Saturday NCAA Basketball Player Props: Top 3 Picks for Today’s Elite 8 Games, Including Paolo Banchero & Jermaine Samuels (Mar. 26)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images. Pictured: Paolo Banchero (5) of the Duke Blue Devils.
- Looking for college basketball player props to bet on Saturday's Elite 8 college basketball slate? We've got you covered with picks from both games today.
- Our college basketball betting analysts have highlighted their top 3 player prop picks for Houston vs. Villanova and Arkansas vs. Duke.
- Below, find NCAA Tournament player props to bet from Saturday's Elite 8 matchups, including picks for Josh Carlton, Jermaine Samuels and Paolo Banchero.
Today’s Elite 8 college basketball slate features two of the biggest games of the tournament thus far:
6:09 p.m. ET | No. 5 Houston vs. No. 2 Villanova
8:49 p.m. ET | No. 4 Arkansas vs. No. 2 Duke
Our college basketball betting staff has highlighted three player props that they’re betting on Saturday evening, including picks for Josh Carlton (Houston), Jermaine Samuels (Villanova) and Paolo Banchero (Duke).
By what method have our analysts determined these three props are valuable bets today? It all starts with the Action Labs Player Prop Tool, which compares our NCAAB projections to props posted at a variety of sportsbooks.
Josh Carlton Over 5.5 Rebounds (-135)
By Doug Ziefel
In a game where the margin is expected to be slim, rebounding plays a significant role — and the Cougars will have the sizable rebounding advantage in this matchup.
Here we’re targeting the man who brings his literal size to the matchup. Houston Cougars big man Josh Carlton is a dominant offensive rebounder. In fact, he finished fifth in the country in offensive rebounding rate this season.
Carlton’s rebounding prowess has been on display throughout the NCAA Tournament, during which he has racked up 10 offensive rebounds in three games.
In Saturday’s Elite 8 matchup, Carlton matches up against Villanova’s Eric Dixon, who is a solid offensive rebounder in his own right. Nonetheless, Carlton is the far bigger man between the two and is three inches taller.
Besides Dixon, Villanova doesn’t offer much resistance on the glass. The Wildcats rank 76th in offensive rebounding rate and 197th in defensive rebounding rate.
Carlton has cleared this line (5.5 rebounds) in back-to-back contests and should grab six or more rebounds again versus Villanova.
Jermaine Samuels Under 12.5 Points (-120)
Samuels had a huge game against Michigan. He dropped 22 points and tortured Michigan on the interior, shooting 7-for-10 from inside the arc.
But I’m prepared to sell high on Samuels after a performance like that — especially because Samuels won’t be playing against the Wolverines’ cookie-cutter defense.
Houston is one of the most dominant interior defenses in the nation. It finished first in post-up defensive efficiency, ninth in 2-point defense, 12th in defensive efficiency when protecting the rim and third in block rate.
Samuels will have a much more difficult time against Houston, and I think his points prop is slightly inflated because of that.
The Action Labs Player Props Tool projects Samuels for just 9.8 points on Saturday evening, granting us a nearly 15% edge on the current line.
I’m comfortable playing this at 12 (-110) or better.
Paolo Banchero Over 7.5 Rebounds (+115)
During Duke’s NCAA Tournament run, Banchero grabbed 10 rebounds against Cal State Fullerton and seven against Michigan State, although only four against Texas Tech.
But, we can target him for a little game-to-game positive regression here. Texas Tech is a monstrous interior presence that finished third in the Big 12 in both offensive and defensive rebounding percentage.
Arkansas is smaller on the front line. Jaylin Williams is the de facto big man and primary rebounder, and he’ll be swallowed up by 7-foot-0 Mark Williams. That leaves the 6-foot-10 Banchero wide open to box out 6-foot-6 Trey Wade and Stanley Umude.
The Razorbacks’ season-long rebounding numbers have been solid, but the Hogs crashed the glass less frequently as the season progressed. Arkansas finished sixth in the SEC in DRB% and ninth in ORB%. Those numbers have dropped even lower during the tournament run: Arkansas managed just three offensive rebounds against New Mexico State.
This game sets up for Banchero to go over his season-long average of 7.8 rebounds per game. The Action Labs Player Props Tool projects Banchero for 8.2 rebounds today, and I’ll happily play the over 7.5 at plus-money.