May 27, 2022

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2022 March Madness predictions: Expert NCAA bracket picks against the spread, odds for First Four games

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USATSI

The 2022 NCAA Tournament is finally here after The Big Dance tipped off Tuesday with two First Four games and two more scheduled for Wednesday. On Tuesday it was Indiana and Texas Southern moving into the big bracket. Wednesday features Bryant vs. Wright State followed by Notre Dame vs. Rutgers.  

The First Four games will serve as tasty appetizers to the main course that starts with the first round on Thursday.

Making things even more interesting is that oddsmakers and experts are split over which teams they expect to advance. All four game spreads are four points or less, which sets the stage for what could be a monumental tournament filled with upsets and surprises over the remaining few weeks.

While surviving and advancing is clearly what matters for most, we care about whether these teams will cover their spreads. Be sure to stick with CBS Sports throughout the rest of the month for NCAA Tournament coverage from the opening tipoff of the First Four through the end of the Final Four. Let’s take a look at our expert picks as the first games get underway across Tuesday and Wednesday.

Odds via Caesars Sportsbook | All times Eastern

Wednesday, 6:40 pm. | truTV, March Madness Live: Bryant has won 16 of its last 17 games and demolished Wagner by 27 points in the NEC title game thanks to senior Peter Kiss and his 34 points. It is as hot as any team right now in the bracket. I’m grabbing the points with the Bulldogs and betting on Kiss to help finesse Bryant to its first NCAA Tournament win at the Division I level. Pick: Bryant +2

Spread

BRY +2

BRY +2

WRST -2

BRY +2

BRY +2

BRY +2

Straight up

BRY

BRY

WRST

BRY

BRY

BRY

Wednesday, 9:10 p.m. | truTV, March Madness Live: Notre Dame getting into the field of 68 was something of a Selection Sunday surprise. The ACC had a really down year, and ND’s credentials outside wins over Kentucky and UNC were nothing to ride home about. I’d take the free point with Rutgers. They were up and down all season, but the highs were pretty good, and the Ron Harper Jr.-Geo Baker-Cliff Omoruyi combo is good enough to get this done in an upset. Pick: Rutgers +1

Spread

RUTG +1

ND -1

RUTG +1

RUTG +1

RUTG +1

ND -1

Straight up

RUTG

ND

RUTG

RUTG

RUTG

ND

Get every pick, every play, every upset and fill out your bracket with our help! Visit SportsLine now to see which teams will make and break your bracket and who will cut down the nets, all from the model that beat over 92% of all CBS Sports brackets for the second time in three tournaments!