NCAA Tournament First Four: Top Bets
March 15, 2023

Below are our experts’ recommendations for tonight’s First Four action.

Nevada (+2, 133.5) vs Arizona State

While there are a lot of teams entering the NCAA Tournament playing their best basketball, the Wolf Pack have lost their last three games, all against non-tournament teams. The Wolf Pack are one of the nation’s biggest teams and wants to bully its opponents by feeding the post and freeing up its talented wings for open jumpers. Against an aggressive defense like Arizona State, which has been known to get into foul trouble, free-throw shooting will be a major edge.

Nevada doesn’t take good shots and they also settle for midrange looks. They also do not secure a lot of offensive rebounds in favor of getting back in transition. The Sun Devils are long, athletic and rank sixth nationally in 2-point field goal percentage allowed.

Meanwhile, ASU’s perimeter trio of Desmond Cambridge, DJ Horne, and Frankie Collins is about as quick as they come, and they can wreak havoc on shaky ball-handlers. Nevada hasn’t faced many teams as athletic and quick as ASU, so its possible the Sun Devils can force the Wolf Pack into uncharacteristic errors.

If ASU is firing on all cylinders, it will run over Nevada. If it’s not, this game could be a struggle. The good news for ASU is Nevada is a poor pick-and-roll defensive squad and can be exploited in this action.

We like ASU -2