Jarrett Culver & Ty Jerome Listed as NCAA Tournament MOP Co-Favorites Ahead of Championship Game

Jarrett Culver
Jarrett Culver guided Texas Tech all the way to the NCAA Championship game. Photo by @devon_gonsalves (Twitter)
  • Jarrett Culver and Ty Jerome have the shortest odds to win the NCAA Tournament MOP Award
  • Culver has averaged 16.8 shot attempts per game during March Madness
  • Ty Jerome scored 21 points in Virginia’s decisive Final Four victory

The NCAA Tournament Championship Game is finally upon us as No. 3 Texas Tech and No. 1 Virginia are the two teams left standing. Sportsbooks have posted the odds for Most Outstanding Player award and Ty Jerome and Jarrett Culver are the co-favorites. Are they the right bet for MOP, or does someone else offer value?

2019 NCAA Tournament MOP Odds

Player Odds
Jarrett Culver +200
Ty Jerome +200
De’Andre Hunter +450
Kyle Guy +450
Matt Mooney +500

*Odds taken 04/08/19

Texas Tech Offense Runs Through Culver

There’s no question that the Texas Tech Red Raiders offense runs through Culver. The NBA lottery pick-to-be had just 10 points in the Final Four but had averaged 21.5 points per game in the NCAA Tournament before that.

What you have to like about Culver is that you know he’ll have the ball in his hands plenty. The offense runs through him and he’ll get plenty of shots. He’s averaging 16.8 attempts per game during March Madness, so he’s going to have opportunities. He’s the best bet on this team.

Jerome the Favorite For Virginia, But Bet Hunter

Although Kyle Guy has had a few more key baskets for Virginia, it’s Jerome who leads the way in terms of their MOP odds. He led the team in scoring in the Final Four with 21 points and had 24 points in the Elite Eight.

The concern here with Jerome – and even Guy – is that Texas Tech is really tough on guards. They held Michigan State’s Cassius Winston to four-of-16 shooting in the Final Four, and Gonzaga’s Zach Norvell Jr. and Josh Perkins to a combined nine-of-23 in the Elite Eight.

Both Jerome and Guy will score but De’Andre Hunter could be good value here. He needs to have a good game if the Cavaliers are to win because what he does inside will (or won’t) open up space on the perimeter. If he’s ineffective, Virginia probably loses. If he’s effective, the Cavs could win and he could cash for the MOP award.

Is Mooney Money?

I would consider putting a small bet on Texas Tech’s Matt Mooney in this game. Yes, the offense runs through Culver but he has attracted so much of the opponent’s defensive attention the last couple of games that Mooney has been able to shoot very well. Mooney had 22 against Michigan State and 17 against Gonzaga.

We know that Virginia is going to clamp down on Culver as he is priority No. 1. Someone else is going to have to step up for the Red Raiders and the most likely candidate is Mooney. He’s scored in double-digits in four straight games and will have an opening to lead the Red Raiders in the Championship Game.

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