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NCAA Tournament Player Prop Bets: 2 Picks for Chucky Hepburn & Malaki Branham (Sunday, March 20)

NCAA Tournament Player Prop Bets: 2 Picks for Chucky Hepburn & Malaki Branham (Sunday, March 20) article feature image
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Ben Solomon/NCAA Photos via Getty Images.

  • The second round of the NCAA Tournament continues on Sunday, and we have two player prop bets ready to go.
  • Our staff sees value on picks for two players: Wisconsin's Chucky Hepburn and Ohio State's Malaki Branham.
  • Check out breakdowns for both player props below.

The second round of the NCAA Tournament is nearing its end, and before we know it, we’ll be soaking in Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games.

But for now, we’re focusing on the second round and trying to cash some more player props. Our staff came up with two selections for Sunday’s games, and they’re both unders: one for Ohio State’s Maliki Branham and another for Wisconsin’s Chucky Hepburn.

Below, we’ll use the Action Labs Player Prop Tool to compare our NCAAB projections to the props posted at a variety of sportsbooks.

Let’s close this first weekend of March Madness on a high note and roll into weekend No. 2 with an even bigger bankroll.


Malaki Branham Under 14.5 Points

Branham has become the clear-cut second option for Ohio State and has produced well with the uptick in usage. The Buckeyes’ freshman guard has actually gone over this number in four of his last five games, but a matchup with the Wildcats bodes well for a quiet day.

The most significant factor in this angle is the pace at which the game will be played. Villanova ranks 348th in tempo, and Ohio State isn’t much faster at 320th.

Branham typically takes around 10 shots per game and makes half of them on average; however, this matchup’s sluggish pace will eat into his opportunities.

Lastly, it is not easy for any guards to get going against the Wildcats defense. They’re 30th in defensive efficiency and 66th in effective field goal percentage.

Our Action Labs projections have Branham pegged for 12.3 points in this matchup, which is a 4.3% edge on the current line.


Chucky Hepburn Under 3.5 Assists (-155)

Hepburn has gone over this number in two straight games, recording nine total assists in games against Colgate and Michigan State.

But Colgate and Michigan State are not the same defenses as Iowa State.

Iowa State’s best trait is its interior defense. The Cyclones are lengthy and aggressive on the interior, forcing turnovers at the fourth-highest rate nationally.

The Cyclones will take away Hepburn’s ability to dribble penetrate, and it will force turnovers when he tries to pass or kick out of that. And Hepburn isn’t perfect, as his assist rate (14.3) is the exact same as his turnover rate (14.3).

The Action Labs Player Props Tool is projecting Hepburn for just 2.3 assists on Sunday, providing us with over 13% of edge on the current line.

I’d also be happy playing this at 3.0 at something closer to even money.

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