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August 22, 2014

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Las Vegas’ opening NCAA Tournament lines: Lots of close first-round games

Wynn releases the valley’s first numbers two hours after Selection Sunday

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Julie Jacobson / AP

Gonzaga’s Sam Dower Jr. (35) puts up a shot against BYU’s Eric Mika in the first half of the NCAA West Coast Conference tournament championship basketball game, Tuesday, March 11, 2014, at Orleans Arena.

Updated Sunday, March 16, 2014 | 9:40 p.m.

Wynn Las Vegas odds to win NCAA Tournament

  • Florida: 3-to-1
  • Arizona: 6-to-1
  • Michigan State: 7-to-1
  • Wichita State: 9-to-1
  • Louisville: 10-to-1
  • Michigan: 11-to-1
  • Duke: 12-to-1
  • Kansas: 14-to-1
  • Virginia: 14-to-1
  • Syracuse: 18-to-1
  • Villanova: 18-to-1
  • Wisconsin: 20-to-1
  • Iowa State: 25-to-1
  • Kentucky: 30-to-1
  • UCLA: 35-to-1
  • Cincinnati: 40-to-1
  • Connecticut: 40-to-1
  • Creighton: 40-to-1
  • San Diego State: 40-to-1
  • New Mexico: 65-to-1
  • Ohio State: 75-to-1
  • Oklahoma State: 75-to-1
  • Memphis: 85-to-1
  • North Carolina: 85-to-1
  • Pittsburgh: 85-to-1
  • VCU: 85-to-1
  • Baylor: 100-to-1
  • Oklahoma: 100-to-1
  • Gonzaga: 125-to-1
  • Oregon: 125-to-1
  • Saint Louis: 125-to-1
  • Texas: 125-to-1
  • Iowa: 175-to-1
  • Providence: 200-to-1
  • Stanford: 200-to-1
  • Tennessee: 200-to-1
  • BYU: 250-to-1
  • Colorado: 250-to-1
  • Kansas State: 250-to-1
  • Xavier: 275-to-1
  • Arizona State: 300-to-1
  • North Carolina State: 400-to-1
  • New Mexico State: 500-to-1
  • Field: 50-to-1

Not all first-weekend NCAA Tournament games were created equal in terms of betting action.

Johnny Avello, sports book director at Wynn Las Vegas, is confident he can already predict some of the contests gamblers will most prefer to wager on during the busiest betting weekend of the year.

“They like the tight matchups,” Avello said, “and there are a lot of them.”

In the Wynn’s opening numbers, 19 of the first 34 lined games for this year’s March Madness contain a single-digit spread. Aside from Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s glorified play-in “First Four” games, which all feature a spread of three points or less, a trio of matchups are tied for the closest lines.

On Thursday, No. 7 seed Texas lays 1.5 points against No. 10 seed Arizona State. Avello also posted No. 8 seed Memphis giving No. 9 seed George Washington 1.5 points, the same figure No. 9 seed Oklahoma State is favored by against No. 8 seed Gonzaga.

He particularly thought the latter stood out as a game that will cause a stir at betting windows between two high-profile teams. Other games Avello pinpointed that would enamor bettors included No. 7 seed Connecticut as a 4-point favorite over No. 10 seed Saint Joseph’s and No. 6 seed Ohio State giving No. 11 seed Dayton 5.5 points.

The Wynn kept up with its annual tradition of being the first book in town to post spreads for every game on Selection Sunday. Look below for a full list.

First Four

No. 16 Albany minus-1.5 vs. No. 16 Mount Saint Mary’s

No. 12 Xavier minus-1.5 vs. No. 12 North Carolina State

No. 16 Cal Poly minus-3 vs. No. 16 Texas Southern

No. 11 Tennessee minus-1 vs. No. 11 Iowa

South Region

No. 2 Kansas minus-15.5 vs. No. 15 Eastern Kentucky

No. 3 Syracuse minus-13 vs. No. 14 Western Michigan

No. 4 UCLA minus-9 vs. No. 13 Tulsa

No. 5 VCU minus-6.5 vs. No. 12 Stephen F. Austin

No. 6 Ohio State minus-5 vs. No. 11 Dayton

No. 7 New Mexico minus-3 vs. No. 10 Stanford

No. 9 Pittsburgh minus-5.5 vs. No. 8 Colorado

East Region

No. 1 Virginia minus-22 vs. No. 16 Coastal Carolina

No. 2 Villanova minus-17 vs. No. 15 Milwaukee

No. 3 Iowa State minus-11 vs. No. 14 North Carolina Central

No. 4 Michigan State minus-14 vs. No. 13 Delaware

No. 5 Cincinnati minus-3.5 vs. No. 12 Harvard

No. 6 North Carolina minus-3.5 vs. No. 11 Providence

No. 7 UConn minus-4.5 vs. No. 10 Saint Joseph’s

No. 8 Memphis minus-1.5 vs. No. 9 George Washington

West Region

No. 1 Arizona minus-21 vs. No. 16 Weber State

No. 2 Wisconsin minus-15 vs. No. 15 American

No. 3 Creighton minus-14.5 vs. No. 14 Louisiana

No. 4 San Diego State minus-8 vs. No. 13 New Mexico State

No. 5 Oklahoma minus-4.5 vs. No. 12 North Dakota State

No. 6 Baylor minus-3.5 vs. No. 11 Nebraska

No. 7 Oregon minus-4 vs. No. 10 BYU

No. 9 Oklahoma State minus-1.5 vs. No. 8 Gonzaga

Midwest Region

No. 2 Michigan minus-19 vs. No. 15 Wofford

No. 3 Duke minus-14 vs. No. 14 Mercer

No. 4 Louisville minus-14.5 vs. No. 13 Manhattan

No. 7 Texas minus-1.5 vs. No 10. Arizona State

No. 8 Kentucky minus-4 vs. No. 9 Kansas State

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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