Freedman’s Favorite Virginia-Oklahoma NCAA Tournament Player Prop Bets
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Oklahoma Sooners guard Christian James (0).
- Matthew Freedman continues his series featuring one of his favorite prop bets for each day of 2019.
- On Sunday, he highlights his favorite NCAA Tournament player props in the Virginia-Oklahoma game (7:45 p.m. ET, truTV).
Each day, I publish at least one quick-n’-dirty piece highlighting a favorite prop of mine. See my master list of 2019 prop bets for more information.
Also follow me in The Action Network app, where each day I post additional official player prop picks.
In this piece I’m going to highlight my favorite NCAA Tournament player props for the Virginia-Oklahoma game. For more information, check out my piece on my March Madness prop-betting strategy.
You also should look at our live betting odds page for up-to-the-minute lines.
2019 Year-to-Date Record
346-284-12, +44.14 Units
- NFL: 21-13-0, +11.72 Units
- NBA: 198-154-4, +26.06 Units
- NHL: 66-80-7, -7.57 Units
- Golf: 4-7-1, -2.35 Units
- NASCAR: 5-8-0. -1.70 Units
- NCAAB: 29-19-0. +6.35 Units
- NCAAF: 0-1-0. -1.00 Units
- Exotic: 23-2-0. +12.64 Units
#1 Virginia vs. #9 Oklahoma
- Spread: Virginia -10.5
- Over/Under: 127.0
- Time: 7:45 p.m. ET
- TV: truTV
Christian James Under 13.5 points (-120)
The senior guard leads the Sooners with 14.6 points and 33.0 minutes per game, so he should get his opportunities to score, but I’m doubtful that he’ll be able to approach his season scoring average.
Playing against a Cavaliers team that has held opponents to an NCAA-low 56.7 points per game, the Sooners will likely score far fewer points than they normally do. The Sooners are implied for just 57.25 points, which is significantly short of their per-game average of 71.9 points.
On top of that, unlike many other players, James hasn’t seen a surge in postseason playing time, playing 33 and 34 minutes in his two postseason games.
With fewer points to go around and no extra playing time to juice his numbers, James looks like a decent bet to hit the under.
Brady Manek Under 14.5 points (-130)
Manek is respectively second and third on the Sooners with 12.2 points and 27.7 minutes per game, so he’s important to the team, but given the expected decline in overall scoring we’re likely to see from Oklahoma, the under is enticing.
The sophomore forward has averaged just 28.5 minutes in his two postseason games, so he’s not likely to see a large increase in playing time in this game.
And in his 13 games this year with 30-plus minutes, he’s still averaged just 14.3 points — and that was with his team scoring 71.8 points per game. It’s just not reasonable to expect Oklahoma to put up that kind of production against Virginia.
Kristian Doolittle Under 11.5 points (-105)
The Oklahoma unders continue to look attractive. Doolittle is second on the team with 28.8 minutes and third with 11.4 minutes per game, so this number makes sense on its face.
But Virginia has allowed more than 70 points in just three games this year, and if Oklahoma is unable to score more than 70, it will be hard for Doolittle to score 12-plus points.
In the postseason Doolittle has played 32.5 minutes per game, and over his past 10 starts, the junior forward has averaged 33.2 minutes. He might end the game with the most minutes of any Sooner.
But even if he plays 33 minutes, I still expect him to end up with 10 points more often than 12.
Mamadi Diakite Over 7.0 points (-105)
The junior forward is just fourth in scoring for the Cavaliers with 7.2 points per game, so he’s not a key contributor, but I like his chances of going over.
Diakite has just 20.1 points per game on the season, but over his past 10 games he’s bumped that up to 22.2, and in Round 1 he played 27 minutes, scoring 17 points as the team’s main big man in its primary five-man grouping.
If Diakite sees big minutes once again, he’s got a strong chance of hitting the over.