NCAA Tournament Player Prop Picks: 3 Bets for Friday’s Early Games, Including Marcus Carr & Sasha Stefanovic
John E. Moore III/Getty Images. Pictured: Marcus Carr.
Looking for more March Madness action and looking to get into the player props market? You’ve come to the right place.
With 16 games on Friday’s NCAA Tournament slate, there are plenty of options. Our staff has narrowed its picks down to three, using the Action Labs Player Prop Tool to compare our NCAAB projections to the props posted at a variety of sportsbooks.
For Friday’s early games, we’re focused on Texas Tech’s Terrence Shannon, Purdue’s Sasha Stefanovic and Texas’ Marcus Carr.
Be sure to check back later as well because we’ll have even more player prop picks for Friday’s late NCAA Tournament games.
By Doug Ziefel
As a guard, Terrence Shannon Jr. is not the player who is leaned on to do the majority of the rebounding for Texas Tech. Shannon averages only 2.8 rebounds per game, and essentially all of them come on the defensive end of the floor.
While the Red Raiders may be heavy favorites and their tremendous defense may force plenty of misses, Montana State is a solid rebounding team in its own right. The Bobcats were third in their conference in offensive rebounding and are 24th in the country in defensive rebounding.
Our Action Labs projections have Shannon pegged for 2.1 rebounds in this opening-round game. That is a 22.3% edge that we can not pass up.
Pick: Terrence Shannon Jr. Under 3.5 Rebounds
Purdue is an electric offense led by an electric cast of characters. The big-man duo of Trevion Williams and Zach Edey dominate the paint, while Jaden Ivey and Eric Hunter carve up perimeter defenses.
But the most important piece of the puzzle is Stefanovic, who is the spot-up sharpshooter. He’s one of the smoothest shooters in college basketball, shooting 39% from 3 while averaging 1.15 spot-up PPP (90th percentile).
When Stefanovic is making shots, the Boilermakers win games. Purdue is 36-6 straight up when Stefanovic scores in double digits.
Well, I hope Ivey and Hunter look his way this game. Yale allows the 74th-highest 3-point rate nationally and wasn’t particularly efficient defending 3-point attempts.
Stefanovic will get plenty of 3-point opportunities in this one. Our Action Labs Player Props tool projects Stefanovic for 3.2 3PM on Friday, giving us plenty of edge on the current line.
Pick: Sasha Stefanovic Over 2.5 3-Pointers
This is all about opportunity, specifically backing a player who is likely to have the ball in his hands a lot and isn’t bashful.
Carr has averaged 10 shots per game across his last 11, but the key here is the foul line, where he is boom-or-bust. In just the past two months, he’s had six games where he’s taken eight or more foul shots and seven games where he’s attempted zero.
If he’s closer to the former, I believe he’ll blow past this reasonable figure.
According to ShotQuality, Carr is in the 92nd percentile in terms of frequency creating his own shot. This is a great variable to have in the mix because he’s not dependent on his teammates setting him up. He can be instant offense all on his own.
You add in the likelihood of this being a tight game, UT-1, and the chance for foul shots at the end and Carr’s 78% FT rate begins to play a major role. Getting three or four “cheapies” at the end is well within reason.
And finally on the big stage, this kid scored nearly 20 PGG at Minnesota and made himself a highly-sought after transfer last spring. It’s human nature for him to at least try to take over this game from an offensive standpoint.
Yes, we’ve seen flashes of that this year, but this really boils down to usage for me. Carr plays 31 minutes per game, but that’s been closer to 35 in Big 12 play. When you combine that with the fact that he’ll have the rock on nearly every possession, 11.5 doesn’t seem that high.
Pick: Marcus Carr Over 11.5 Points
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