PBsFA4qbbK
— TexAgs (@TexAgs) March 4, 2023
Alabama vs Texas A&M-CC Betting
In the betting to win on the day, Alabama Crimson Tide are the hot favorites at -12500 on the moneyline. They are basically unbackable. As for the Islanders, they are +2500. This is good odds. But only worth betting on if you believe in fairytales, or maybe even Father Christmas!
Moving onto the handicap spread, Nate Oats’ team are going to have to win by a huge margin of 25 points or more if they are to cover the 24.5 spread. Both teams are -110 on the handicap line.
Finally, total points. For this match, the target is 155. The best college basketball betting sites have over 155 at -110, and under 155 is also -110.
Our March Madness Pick
It’s obviously a fair enough call to discount a win for the Islanders. It’s just a case of whether Alabama really takes them to the cleaners, or decides to go easy on them?
This is the only question that needs answering here. Do we think Alabama will go flat out for the whole match? Or will they just do enough to win, and keep some reserves in the tank?
In conference play, Alabama regularly racked up wins of 25 points or more. And there is little reason to suggest they won’t do this again in the 1st Round of March Madness. They will want to lay down a marker to the rest of the NCAA, and we think they will do so when they take to the court on Thursday.