College Basketball Player Props: 3 Bets for Saturday, Including Trevor Keels & Sean McNeil (March 5)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images. Pictured: Trevor Keels.
Well, we made it. It’s the final full Saturday slate of the regular season. But while it may seem bittersweet, today is only a sign of better things to come as March Madness gets closer by the day.
So, let’s dive into the props that are going to help pad our bankroll for the roller coaster ride of March.
Keels has seemingly become the forgotten man in this high-powered Duke offense. However, the freshman guard is coming into this matchup off one of his best performances of the season, when he dropped 27 points and went 5-of-8 from 3 against Pitt.
He will look to ride that momentum into this matchup with the North Carolina Tar Heels.
Now, it may be Coach K’s last game and everyone will be amped, but there’s one thing that won’t change: the Tar Heels’ porous perimeter defense.
UNC ranks 244th in 3-point percentage allowed, and the Blue Devils capitalized on it in the first meeting. As a team, Duke went 9-of-19 from behind the arc. Who led the way? Trevor Keels.
Keels sank three of his four attempts. I expect his recent performance to up his usage from behind the arc. Confidence is key for shooters, and Keels has it right now.
We’re going to continue with the theme of sharpshooting guards having good days from behind the arc. Goodwin has had a fantastic season shooting the ball for the Fighting Irish, hitting 50% from the field and over 44% from deep.
This number is playing into the matchup too much. Yes, Pitt does drag opponents into slugfests and minimalizes scoring opportunities with its style of play. However, it should not impact Goodwin as much.
We have seen him go over this mark against teams like Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky. All three of those teams are far better defensively than the Panthers.
Goodwin’s key to outstanding performance is to sink 3-balls, and he should be able to do just that. Pitt sits 293rd in 3-point percentage allowed and also surrenders the 25th-highest share of points from behind the arc.
Goodwin had only eight field-goal attempts in the first meeting with Pitt, and four of them were 3s. However, he typically averages over 10 field goal attempts per game.
So, if he gets his usual amount of work, he has the potential to cash this easily given the matchup.
For the majority of the season, McNeil was the Mountaineers’ second option to Taz Sherman. Unfortunately for him, he has seen his role diminish in recent games.
McNeil has lost minutes and shot attempts to fellow guard Malik Curry, who has stepped up to even outscore Sherman over the last three games.
If you look at McNeil’s game log, you can see the cliff his numbers have fallen off of the last four games. He has scored 0, 11, nine, and five points through that stretch. In addition, his shot attempts plummeted from over 10 per game to just six over in the same period.
It certainly doesn’t help McNeil that he’ll face the Horned Frogs in this game. They are an excellent defense, ranking 24th in adjusted defensive efficiency and 69th in effective field goal percentage.
I’m banking on another quiet day for McNeil.