Tuesday College Basketball Best Bets for NCAA Tournament First Four, NIT Tournament First Round

Wyoming Cowboys forward Graham Ike.
Wyoming Cowboys forward Graham Ike. / Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

March Madness is coming at us fast and furious, and we are already betting postseason games, starting with the First Four and NIT Tournament games.

I have three bets for Tuesday's college basketball slate, focusing on one of the NCAA Tournament's First Four games in Dayton, Ohio, as well as an angle I'm playing on a pair of NIT games.

For more plays on all of the NCAA Tournament, check out my betstamp.

Odds courtesy of WynnBET Sportsbook:

Column Record: 98-97-3 (-4.6 Units).

Wyoming (+3.5) vs. Indiana

This is widely available at +4, but I bet +3.5, so here we are. This game is more like a coinflip than it is being lined.

While Indiana is the hot team at the moment, I think they are in an unfavorable spot as a favorite now. The team was able to do damage in the Big Ten Tournament as underdogs, but now will be the hunted.

I like Wyoming's swiss army knife guard Hunter Maldanaldo, who is fantastic in post up situations and can give the Indiana back court fits, to operate down low and find shooters on the perimeter. Wyoming has shot makers on the outside in Brendan Wenzel and Xavier DuSell to hang in this game.

The Cowboys protect the ball well, 62nd in the country in turnover rate and have a reliable big man in Graham Ike that can match up with Trayce Jackson-Davis. This is the matchup that will likely dictate the game. Both are great at finishing and command a ton of attention down low, but I trust Wyoming's complimentary threats to make the Hoosiers pay.

This is a tight matchup, and I'll note that it's not the prettiest travel situation for Wyoming, who is traveling across time zones for a Tuesday night game, but I believe in a team who has made a habit of grinding out close games all season.

Wyoming has played teams close all season while Indiana has struggled to close out games, I'll take the Mountain West dog at over two buckets.

PICK: Wyoming +3.5, play to +2.5

Missouri State (+6) vs. Oklahoma

My next two plays are on the NIT side of things, where I'm fading teams that narrowly missed the NCAA Tournament. Oklahoma made a late push for the big dance, but came up short after losing to Texas Tech in heartbreaking fashion.

Now, the Sooners face a Missouri State team that has a dynamite guard in Isaiah Mosley and a big man in Gaige Prim that can hang on the perimeter with OU big man Tanner Groves.

I'm just not sure the motivation is going to be here for an Oklahoma team that has nothing to play for after a taxing season.

The team is bottom 10 in the country in turnover rate and doesn't generate second chance opportunities at all (261st in the country). Lastly, the team struggles at defending the interior, outside the top 200 in 2-point percentage allowed, the primary attack point for Mosley and the Bulldogs.

I see a schematic and motivation edge for Mo. State so I'll take the points.

PICK: Missouri State +6

Cleveland State (+12.5) vs. Xavier

So I said Oklahoma nearly missed the Tournament, which stings, but Xavier wasn't even in the zip code when it was all said and done.

Travis Steele's Musketeers lost eight of their last 10 to close the season, including a blown lead in the final seconds in Big East Tournament against Butler. Steele may be done as Xavier's head coach, and I can't envision we see a big effort from them after their collapse down the stretch.

They are facing Cleveland State, the Horizon League regular season champions, who are the second most experienced team in the country, per KenPom, and should give a valiant effort on the road.

The team is fantastic at scoring on the interior, mainly behind their awesome offensive rebounding, top 15 in the country over the past month, and can attack a Xavier team that may be looking forward to the offseason and has seen their adjusted defensive efficiency rank outside the top 200 over the last month.

In a typical setting I may not play this, but I'll catch the falling knife that is Xavier, who is ranked 121st in the country per barttorvik.com over the last month, and take Cleveland State.

PICK: Cleveland State +12.5, play to +11

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