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Free NCAA Women's Tournament Betting Picks - Today's Best Bets, Expert Predictions, Odds (3/17/23)

NBA Betting Picks

The NCAA Tournament is here, with first-round action on the women's side tipping off on Friday. We've got a lot of great games on this first day of the tournament, including some really intriguing upset possibilities, like 11-seed UNLV taking on 6-seed Michigan.

It can sometimes be difficult to find places to bet on women's college basketball, which is a real shame. But thankfully, places like DraftKings have lines listed for the tournament, so it should be a little easier to find those bets this month.

In this article, you can find some of my favorite picks for day one of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, March 17th, 2023. Make sure to also check out our other NCAA/NIT Tournament articles as we will be having picks and DFS suggestions running throughout the Tournament. You can access all of our latest sports betting promos, and sign up for a sportsbook here. Find me on Twitter @juscarts, and let me know if you want more women's betting content. All stats come from Her Hoop Stats unless otherwise noted.

Featured Promo: Get any full-season Props Premium Pass for 30% off using code SUMMER. Win more with our two new Props Optimizer tools -- one for PrizePicks Props, and one for Sportsbook Betting Props. Find optimal prop bets and get our recommended picks daily! Go Premium, Win More!

 

South Florida (8) vs Marquette (9)

11:30 AM ET - ESPN2

South Florida's probably seeded a line lower than it would have been had the Bulls managed to win the American Athletic Conference tournament, but an upset loss there led to a 8-seed USF as well as a second bid for the conference, with East Carolina winning the tournament and getting a 13-seed.

Anyway, South Florida's a two-point favorite for this one on DraftKings, but I think this is much more likely to be a win by five or more points for the Bulls. The big reason why is that they were a good bit better than Marquette offensively this season—South Florida has the 29th-best offensive rating in the country, while Marquette is 134th in that stat. The Golden Eagles have a better defense, but not by a ton, as they only allow 2.0 points per 100 possessions less than South Florida does.

All in all, these teams feel even on defense but South Florida has a decided edge offensively. And while Marquette played in a tougher conference, USF has shown it can beat major conference teams, beating Alabama, Texas and Arkansas in non-conference play. The team also took a really good Ohio State team to overtime, and lost just one regular season game in their conference.

The Pick: South Florida -2 (-110 DK)

 

Florida State (7) vs Georgia (10)

1:30 PM ET - ESPN2

Despite the seeding disparity, Georgia is a one-point favorite on DraftKings. And while I can understand why that's the case—Florida State lost two in a row to end the year, both by double-digits—I still think FSU is the better team here. This really feels more like a pick 'em kind of situation to me than it does anything else.

As for why I'm taking the FSU ML, one big thing is that I think FSU's major strength—it's offense—is better than Georgia's major strength—it's defense. The Seminoles have the ninth-best scoring offense in the country, a number that's boosted by the team's pace, which ranks seventh in Division I.

On the other side, Georgia struggles to score—they rank 131st in scoring offense and 118th in offensive rating. But the Bulldogs have some strong defense, ranking 31st in defensive rating. But this just feels like the kind of game where FSU can control the pace of play, push the ball down the floor, and take away a big part of the Georgia advantage.

Another mark against Georgia: the Bulldogs were 0-8 in Quad 1 games this season, making them the only SEC team without a Quad 1 victory. Florida State had seven Quad 1 wins. That's a huge disparity there.

Alright, so I wrote everything I crossed out above under the assumption that FSU's best player, Ta'Niya Latson, would be playing in this game, but that's not the case:

So, while I think a full-strength FSU is better than Georgia for the reasons you can read above, I'm going with Georgia here because of the Latson injury.

The Pick: Georgia ML (-115 DK)

 

Michigan (6) vs UNLV (11)

3:00 PM ET - ESPNU

This game is a lot closer than you might think. These teams are very close in Her Hoop Stats Rating, with Michigan at 24 and UNLV at 29. Michigan should be favored, but the 3.5 spread is just wide enough that there's value in betting the UNLV side.

UNLV ranks 14th in the country in net rating, while Michigan ranks 37th. The Lady Rebels went 30-2 this season, losing to Pacific and Oklahoma State. The OSU loss was pretty bad—they lost by 25— but the team did have non-conference wins over Illinois State and Hawaii, and they ran the table in the Mountain West.

But this pick is more about me not being confident in Michigan. The Wolverines have some good wins, but they lost to Toledo in non-conference play and ended the season on a tough note. From Feb. 16 on, Michigan went just 2-4. That's...not ideal, especially at this time of year. With Michigan on the downswing and UNLV not having lost since Dec. 18, I think there's some real upside in betting on the Rebels.

The Pick: UNLV +3.5 (+150 DK)

 

Ole Miss (8) vs Gonzaga (9)

10:00 PM ET - ESPNU

I view this one as basically a toss-up, but because Ole Miss is favored, I think there's value in betting the Gonzaga side.

These teams have a lot in common, as they rank 20th (Gonzaga) and 26th (Ole Miss) in net rating. Gonzaga is one of the better offenses in the country when accounting for pace—it's 53rd in points per game, but 11th in points per 100 possessions—and Ole Miss is one of the better defenses, ranking 15th in defensive rating.

But while the overall resumes are fairly even, Ole Miss has gone 3-3 over its last six games, including a 29-point loss to South Carolina in the SEC tournament. Meanwhile, Gonzaga was upset by Portland last time out, but won seven in a row before that, and had non-conference wins over Louisville and Tennessee.

I'm not super confident in this one—don't throw it in a parlay or anything. But it's a game where both teams feel really even but the books give an edge to Ole Miss, so I'm definitely good with putting a little on Gonzaga because I think the books are a tiny bit off.

The Pick: Gonzaga ML (+110 DK)

 

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