NCAA Tournament Player Props: Drew Pember Among Thursday Picks
Pictured: Drew Pember (4) of the North Carolina-Asheville Bulldogs. (Photo by David Jensen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
NCAA Tournament Player Props
Max Abmas (Oral Roberts vs. Duke, 7:10 p.m. ET)
Under 21.5 Points (-105; DraftKings)
Abmas is one of the top scorers in college basketball. He averaged 22.2 points per game this season, which ranked seventh in Division I as Oral Roberts averaged 84 points per game.
This will be a different test for the Golden Eagles, though. Their team total against Duke is 69.5, which is well below their season average.
Abmas is a 92% free throw shooter who gets to the line at a high rate. The bad news here is that Duke sends opposing teams to the charity stripe at the 15th-lowest rate in the country. The Blue Devils could also focus in on Abmas and use extra resources to slow him down.
We’re projected Abmas for 19.5 points tonight with a 59% chance to go under 21.5.
Kyle Filipowski (Oral Roberts vs. Duke, 7:10 p.m. ET)
Over 8.5 Rebounds (-140; BetMGM)
Even though Oral Roberts is an excellent shooting team, there are four factors that will likely create more chances for Filipowski to grab rebounds based on this matchup.
- Oral Roberts has the lowest turnover rate in the country. That means a higher percentage of the Golden Eagles’ possessions will end in a shot attempt.
- They also get to the free throw line line at one of the lowest rates in the country, which means even more possessions that will likely end in a shot attempt.
- Oral Roberts plays at the 27th-fastest pace in Division I, which means there will be more possessions overall for Duke.
- Oral Roberts also chucks up 3-pointers at the 16th-highest rate in the country.
All of these extra rebound chances are why we are projecting Filipowski closer to 10 rebounds here, with a 66% chance to clear 8.5.
Chibuzo Agbo (Boise State vs. Northwestern, 7:35 p.m. ET)
Over 4.5 Rebounds (-110; DraftKings)
Agbo only cleared this in 40% of the Broncos’ conference games, but there are three factors based on this matchup that should lead to more rebound chances.
- Northwestern is also very good at not turning the ball over. The Wildcats have the 12th-lowest turnover rate in the nation.
- The Broncos also get to the free throw line at a lower rate. If they aren’t turning it over or getting to the line, it means a higher percentage of their possessions will end in a shot attempt.
- Northwestern is an awful shooting team, ranking 320th in Division I in effective FG%. The Wildcats also shoot 3s at a high rate, so this should be a brick-fest.
All of those factors should lead to Agbo seeing more rebound chances here. That’s why we are projecting him closer to 5.6 boards with a 65% chance to clear 4.5.
Themus Fulks (Louisiana vs. Tennessee, 9:40 p.m. ET)
Under 0.5 3-pointers (-115; DraftKings)
Fulks only made a three in six of 21 conference games (29%) this season. Now, he faces Tennessee who has allowed the lowest 3-point percentage in the country at just 26%? Are you kidding me with this prop?
Even if you want to go with the theory that he may shoot more 3s because Louisiana will likely trailing for most of the game, Fulks only made one 3-pointer in the Cajuns’ seven losses.
We’re projecting Fulks with a 70% chance to stay under this.
Drew Pember (UNC Asheville vs. UCLA, 10:05 p.m. ET)
Under 20.5 Points (-110; DraftKings)
Pember averaged 21.2 points per game this season, while UNC Asheville averaged 75 as a team. Now, it faces UCLA, which plays at a slow pace and ranks first in KenPoms defense efficiency metric. Asheville’s 58.5 team total is 17 points lower than their season average.
Pember gets a ton of his production at the free throw line. He leads Division I in free throws made with 262 and converts at an 83% clip from the charity stripe. The Bruins send opposing teams to the line at a lower rate, though, so Pember might not get to the line as much in this game.
Asheville is also likely to turn the ball over a ton here since UCLA has generated the 11th-highest turnover rate in the country. That means fewer possessions that end in a shot attempt for the Bulldogs.
We’re projecting Pember for closer to 18.5 points, which gives him a 61% chance of staying under 20.5.
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