The West region offers plenty of intrigue, possibly beyond the first round in terms of picking a bracket.

However, with spreads mixed into the equation, There’s enough action to keep anyone interested in the first round, even with fewer-than-expected upsets. Here’s the West region best bets.

The Michigan Wolverines offer solid value as a team that will make it to the championship game. Flickr

1 Gonzaga (-27.5) vs. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson

On paper, this is a massive mismatch. Gonzaga owns the best offense in the country in terms of offensive efficiency. Fairleigh Dickinson isn’t bad on offense, but still ranks 63rd.

Unfortunately for Fairleigh Dickinson, the defense leaves a lot to be desired. The Knights are ranked 218 in defensive efficiency. The Bulldogs are ranked sixth.

So, like I said this is a colossal mismatch. The play-in game has been a terrible omen for 16 seeds, and I’ll stick with that assessment. There’s a reason why this number has grown from the opening line. — Go Chalk with Gonzaga

8 Syracuse (-1.5) vs. 9 Baylor

This should be one of the more intriguing games, based on a couple of items.

The Orange are solid on defense. They can turn over teams and confuse the opposition with its zone. However, Baylor can rebound. The Bears are one of the best rebounding teams in the country, and that could be a major mismatch in favor of Baylor against a zone defense.

This is a toss-up, but I’ll go with second-chance points being a major contributor for the Bears. — Go Against The Chalk with Baylor

5 Marquette (-3.5) vs. 12 Murray State

Everybody loves Ja Morant. He’s a lottery pick playing on a mid-major, so what’s not to like?

My biggest problem with that, though, is that everyone is dismissing a Marquette team that has been really good, other than a late stretch. The Golden Eagles are a balanced team, with a solid approach to its offensive and defensive units.

And Markus Howard may take all the attention being centered on Morant as a motivational tool. This is a tough one to predict, but I’d go with the undervalued Golden Knights. — Go Chalk with Marquette

4 Florida State (-9) vs. 13 Vermont

There’s a reason why this number has diminished since Sunday night.

Oddsmakers set the opening line at minus-11 in favor of the Seminoles, until bettors went hard on the Catamounts. Vermont is no stranger to the Big Dance, and the team is balanced. The Catamounts rank in the top-50 in offensive and defensive efficiency. They also have a player who can take over a game if necessary in Anthony Lamb.

I like Florida State, but this is a spot where I don’t trust the Seminoles. They’ve struggled in the past against these kind of mid-majors, which are capable of playing at both ends. Florida State ranks worse than 100 in offensive efficiency, so that just won’t be good enough to cover this spread. If you’re feeling as good as I do about this game, put some cash on the moneyline, too. — Go Against The Chalk with Vermont

11 Arizona State (-2) vs. 11 St. John’s

In a game where two March Madness legends are at the coaching helm, this matchup should come down to which offense can be more consistent.

St. John’s isn’t elite at anything, but that shouldn’t be too much of a detriment, since the Sun Devils can’t score. If I’m hooking my life on any of those units, though, I’m banking on the Sun Devils defense to step up.

Arizona State has been better all year on that end, so I’ll trust that unit once again in this play-in game. Despite my pick for Arizona State, I don’t like either of these teams to win a game after the play-in. — Go Chalk with Arizona State

3 Texas Tech (-13.5) vs. 14 Northern Kentucky

When right, Texas Tech is one of the better teams in this tournament.

The only problem is that the Red Raiders have been inconsistent too often for comfort this season. Even after finishing the season on a frenetic pace, giving them a share of the Big 12 regular season title, the Red Raiders came crashing back to earth with a loss to West Virginia in the conference tournament.

I think the Red Raiders are going to win this game, but I’d favor Northern Kentucky at this level. Northern Kentucky’s offense is good and should be good enough to to keep this within single digits for the majority of this contest. — Go Against The Chalk with Northern Kentucky

7 Nevada (-2.5) vs. 10 Florida

Don’t overthink this one.

I think the betting public and oddsmakers are doing that in this case. The Wolfpack are better. They’ve been consistently good this season and picked the wrong team to lose a second game to when San Diego State won the conference tournament.

Nevada has a good enough defense to compliment its offense, so I’m not worried about a power-five conference team that was middle of the pack to be close in this one. Florida’s offense is terrible, so Nevada shouldn’t have an issue in this game. I’m more in line with this game being in double-digits. — Go Chalk with Nevada

2 Michigan (-15) vs. 15 Montana

John Beilein is quickly becoming a master in March. So I’m not going to doubt him once again.

My Final Four team out of this region is Michigan, so I’ll anticipate a focused beginning to the tournament. The Wolverines have a stifling defense, so even if the offense goes through some lulls, they’ve capable of keeping the opposition in check.

Montana doesn’t play good enough defense to keep up with the Wolverines. This is another one where you don’t need to overthink this.

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