NCAA Tournament Player Props: Oral Roberts vs. Arkansas, Syracuse vs. Houston (Saturday, March 27)
Sarah Stier/Getty Images. Pictured: Alan Griffin.
- Kevin Obanor has arguably been the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, and he's worth a bet in the Sweet 16.
- Syracuse is on another run as a double-digit seed with Jim Boeheim, and Brandon Anderson is targeting two players on the Orange.
- See who he's buying and who he's fading for Syracuse against Houston below.
NCAA Tournament Player Prop Picks
Sweet 16: Saturday, March 27
What a weekend we had! We waited two long years for March Madness, and it was a wild and wacky opening weekend of the tournament, with upsets galore and all sorts of fun basketball.
Hey, you know what else is fun? Winning bets.
Last weekend, our Props Tool expanded to March Madness, and boy did it pay off! We went 31-12-1 on picks last weekend, hitting a whopping 72% of our picks. We’re up +15.8 units right now on March Madness props, an incredible 35.1% return on investment thus far.
That’s a heck of a weekend right there! Let’s see if we can keep the momentum going in the Sweet Sixteen.
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 Saturday afternoon’s NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen 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.
Kevin Obanor, Oral Roberts
(15) Oral Roberts vs. (3) Arkansas, 7:25 p.m. ET on TBS
If you don’t know Kevin Obanor by now, you must not be watching.
Obanor and Max Abmas have been two of the tournament’s breakout stars for Oral Roberts, as the Eagles become just the second 15-seed ever to make the Sweet 16. Obanor has been magnificent. He’s played every minute of the tournament so far and is averaging 29.0 points and 11.0 rebounds per game. You could make a case for Obanor as the tourney’s Most Outstanding Player thus far.
Oral Roberts knows what it does best, and that’s the spread pick and roll with Abmas and Obanor. Those two will need to continue to play lights out for Oral Roberts to have any chance of keeping their miracle Cinderella run alive.
Expect Obanor to play every second again if possible, and you know he’s going to crash the boards hard like he has all tournament and all season. Obanor has been at his best when his team needs him most. He had 11 boards in each of the first two tournament games, and he had 10 and 12 rebounds in non-conference games against Arkansas and Oral Roberts. Yes, Arkansas. Obanor has played these guys before and put up 21 points and 10 boards. He won’t be afraid of this matchup.
Obanor has played at least 34 minutes in 12 games this season. He’s had double-digit rebounds in all but one of those games with 11.8 RPG in them. He obviously went over 8.5 rebounds in 11 of those 12 games (92%) and only went under by half a board in the other one.
We project Obanor at 11.0 rebounds, and this line honestly feels a full rebound too low, maybe even two. Oral Roberts needs another double-double from its man in the middle, and they should get one. We’ll play Obanor’s over as high as -160.
Alan Griffin, Syracuse
(11) Syracuse vs. (2) Houston, 9:55 p.m. ET on TBS
Alan Griffin ranked second on the Orange in scoring during the regular season at 15.3 points in 32.0 minutes per game, behind only the coach’s kid, Buddy Boeheim.
In the first game of the ACC tournament, it was business as usual for Griffin. He played his usual 32 minutes and had 12 points, eight rebounds, and five assists in a blowout win against North Carolina State. But in the next game against Virginia, Griffin was practically invisible. His only points were three free throws, and he played just 12 minutes.
In Syracuse’s last three games, Alan Griffin is averaging just 6.0 points per game. Wait, sorry, that’s wrong. In Syracuse’s last three games, Griffin has scored six points total. He’s made only one shot in three games, an ugly 1-of-10 from the field, and he’s played just 38 minutes combined. That’s 12, 15, and 11 minutes in three tournament games Syracuse absolutely had to win.
This isn’t foul trouble, and it’s not an injury. It’s simply clear at this point that Griffin isn’t a big part of Syracuse’s current rotation, even though he continues to start. He’s averaged 2.0 points in 12.7 minutes per game over these last three. And remember, these are Syracuse’s most important games of the season! Coaches tell us things with the moves they make, and Jim Boeheim is telling us pretty loudly right now that he doesn’t want Griffin out there in the biggest moments.
That gives us no real choice but to fade Griffin here. We actually played Griffin to go over 1.5 assists against West Virginia and were very lucky to hit two in his 11 minutes, but let’s not make that same mistake again. This isn’t a blip. This is a guy who won’t play enough to get to double digits.
We project Griffin at 5.8 points, and even that feels pretty kind since it would mean matching his last three games combined. It’s time to fade Griffin in a big way, and I’d fade him here playing the under all the way to -190.
Quincy Guerrier, Syracuse
(11) Syracuse vs. (2) Houston, 9:55 p.m. ET on TBS
While Alan Griffin may be fading from the Syracuse rotation, it’s pretty clear that Quincy Guerrier isn’t going anywhere.
The Orange have a big problem in this game, and it’s on the boards. Syracuse is well known for its 2-3 zone, and the zone almost always struggles to rebound well. And unfortunately for the Orange, Houston happens to be one of the nation’s elite offensive rebounding teams.
You better believe Syracuse will know that and come ready to fight on the glass, and Guerrier is the best Orange rebounder. He’s averaging 8.6 rebounds per game on the season, and he’s played at least 32 minutes in five of his last six games, fouling out early in the other one. If he can stay out of foul trouble here, he will be leaned heavily upon to hit the glass and keep the rebounding margin at least competitive. That could be even more the case if Marek Dolezaj gets into foul trouble again, as he is prone to do.
Guerrier has nine games with double-digit rebounds this season, including five with at least 13 and even one with 16. The man can clearly clean the glass, and he’ll get his chances, even in a slow game against a tough, physical team. Guerrier has gone over 6.5 rebounds in 19 of his 27 games this season, hitting the over 70% of the time.
We project Guerrier at 9.0 boards, which would crush this over. That could make it tempting to play Guerrier up a board at DraftKings, where his over 7.5 is at -103 as of Friday evening, but I’ll stick with the safer play and go for the more certain win. Houston is really nasty on the glass, and Guerrier will have to fight. He can get to seven even in a tough game or in limited minutes.
I’ll play the over 6.5 at PointsBet up to -175. If the juice moves past that, I’ll take a look at that over 7.5 instead.