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Elite 8 Player Props: Nick Giffen’s Picks for FAU-Kansas State, Gonzaga-UConn

Elite 8 Player Props: Nick Giffen’s Picks for FAU-Kansas State, Gonzaga-UConn article feature image

Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images. Pictured: Malachi Smith of Gonzaga, who is one of our Elite 8 player prop picks by Nick Giffen for Saturday’s game.

If you’ve been tailing Dr. Nick’s player props this March Madness on the Action Network Podcast and Green Dot Daily, then you already know how accurate his analysis has been for this 2023 NCAA Tournament.

With the Elite 8 upon us, here are Nick Giffen’s two Elite 8 player props. And make sure to be following Dr. Nick in the app to see what bets he’s tracking the minute he places them.

(Editor’s Note: These Elite 8 Player Props are transcribed from Dr. Nick’s appearance on the Action Network Podcast. Dr. Nick does not actually speak in the third person, although it would be pretty awesome if he did.)

Elite 8 Player Props: Nick Giffen’s Picks for FAU-Kansas State, Gonzaga-UConn

Nick Boyd (Florida Atlantic vs Kansas State — 6:09 p.m. ET, TBS)
Under 1.5 3-Pointers Made (+140 at BetMGM)

We have 1.5 3-pointers made projected exactly for Boyd, so getting the plus money on the under here is very, very nice.

FAU is facing Kansas State, which could make for an up-tempo game, but that is counteracted by the fact the Wildcats’ defense is strong enough — 27th in the nation — to keep Florida Atlantic‘s team total in line with what they’ve done in their recent closer games.

In the last five such games, with their current rotation, Boyd has averaged 1.4 3-pointers made. So even just a small bump from the pace in the implied team total only pushes that up to 1.5 or 1.6 3s made for Boyd.

However, Kansas State has a pretty solid 3-point defense — 21st in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage allowed, and teams take fewer 3-point shots against them than the national average — which bumps the projection back down.

So, getting significant plus money on an Elite 8 player prop we project right on the number is very nice.

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Malachi Smith (Gonzaga vs UConn — 8:49 p.m. ET, TBS)
Under 8.5 Points (-111 at FanDuel)

For Gonzaga, facing UConn is a slight down-tempo game, with likely slightly fewer possessions.

UConn also allows the fourth-lowest percentage of points to come from 3-pointers in the nation. And Smith scores almost 13% above the national average from 3 when you look at the way he scores his points.

That means UConn has to allow the points they do give up somewhere else, and for the Huskies, that’s usually from the free-throw line. They allowed the seventh-most percentage of points from the free-throw line. But Smith does not really get to the line; he only scores 11.5% or so of his points from the stripe.

This just isn’t the right situational matchup for Malachi Smith, which is why we’re projecting him for 7.1 points. So, we really like the under here on Smith.

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