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Malcolm loves to watch all kinds of different sports. He also writes about them.

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Scroll down to see Day 1 betting 1st half unders…

Hands up if you were that college freshman who signed up for an 830am Friday morning lecture, thinking it wouldn’t be a big deal.

Keep your hand up if you were also that freshman who realized a couple of months in those Friday mornings at 830am are actually a big deal.

My point is that people feel their best at different times of the day.

If your college lifestyle was similar to mine, mornings just weren’t your time to shine.

That’s ok.

It turns out we are not alone.

Let’s dive into the details of our graphic above and truly understand what it’s telling us.

  • We are talking about 1st Half over/unders and not full-game totals.
  • We are only looking at games that start at 2pm ET or earlier.
  • The 1st Half total must be set at 70 points or lower.

Good things happen when the above criteria are met, at least for those betting on the 1st Half under.

At 55-28-3 since 2011, a $10 bettor would be up a total of $219.95 if they had blindly bet the 1st Half under for all 86 games.

That $220 represents an ROI of 26.5%.

Getting a 26.5% return for betting on college kids to underperform at events that start earlier than usual seems too easy.

I’m all in on this first-round trend playing out again this year.

More 1st Half Under Trends

When sportsbooks set a total for a game or even a 1st Half total, a precise mathematical formula is used to determine their number.

With access to so much data and analytics, the ‘books have become very good at creating formulas and algorithms to determine overall and 1st half totals.

However, they aren’t perfect.

Over the last 143 play-in and first-round games, the first-half under has cashed at almost a 60% clip.

Algorithms may not understand and consider the pressures of being 20 years old and playing on the big stage.

Maybe, nerves are a factor to start opening tournament games. Or perhaps this is a blip in a 143-game sample size.

At 84-57-2, a $10 bettor would be up $193.56, which is a 14% ROI.

If I think back to being 20 years old and having to play a basketball game on national TV with millions of people watching, I can see how nerves might be a thing.

Of course, the largest crowd I had ever played a sporting event in front of was at a family picnic.

But my point is still valid.

Make sure you lock in some 1st Half unders this year when filling out your tournament betting card.

I want to credit the Sports Gambling Podcast for alerting me to these cool 1st Half under trends.

If you aren’t familiar with SGP, you might want to add them to your podcast playlist.

Wishing you all the best with your March Madness picks and parlays all tournament long.

How It Played Out Day 1

West Virginia vs Maryland – 1st Half O/U +62.5

This game couldn’t have started any better for under bettors. Maryland scored four points in the first nine minutes, and the first half under was cruising.

Until it wasn’t.

Somehow, late in the half, West Virginia led 32-30, and our under bet was now in serious jeopardy.

With :09 seconds left, the Mountaineers’ Kedrian Johnson spotted up for an open three that could have sent the score over +62.5.

Johnson came up super-clutch (for us) by badly missing that open 3-P, and the first half ended with a total of 62 points scored.

Good enough to cash the 1H Underby a half point.

We escaped Game 1 with a win, but it came with a sweat.

Wager: $10 (-110 odds)

Result: Win

Overall Record: 1-0

Overall Profit: $9.09

Furman vs Virginia – 1st Half O/U +61.5

Fun Fact: The University of Furman mascot is a Paladin. At first glance, I assumed they were the Furman Knights.

My bad, Furman. Obviously, that’s a Paladin.

The 1H O/U was set at +61.5 points.

With just over 10 minutes left, the Paladins had scored 7 points and trailed 17-7.

Again, the under was absolutely cruising.

Until it wasn’t.

Furman quickly hit 3 x three balls, and first-half under bettors who weren’t sitting on ice packs jumped up and began to pace.

With under :30 seconds to play, and the total sitting at 59, Furman had a chance to break our hearts.

JP Pegues and his last-second 3-ball never threatened to go in.

Once again, we cashed a first half under.

Once again, we worked up a sweat watching it play out.

The good news for JP is that he would hit a pretty big shot late in the second half and break some Virginia hearts along the way.

Wager: $10 (-110 odds)

Result: Win Overall Record: 2-0

Overall Profit: $18.18

Howard vs Kansas – 1st Half O/U +69.5

Our last game of the day and a chance to run the 1H Under tables.

We didn’t know a whole lot about Kansas basketball, and we knew even less about Howard.

However, having watched Furman earlier in the day, we went into this game with an open mind.

Here is what we learned about Howard basketball.

We don’t like them.

It’s obviously nothing personal. But with a 1H Under ticket in hand, we watched them give up 50 to Kansas and drop 37 of their own.

With almost 5-minutes left in the half, this game flew past its total.

The perfect day was over, but it was an enjoyable ride.

Final 1H Under Betting Results

Total Wagered: $30 (-110 odds)

Results: 2W – 1L

Overall Profit: $8.08 ROI: 27%

With another game fitting our trend on Day 2, we look forward to playing more 1H unders again soon.

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