Freedman’s Favorite Elite 8 Player Props for Gonzaga-Texas Tech & Virginia-Purdue

Freedman’s Favorite Elite 8 Player Props for Gonzaga-Texas Tech & Virginia-Purdue article feature image
Credit:

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Carsen Edwards

  • Matthew Freedman continues his series featuring one of his favorite prop bets for each day of 2019.
  • He runs through Saturday's NCAA Tournament slate to highlight props he likes in Gonzaga-Texas Tech & Virginia-Purdue.

Each day, I publish at least one quick-n’-dirty piece highlighting a favorite prop of mine. See my master list of 2019 prop bets for more information.

In this piece I’m highlighting my favorite NCAA Tournament player props for Saturday’s Elite 8 games.

For March Madness, I am 68-44-4 (+13.37) on player props. If you want more information, check out the piece on my March Madness prop-betting strategy.

You also should look at our live betting odds page for up-to-the-minute lines.

2019 Year-to-Date Record

413-325-17, +58.48 Units

  • NFL: 21-13-0, +11.72 Units
  • NBA: 220-164-4, +34.51 Units
  • NHL: 66-80-7, -7.57 Units
  • MLB: 6-5-1, -0.13 Units
  • Golf: 4-7-1, -2.35 Units
  • NASCAR: 5-8-0, -1.70 Units
  • NCAAB: 68-45-4, +12.37 Units
  • NCAAF: 0-1-0, -1.00 Units
  • Exotic: 23-2-0, +12.64 Units

#1 Gonzaga vs. #3 Texas Tech

  • Spread: Gonzaga -4.0
  • Over/Under: 137.0
  • Location: Anaheim, Calif.
  • Time: 6:09 p.m. ET
  • TV: TBS

Gonzaga F Brandon Clarke: Over 8.0 Rebounds (-114)

UPDATE (1:15 p.m. ET): Over 16.5 points (+110) – I’m adding this prop to my card. I have Clark projected for 17.0 points, and in his six games this year with at least 34 minutes, he’s averaged 22 points.

Clarke leads the Bulldogs with 8.5 rebounds on 27.7 minutes per game, and he has enjoyed a significant bump in recent playing time. In each of his three postseason games Gonzaga hasn’t won by 20-plus points, Clarke has played at least 34 minutes.

In his six games this year with 34-plus minutes, Clarke has averaged 10.5 rebounds, and I expect him to see lots of playing time in what could be a close game.

Gonzaga G Zach Norvell: Under 3.0 Assists (-114)

Norvell has averaged 31.1 minutes over his past 10 games for the Bulldogs, so I expect him to see his fair share of playing time.

But Gonzaga is implied for just 70.25 points, which is far short of its per-game average of 88.17, so there should be fewer assists to go around for the entire team.

Norvell is second on the team with 3.1 assists per game, but with the expected decrease in scoring for Gonzaga, I have him projected for just 2.5.

Gonzaga G Josh Perkins: Over 5.0 Assists (-114)

Perkins leads the Bulldogs with 6.3 assists per game, and he’s recently seen a huge boost in playing time. In the regular season, he averaged a strong 31.0 minutes per game — but in each of his three postseason games that haven’t been victories of at least 20 points, Perkins has played 36-plus minutes.

Even with fewer points and thus assists to go around for the entire Gonzaga offense, Perkins’ surge in playing time gives him a good chance to hit the over.

In his 10 games with at least 36 minutes, Perkins has averaged 7.3 assists.

Texas Tech G Jarrett Culver: Under 7.0 Rebounds (-125)

I’m not in love with this line, but of all the Red Raider player props, this is the one I like the most.

Culver leads the Red Raiders with 6.5 rebounds per game, and he’s averaged 34.5 minutes over his past 10 starts.

But because of the matchup and Vegas lines, we’re projecting Texas Tech for 31.5 rebounds (down from its seasonal average of 34.1), so there should be fewer rebounding opportunities than usual to go around.

And this year Culver has had sever or fewer rebounds in 25 of his 35 games (71.4%).

UPDATE (1:15 p.m. ET): Texas Tech G Davide Moretti Under 5.5 Rebounds & Assists (+100)

I’m adding this prop to my card. On the year, Moretti has averaged just 2.0 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. The Red Raiders are implied for fewer points (66.5) than they’ve averaged this year (72.9), and we’re also projecting them for fewer rebounds than they’ve usually gotten (as mentioned above).

So that doesn’t bode well for Moretti. I have him projected for 4.3 total rebounds and assists.

#1 Virginia vs. #3 Purdue

  • Spread: Virginia -4.5
  • Over/Under: 126.0
  • Location: Louisville, Ky.
  • Time: 8:49 p.m. ET
  • TV: TBS

Virginia G De’Andre Hunter: Over 14.5 Points (+100), Over 4.5 Rebounds (+100)

Although the Cavaliers have a balanced offense in which no one guy dominates, Hunter might be Virginia’s most important player. He’s first on the team with 15.1 points and second with 5.0 rebounds.

His playing time in the postseason has jumped up to 35.8 minutes per game from the 31.2 he averaged in the regular season. He played just 30 minutes in Round 2 because he had five fouls, but in his Sweet 16 game he saw 39 minutes.

With the enhanced playing time, I like him to hit the overs and have him projected for 16.0 points and 5.2 rebounds.

Virginia G Ty Jerome: Over 12.5 Points (+114), Over 3.5 Rebounds (-114)

What Jerome really has going for him is playing time. In his five postseason games, he’s averaged an absurd 37.6 minutes. With that much time on the court, he has a good chance to score more than 12 points and grab more than three boards.

Jerome has played at least 35 minutes in each postseason game, and in his 17 games this year with 35-plus minutes, he’s averaged 13.2 points and 4.1 rebounds.

Purdue G Carsen Edwards: Under 4.0 Rebounds (-114)

UPDATE (1:30 p.m. ET): Under 7.5 rebounds & assists (+110) – I’m adding this prop to my card. For the season, Edwards has averaged 3.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game, and we’re expecting the Boilermakers to have fewer rebounds and assists than they normally do. Even with all of his playing time, I’m projecting Edwards just 5.9 combined rebounds and assists.

We should expect to see Edwards get all the playing time he can handle: He’s averaged 41.3 minutes per game in the NCAA Tournament. Edwards could very well play every second of this game.

He leads the Boilermakers with 23.8 points per game on the season, and he has lit up the tournament with a scorching average of 32.3 points, but there’s nothing notable about him on the boards, where he ranks fifth on the team with just 3.7 rebounds per game.

Because of the matchup and Vegas lines, we’re projecting Purdue for 31.5 rebounds (down from its seasonal average of 37.4). Edwards is likely to feel the impact of that decline in rebounding: I have him projected for 3.4.

Edwards has four or fewer rebounds in 24 of his 35 games (68.6%).

Purdue G Ryan Cline: Under 3.0 Rebounds (-114), Under 3.5 Assists (-114), Under 3.5 Made 3-Pointers (-130)

UPDATE (1:30 p.m. ET): Under 6.5 rebounds & assists (-120) – I’m adding this prop to my card, because, really, what’s one more under?

I’m attacking Cline’s unders primarily because of his playing time. Unlike many starters, Cline hasn’t seen an uptick in playing time in the postseason, averaging 32.3 minutes per game vs. 33.7 in the regular season.

Without more minutes on the court, Cline will need to play highly efficient basketball to hit the overs.

Cline is seventh on the team with just 2.9 rebounds, and we’re expecting the Boilermakers to secure fewer rebounds overall than they usually do. I have Cline projected for 2.5, and he’s had three or fewer rebounds in 24 of his 35 games (68.6%).

Cline is first on the Boilermakers with 3.4 assists, but Purdue is implied for just 60.75 points, which is significantly short of its seasonal average of 76.71. Against a Cavaliers team that has held opponents to a nation-low mark of 56.7 points per game, Cline could struggle to accumulate assists.

Cline is second on the team with 7.5 attempts from deep and 3.1 made 3-pointers, so he could get four-plus 3s, especially since he’s recently been shooting more aggressively. In the regular season, he averaged 7.2 3-point attempts per game, but in the postseason that number has jumped to 9.8.

But with fewer points to go around for the Boilermakers, I still think Cline’s 3-point prop will hit the under.


For daily player props outside of college basketball, follow me in The Action Network app.

Matthew Freedman is the Editor-in-Chief of FantasyLabs. He has a dog and sometimes a British accent. In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, he’s known only as The Labyrinthian.

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