March Madness 2014 Bracket: Latest Picks and Odds Advice Before 1st-Round Day 1

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March Madness 2014 Bracket: Latest Picks and Odds Advice Before 1st-Round Day 1
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The madness is finally upon us. Tuesday marks the first day of the 2014 NCAA tournament, as Albany and Mount St. Mary's clash for the right to take on Florida, and N.C. State and Xavier compete to face St. Louis in Round 2.

Once the first round of action comes to a close, the final 64 teams will begin their journeys on Thursday in effort of obtain the coveted national title. Before all of these contests get underway, and brackets are filled out with feverish enthusiasm, it's important to know the latest trends in college basketball.

All Your Bracket Essentials:

Bleacher Report

Keeping that in mind, let's break down the latest tournament odds and important picks to make as March Madness creeps closer.

Full Tournament Odds

2014 NCAA Tournament Odds
Team Odds
Florida 5-1
Michigan State 11-2
Arizona 8-1
Louisville 8-1
Kansas 10-1
Wichita State 15-1
Syracuse 18-1
Duke 18-1
Virginia 18-1
Wisconsin 20-1
Michigan 30-1
Creighton 35-1
Villanova 35-1
Iowa State 40-1
UCLA 45-1
North Carolina 50-1
Kentucky 50-1
Oklahoma State 60-1
San Diego State 65-1
Ohio State 65-1
Oklahoma 75-1
Baylor 75-1
UConn 80-1
VCU 90-1
Cincinnati 90-1
Pittsburgh 95-1
Oregon 100-1
Tennessee 115-1
New Mexico 115-1
UMass 125-1
Iowa 125-1
Memphis 125-1
Gonzaga 125-1
Texas 125-1
Saint Louis 125-1
Providence 225-1
Stanford 225-1
Kansas State 300-1
St. Joseph's 350-1
Nebraska 450-1
Dayton 500-1
BYU 500-1
Colorado 500-1
Xavier 500-1
Arizona State 500-1
George Washington 500-1
N.C. State 900-1
Harvard 1000-1
North Dakota State 1000-1
Field (Any Other Team) 100-1

Vegas Insider

All odds current as of March 17 at 7 p.m. ET.

Odds Advice

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

When taking odds into consideration, a team's seed isn't nearly as important as the possible road it must take to reach the promised land. Selecting a team that could potentially have an easy path to the championship is the way to go in this case.

Florida is one such team. With 5-1 odds, the Gators are the favorite to take it all. This is partly due to the strength of the South Region. Both Syracuse and Kansas haven't performed up to snuff lately, while Florida continues to surge. The Gators could have it easy here.

Another nice bet is Virginia at 18-1. The East Region doesn't look particularly strong, as No. 2 Villanova hasn't looked good of late. Iowa State figures to be a big threat here; however, its high-octane offense won't get many good looks against Virginia's stout defense if these two teams end up meeting each other.

Louisville looks like the best bet coming out of the Midwest Region at 8-1 odds, although, this region is really up in the air. With Wichita State, Michigan, Duke and Kentucky in the mix, it may be best to stay away from this region all together.

Full Round 2 Picks

Region Matchup Winner
South TBD vs. Florida Florida
South Pitt vs. Colorado Pitt
South Stephen F. Austin vs. VCU VCU
South Tulsa vs. UCLA UCLA
South Dayton vs. Ohio State Ohio State
South W. Michigan vs. Syracuse Syracuse
South Stanford vs. New Mexico New Mexico
South E. Kentucky vs. Kansas Kansas
West Weber State vs. Arizona Arizona
West Gonzaga vs. Oklahoma State Oklahoma State
West North Dakota State vs. Oklahoma Oklahoma
West New Mexico State vs. San Diego State San Diego State
West Nebraska vs. Baylor Baylor
West Louisiana-Lafayette vs. Creighton Creighton
West BYU vs. Oregon Oregon
West American vs. Wisconsin Winsonsin
East Coastal Carolina vs. Virginia Virginia
East George Washington vs. Memphis Memphis
East Harvard vs. Cincinnati Cincinnati
East Delaware vs. Michigan State Michigan State
East Providence vs. North Carolina Providence
East NC Central vs. Iowa State Iowa State
East St. Joe's vs. UConn UConn
East UW-Milwaukee vs. Villanova Villanova
Midwest TBD vs. Wichita State Wichita State
Midwest Kansas State vs. Kentucky Kentucky
Midwest TBD vs. St. Louis St. Louis
Midwest Manhattan vs. Louisville Louisville
Midwest TBD vs. Massachusetts Massachusetts
Midwest Mercer vs. Duke Duke
Midwest Arizona State vs. Texas Arizona State
Midwest Wofford vs. Michigan Michigan

Sean O'Donnell's Predictions

Keep in mind when selecting Round 2 picks that there will be upsets. It happens every year. Not every higher-ranked team will come out victorious.

Oklahoma State, Pittsburgh, Providence and Arizona State all have the makings to provide big upsets in Round 2. Plan your bracket accordingly.

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