Sunday Evening’s NCAA Tournament Player Prop Picks: Alan Griffin, Davonte Davis Among Best Bets
Justin Casterline/Getty Images. Pictured: Arkansas Razorbacks guard Davonte Davis (4).
- Sunday evening's NCAA Tournament games offer plenty of player prop betting options.
- Brandon Anderson breaks down his best player prop bets, including Syracuse, Arkansas and Oral Roberts.
NCAA Tournament Player Prop Picks
Second Round: Sunday, March 21
March Madness is back!! We’ve waited two years for this weekend, and we’ve got big news at The Action Network: Our handy dandy Props Tool has expanded to college hoops.
The Props Tool has been racking up NBA wins all season, with a hit rate over 60% and a 20% return on investment (ROI). We haven’t missed a beat betting on NCAA Tournament player props — already 18-8-1 (29.7% ROI) through the Round of 64!
For those who are new to this article, we’ll be using the Action Labs Player Prop tool to compare our NCAAB projections to the props posted at a variety of sportsbooks. Each bet is then graded on a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the best possible grade.
Below, I have laid out three prop bets that I’m playing from Sunday’s NCAA Tournament early evening matchups, the case for each bet and the best books to find odds on those player props.
Note: All photos below are via Getty Images.
Alan Griffin, Syracuse
(11) Syracuse vs. (3) West Virginia, 5:15 p.m. ET on CBS
Well, here we are again with another 11-seed Syracuse team looking like it’s ready to make a run under head coach Jim Boeheim. Every year, the Orange seem to find themselves squarely on the tournament bubble; nearly every year, Syracuse ekes its way into the bracket amidst plenty of questions and controversy; and most years, the Orange pulls another upset.
Could West Virginia be up next? We’ll see which version of Syracuse shows up, but the one that beat San Diego State was awfully dominant. Boeheim has had unpredictable rotations, which make props for this team tough at times.
Alan Griffin played only 15 minutes in the big first-round win, and this is not the first time his minutes have bounced around. Griffin played at least 36 minutes nine times this season but was also under 25 minutes five times. His fewest minutes of the season have come in Syracuse’s last two games with just 12 and 15 minutes played.
Nonetheless, Griffin was second on the team in scoring at 14.1 points per game. He’s a nice passer and could be a good secondary option if Buddy Boeheim can’t score as well as usual with Deuce McBride in his grill all game. I project Griffin to play more minutes against the Mountaineers — and if he does, he should get an assist.
Griffin averages an assist every 16.6 minutes, so he has a good shot at getting one even if his minutes are limited. He had one in each of his last two low-minute games, after all. Heck, Griffin has at least one dime in 22 of 26 Syracuse games this season.
That hits the over 84.6% of the time, and even at this ridiculous juice, it still implies just a 69.2% hit rate. That puts this prop bet heavily in our favor — all the more if Griffin’s minutes go back up. We project him at 2.0 assists, so I’m definitely playing him to find one dime like he always does. I’d consider as high as -275.
Davonte Davis, Arkansas
(6) Texas Tech vs. (3) Arkansas, 6:10 p.m. ET on TNT
Arkansas took a while to get going against Colgate in the opening round, but then the Razorbacks exploded with a 17-0 run at the end of the first half once the team figured things out. That explosive run to close the half is reflective of the Hogs’ 2020-21 season. It wasn’t the fastest start in the world, but Arkansas figured things out midseason and is firing on all cylinders now.
During Arkansas’ first nine games, Davonte Davis was barely even part of what Arkansas was doing. He played only 11.3 minutes per game during that stretch, which culminated with two consecutive losses. Then on Jan. 9, Arkansas inserted Davis into its starting lineup, and Davis exploded for his best game of the season, with 20 points and six assists in a win against Georgia.
Since then, Davis is averaging 9.8 points and 2.8 assists in 28.3 minutes per game. He has had at least two assists in 10 of the last 11 games and at least three in the last four. Even so, we’re fading his assist total.
Texas Tech is a different kind of animal. The Red Raiders slow things way down and play really tough defense, and Davis has not faced much pressure like this. His biggest assist games have come against Georgia, LSU, and Texas A&M — not particularly good defenses. Davis has gone over 3.5 assists just four times all season — and each of those performances came against poor defenses.
Davis could struggle with the physicality and pace of this game, so it’s a nice spot to play an under. We project him at 2.5 assists, which gives us nearly a 20% edge in our favor here. I’d play as high as -160.
Kareem Thompson, Oral Roberts
(15) Oral Roberts vs. (7) Florida, 7:45 p.m. ET on truTV
Oral Roberts was never supposed to be here. The Eagles weren’t even supposed to make the Big Dance. They finished fourth in the Summit League but pulled multiple upsets along the way to sneak into the tournament.
Then, Oral Roberts shocked the world, becoming just the ninth 15-seed ever to win a first-round game as the Eagles stunned Ohio State. The world got to meet the nation’s leading scorer Max Abmas and big man Kevin Obanor, but this is no two-man show.
Kareem Thompson has been huge during this stretch for Oral Roberts, too. He’s played at least 37 minutes in all four postseason games for ORU, way up from 26.8 minutes per game in the regular season.
Thompson plays with high energy and averaged a rebound every 7.8 minutes this season, so all these extra minutes afford him big rebounding opportunities. That’s why we project him at 5.0 rebounds, which makes this a slam dunk prop bet with a 22% edge in our favor.
Thompson is a good rebounder anyway for a guard. He’s gone over 3.5 boards in 16 of 27 games this season — and that’s even without playing nearly every minute like he surely will against the Gators on Sunday. The books are kind in giving us plus juice here. I’d play any plus number and down to -120 if needed.