- The NCAA tournament kicks off Thursday, Mar. 21
- PJ Washington & Luke Maye are among threats to record a double-double in Round 1
- Carsen Edwards averaged 23.0 PPG for Purdue and could go well over vs Old Dominion
The action comes fast and furious in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Sometimes figuring out who is going to cover between two teams you’ve never seen can be a tough play.
Oddsmakers have thousands of player props to choose from, giving you all the options you need to stay invested in March Madness.
Here are the five best player props I’d urge you to consider before tip-off Thursday morning.
Prop #1: Tremont Waters Over 16.5 Points
|Tremont Waters Points O/U||Odds (Mar. 20)|
The No. 3 LSU Tigers face No. 14 Yale in the opening round of the tournament so expect Tremont Waters to go off. Yale recruited Waters heavily and he actually grew up in New Haven, right around the corner from Yale. He ultimately chose Baton Rouge and it’s worked out well.
He’s starred for the Tigers, leading the team with 15.1 points per game. As for this prop bet, I like the fact Waters has scored 17 or more 13 times this season and will have extra motivation playing the Bulldogs.
Tremont Waters = Straight Baller pic.twitter.com/8bRBJWsOY5
— LSU Basketball (@LSUBasketball) March 12, 2019
Yale is much better on offense (47th in efficiency) than defense (149th in efficiency) and plays at a high tempo (45th). This will be a high-scoring game with a lot of possessions.
One other thing to consider is Waters exceptional ability on the defensive end. He was the SEC co-defensive player of the year and his ability on that end often leads to easy points in transition which should help him hit the OVER here.
Prop #2: Tyus Battle Over 22.5 Points
|Tyus Battle Points O/U||Odds (Mar. 20)|
Tyus Battle, the leading scorer for No. 8 Syracuse, is ready to go for the tournament. He missed two games in the ACC tournament with a back injury but should be 100% for the opening round against No. 9 Baylor. I love the value of betting Battle to score at least 23 points.
The future NBAer reached that total nine times this year and enters the tournament averaging 17.2 per game. Battle has always been the main threat for Syracuse in crunch time and should be leaned on heavily by Jim Boeheim in the opener, especially with the announcement that Frank Howard will not play.
Statement from Syracuse Athletics: pic.twitter.com/8D1Oy14sOw
— Syracuse Basketball (@Cuse_MBB) March 20, 2019
Prop #3: Carsen Edwards Over 25.5 Points
|Carl Edwards Points O/U||Odds (Mar. 20)|
|Over 25.5 Points||+139|
Expect Carsen Edwards to go off Thursday night when his No. 3 Purdue Boilermakers face No. 14 Old Dominion.
Twenty-six points may sound like a lot, but Edwards reached that mark 10 different times this season. He scored a season high 40 versus Texas and I expect him to come close to that number in the opening round against the Monarchs.
(* Awesome seeing Mom do it back to him Sunday). pic.twitter.com/cDtNI1Etka
— Purdue Mens Basketball (@BoilerBall) December 11, 2018
Even if he doesn’t come close to 40, Edwards averaged 23.0 during the season, so it won’t take much above an average performance for him to hit this bet.
If this bet was straight up, I’d like it, at +139 I absolutely love it. Purdue has very little secondary scoring, which quells any concerns I have about ODU’s stingy defense.
Prop #4: PJ Washington Over 17.5 Points and 7.5 Rebounds
|PJ Washington Points & Rebounds O/U||Odds (Mar. 20)|
|Over 17.5 Points||+110|
|Over 7.5 Rebounds||+102|
*PJ Washington is not going to play in the Round of 64
PJ Washington can score and he can rebound the ball. Those two things are statistical facts. His ability to do both for the No. 2 Kentucky Wildcats in their matchup with No. 15 Abilene Christian may not be a fact yet, but it sure is likely.
Washington scored at least 18 points 13 times this season and he reached the eight-rebound mark a total of 15 times. In order to win this parlay you need him to do both, something he did seven times.
I’m eyeing the huge value for him to do it an eighth time at a +328 price.
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) March 20, 2019
Prop #5: Luke Maye Over 12.5 Points and 12.5 Rebounds
|Luke Maye Points & Rebounds O/U||Odds (Mar. 20)|
|Over 12.5 Points||-179|
|Over 12.5 Rebounds||-101|
Individually, neither of these props are paying incredible value, but when you parlay them together, the wager starts to look mighty inviting.
Luke Maye has been very consistent for No. 1 UNC this season, tallying at least 13 points 21 different times.
On the glass, he’s brought in 13 rebounds seven times, including three of the last four games. I’m betting on the North Carolina big-man to reach both marks in Round 1 against No. 16 Iona, a run-and-gun team.
He’s a senior so the bright lights of March Madness won’t rattle him. They didn’t even when he was a sophomore …
… and that fact should both scare the Gaels and give you the courage needed to bet the parlay and enjoy the +210 value.
SBD’s Regional Previews
- Odds to Win the West Region of 2019 March Madness Tournament
- Duke Listed as Odds-On Favorite to Win East Region of March Madness Bracket
- South Region Preview: Virginia Listed at +140 to Reach Final Four
- Midwest Region Odds: UNC Given Worst Odds of #1 Seeds to Make Final Four
SBD’s Other March Madness coverage:
- The Guide to Filling Out Your March Madness Bracket for Non-College Basketball Fans
- The 5 Best Teams to Bet in 2019 March Madness Against the Spread
- Head-to-Head Odds to Win More Games in the 2019 Men’s NCAA Tournament
- Odds on Which Conference Will Win the 2019 NCAA Tournament
- Odds to Make the Sweet 16 in 2019 March Madness Tournament
- Kentucky Given Best NCAA Tournament Odds Among Non-No. 1 Seeds
- Gonzaga Given Second-Best Odds to Win 2019 March Madness After Selection Sunday
- Duke Enters 2019 March Madness Tournament as Heavy Favorite
- Odds Say Two #1 Seeds Make 2019 NCAA Men’s Final Four
- Over/Under Sum of Seeds in 2019 Final Four Set at 10.5
- 5 NCAA Men’s Tournament Round of 64 Game Props to Bet
Let's have fun and keep it civil.