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NCAA Tournament props for the Saturday action

CBB Bets



With the Sweet Sixteen set, Brad Evans from FTNFantasy.com blows out the candles and rolls out a four-pack of player props for this weekend’s matchups.

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Prop 1: Ethan Thompson, Oregon State (UNDER 14.5 points vs. Loyola-Chicago)

Going toe-to-toe with Loyola’s unbending defense is an experience on par with having your Cinnamon Toast Crunch hankering squelched by a contaminated box filled with discarded shrimp tails and dental floss. The Ramblers are the nation’s No. 1-ranked defense, conceding a suffocating 0.861 points per possession. Brilliant in their communication on switches, methodical in pace and equipped with active hands in passing lanes, they routinely frustrate those who encounter them. Just ask Brad Underwood’s Illini. Thompson exploded for 26 against Oklahoma St., but similar to his 13-point output against Tennessee’s rock-solid defensive scheme, he will inevitably crash back down to earth. Loyola’s D execution is unmistakably divine. 

Prop 2: Davion Mitchell, Baylor (OVER 3.5 assists vs. Villanova)

Wide awake after a brief post-coronavirus slumper, the Bears national pundits anointed as Gonzaga’s stiffest competition earlier this season are undoubtedly back. With its defense once again restrictive and given the exceptional guard play of Macio Teague, Jared Butler and Mitchell, it was only a matter of time. Though astute against Winthrop and North Texas, Villanova is a rather mundane team defensively. Baylor’s crisp passing, smooth rotations and three-point explosiveness label the matchup “lopsided.” Mitchell crossed the proposed threshold 14 times this season, including an eight-dime performance against Wisconsin. In a contest in which the Bears should flirt with 80 points, he’s a viable 5- to 7-assist candidate. 

Prop 3: DeJon Jarreau, Houston OVER (4.5 rebounds vs. Syracuse)

On a positionless Houston team, the senior UMass transfer is the default floor general. At 6-foot-5 and blessed with gazelle-like hops, Jarreau, like most members on his team, is a fearless rebounder who is always willing to get his nose dirty in the post. Grabbing second chances is a Houston calling card. Only North Carolina recorded more offensive rebounds on a per possession basis this season. Syracuse’s much publicized zone often befuddles the competition, but its primary weakness is allowing the opposition to snag boards, evidenced by the Orange’s No. 340 standing in defensive rebounding percentage. In the end, a 6- to 8-rebound effort is entirely likely. 

Prop 4: Buddy Boeheim, Syracuse (UNDER 20.5 points vs. Houston)

The Orange’s Human Torch is blazing the nets this NCAA Tournament season. Exhibiting range Steph Curry or Jimmer Fredette would be impressed by, junior Boeheim is channeling Carmelo Anthony, nearly single-handedly carrying his club into the Sweet Sixteen. Against San Diego St. and West Virginia, he easily eclipsed the above total branding the box score for 13 total threes and 55 combined points. His hot streak, however, could quickly extinguish. Houston’s length, athleticism and defensive dedication are well-documented. The Cougars rank No. 11 in overall defensive efficiency and have yielded a mere 29.2% from distance. All the props in the world to Buddy, but Kelvin Sampson is sure to design a defensive game plan to suppress the sizzle. 

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