NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player Odds, Picks: Value on Jordan Miller, Adama Sanogo, Johnell Davis & More
Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images. Pictured: Jordan Miller (Miami)
- With the NCAA Tournament nearing its end, it's time to take a look at the top candidates for the tourney's Most Outstanding Player.
- There are players who hold value on each remaining team, including UConn's Adama Sanogo, Miami's Jordan Miller, FAU's Johnell Davis and San Diego State's Matt Bradley.
- Check out Cooper Van Tatenhove's full Most Outstanding Player breakdown below.
It’s been a long and crazy ride to this year’s Final Four, but it’s now time to dive into these matchups.
First, Florida Atlantic attempts to be the lowest seed to ever take home an NCAA tournament title, as it matches up with a San Diego State team that has had a chip on its shoulder.
The Aztecs have rattled off two wins as an underdog to reach the first Final Four in Mountain West history.
Second, Jim Larranaga’s Miami squad will match up with a UConn team that’s the favorite to cut down the nets in Houston. The Huskies sit around -125 to take home the title, while the next closest team — San Diego State — is +390 at FanDuel.
Although many believe UConn has the best chance to win it all, there are still many additional angles in which bettors can approach for these Final Four matchups.
The most intriguing of these angles is the race for the Most Outstanding Player. Even if you subscribe to the idea that UConn is going to win it all, the Huskies are an incredibly balanced side, and multiple players could take home the award.
Below, I will look at each teams’ top candidates for Most Outstanding Player.
What makes this Most Outstanding Player market so intriguing is the balance that exists on each of the four teams.
This sentiment holds true even for a UConn team that has been led by Jordan Hawkins and Adama Sanogo for most of the season.
They average a combined 33.4 points per game for a Huskies offense that scores 78.5 points per contest.
As a result, Connecticut has climbed to third nationally in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency. Specifically, UConn ranks second in offensive rebounding percentage and fourth in assists per game.
Sanogo is the heart and soul of the Huskies’ attack via his work on the offensive glass. He ranked sixth in the Big East in offensive rebounding percentage (11.2%).
His ability on the glass will be on full display in the Huskies’ matchup with Miami. The Hurricanes rank 180th nationally in offensive rebounding percentage allowed (28.4%).
Adama Sanogo had his way with St. Mary's to lead UConn back to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2014🔥
– 24 PTS
– 11-16 FG
– 8 REB pic.twitter.com/YiJUa57VRy
— B/R Hoops (@brhoops) March 20, 2023
Overall, Sanogo ranks 10th nationally in Bayesian’s overall performance rating, which results in a 29.9% positive margin of efficiency for UConn when he’s on the floor.
Even with Sanogo sitting at the shortest odds of any player to take home the MOP award (+260), he’s still worth an investment given his presence on both ends of the floor.
Another player who I think deserves an investment is junior Andre Jackson Jr., who has had his role recently transformed by head coach Dan Hurley.
Jackson was integral to the Huskies’ offensive success against Gonzaga in the Elite 8 as he racked up a season-high 10 assists to go with eight points and nine boards.
Since Connecticut lost to Marquette in the Big East Tournament finale, Jackson has had at least seven assists in each of the Huskies’ tournament games.
Andre Jackson is omnipresent and you can’t convince us otherwise
— BIG EAST MBB (@BIGEASTMBB) March 26, 2023
Hurley will almost certainly turn to Jackson’s ability to create against a Miami defense allowing 54% of opposing baskets to be scored off an assist (262nd nationally).
With a price tag of nearly 15-1, Jackson is certainly worth a bet given his recent form and expanded role.
Picks: Adama Sanogo (+260) | Andre Jackson Jr. (+1500)
Although Miami has been significantly undersized during much of its NCAA tournament run, the Hurricanes find themselves in the Final Four behind an offense that has seen a number of individuals step up.
Three different players — Nijel Pack, Isaiah Wong and Jordan Miller — have led Miami in scoring in its four tournament games.
Of those three stars, I believe the best potential bet lies with Miller.
The 6-foot-7 senior is coming off a perfect performance against Texas, literally. Miller went 7-for-7 from the field and was also 13-for-13 from the free-throw line.
Jordan Miller was perfect against Texas to send Miami to the Final Four for the first time ever:
– 27 PTS
– 7-7 FG
– 13-13 FT pic.twitter.com/TtEo7mwj4S
— B/R Hoops (@brhoops) March 26, 2023
This ability to convert at the free-throw line is advantageous for Miller because Connecticut allows 23.8% of its points from the charity stripe, the seventh-highest rate in college basketball.
If Miami is able to win its first NCAA tournament in school history, expect Miller to have a significant role. A 20-1 price is certainly appetizing.
Pick: Jordan Miller (+2000)
The Aztecs have reached the Final Four on the back of their stout defensive play.
Overall, SDSU has climbed to fourth nationally in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency and is allowing an average of just 57.3 points per game in the tournament.
If the Aztecs want to take home their first NCAA tournament title, they will need to match this defensive play with a similar level of efficiency on the offensive end.
In order to find this, I expect head coach Brian Dutcher to look no further than senior Matt Bradley. Although Bradley has scored just eight total points in the Aztecs’ past two games, he was the only Aztec to finish with a double-digit scoring average this season (12.5 PPG).
Given his scoring ability, Bradley is used on a team-high 25.9% of possessions, which resulted in 30% of the team’s total shots.
Matt Bradley with 11 first-half points on 4-of-5 shooting. pic.twitter.com/4c64EMau4i
— Jon Schaeffer (@jonschaeffer) February 1, 2023
Although Darrion Trammell has been exceptional for the Aztecs, I think Dutcher will rely on Bradley’s offensive ability, as San Diego State has done all year.
Grab Bradley at 20-1 or better.
Pick: Matt Bradley (+2000)
The Owls have reached this point behind balanced play on both ends of the floor, and they rank inside the top 30 in both Offensive and Defensive Adjusted Efficiency.
Although FAU has a uniquely balanced offensive attack, its most consistent scorer has been sophomore Johnell Davis.
Davis led the Owls in scoring with 13.9 points per game this season. FAU utilized Davis on a team-high 25.1% of possessions, which resulted in 25.5% of the Owls’ total shots.
Johnell Davis nasty hesi into the inside hand finish pic.twitter.com/hdDCSdeha4
— Aram Cannuscio (@AC__Hoops) March 25, 2023
This balanced offensive attack was on full display as Davis turned in 15- and 13-point performances in FAU’s two most recent victories, despite shooting 0-for-7 from beyond the arc.
Davis shoots 37.1% from the 3-point line, so I expect those shooting woes to see some positive regression against a San Diego State defense that has allowed 40.1% of its opponents’ shots to come from beyond the 3-point line.
Although it’s hard to pinpoint who will deliver night in and night out for this Florida Atlantic team, Davis seems to be the one constant on the offensive end.
Pick: Johnell Davis (+1500)
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