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NCAA Tournament Player Props: Friday Late Evening Picks, Including San Diego State-Syracuse, West Virginia-Morehead State (March 19)

NCAA Tournament Player Props: Friday Late Evening Picks, Including San Diego State-Syracuse, West Virginia-Morehead State (March 19) article feature image

John E. Moore III/Getty Images. Pictured: Derek Culver

  • We're not done yet! Brandon Anderson is back with his fourth slate of player props for Day 1 of the NCAA Tournament.
  • The late-night version highlights three props two big men who should dominate the boards in the Round of 64.
  • Anderson lays out why you should back Quincy Guerrier and Derek Culver's overs on Friday night.

NCAA Tournament Player Prop Picks

First Round: Friday, March 19

March Madness is back! We’ve waited two years for this day, and we’ve got big news at Action Network: Our handy dandy Props Tool is expanding!

The Props Tool has been racking up NBA wins all season, with a hit rate over 60% and a 20% return on investment. Now we’re releasing it for college hoops, just in time for the 2021 NCAA Tournament.

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 Friday’s NCAA Tournament late evening matchups, the case for each bet and the best books to find odds on those player props.

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Note: All photos below are via Getty Images.

Quincy Guerrier, Syracuse

(11) Syracuse vs. (6) San Diego State, 9:40 p.m. ET on CBS

Quincy Guerrier over 7.5 rebounds (-115)

This game is going to be an absolute rock fight, and that’s exactly how Syracuse likes it. San Diego State does too, for that matter.

This one will be slow, featuring a lot of defense with scoring very hard to come by. And like just about every other Syracuse tournament game ever, the rebounding battle will be key.

Rebounds are always tough to come by in the 2-3 zone, and that’s why Quincy Guerrier has been so valuable on the boards for the Orange this season. Guerrier has double-digit rebounds in nine games this season, and he’s had at least 13 five times.

When the games get tough, Guerrier’s minutes ramp up, and so do his rebounding numbers. Guerrier had at least five boards in all but one game this season, so he has a very healthy floor there. He went over 7.5 boards in 15 of 25 games, hitting the over 60% of the time, and those high ceiling totals and his 8.8 rebounds per game on the season show Guerrier’s true rebounding ability.

I’m expecting a whole lot of rebounds in this one, which will be a physical battle, and Guerrier is the exact kind of player you want to bring to that kind of battle.

Let’s let him go to battle for us too. We project him at 8.8 rebounds, and I’ll play this over to -135.

Derek Culver, West Virginia

(14) Morehead State vs. (3) West Virginia, 9:50 p.m. ET on truTV

Derek Culver over 8.5 rebounds (-134)

We go from one beast rebounder to another, and Culver is even more of a monster on the boards.

Culver is that dude for West Virginia. When you think about Mountaineers basketball under Bob Huggins, Culver is exactly the sort of tough player down low you think of. He is going to make life miserable in the paint for Morehead State all night, like he has done for opponents all season.

Culver is a junior, and he’s racked up 789 rebounds in his career at Morgantown. He averages 9.4 rebounds per game for his career, and that’s ticked up even higher to 9.8 this season.

Culver struggled a bit down the stretch for West Virginia. He looked tired and banged up and his minutes waned. He played just 24 per game over the Mountaineers’ final five games and saw his rebounding average drop to 7.4, his only five-game stretch all season without a double-digit rebounding game.

West Virginia was disappointed to lose its first game in the Big 12 Conference Tournament, but the nice part about that is that Culver and the Mountaineers have played only once in the last two weeks. That means Culver should be fresh and ready to battle in the paint.

Culver has gone over 8.5 rebounds in 17 of 27 games this season (63%), and he has at least eight rebounds in 16 of 18 games when he’s played at least 25 minutes. Expect plenty of minutes, with plenty of rebounds to follow.

We project Culver at a full 11.0 rebounds, giving this prop a 15% edge in our favor, even at -134. Our tool rates this a 10 out of 10, and I’d play the over here as high as -160.

Derek Culver, West Virginia

(14) Morehead State vs. (3) West Virginia, 9:50 p.m. ET on truTV

Derek Culver over 0.5 assists (-152)

Let’s go back to the West Virginia big man for one more prop to finish off our night, shall we?

You need no further introduction to Culver. He’s going to play a bunch of minutes patrolling the paint, elbows flying, and he’ll hopefully rack up rebounds for us.

We also need him to pass the ball, at least once, to a teammate.

This is a simple math problem. Culver has at least one assist in 18 of 27 games this season. That’s 67% of the time, and it should imply an over line at -200 here. We’re getting -152 instead, which implies just a 60% hit rate. That math is in our favor.

Oh, and you know how we’re expecting Culver to play plenty of minutes? He’s played at least 26 minutes in half his games this season. And when he plays at least 26 minutes, Culver has an assist in 12 of his 14 games. That’s nearly an 86% hit rate.

Culver averages an assist every 17.2 minutes for his career at West Virginia. We just need one, big fella. Close our night out the right way.

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