March Madness Final Four Player Props: Target points in the paint

Armando Bacot of North Carolina
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Sam Avellone


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Long-time suffering Browns fan born and raised in the greater Cleveland, Ohio area who now resides in SEC country. University of South Carolina alum. Sports handicapper for close to 10 years with a primary focus on NCAAB while enjoying NFL, PGA, NCAAF, NBA, and Soccer. For Sam Avellone media enquiries, please email
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The Final Four is set, as Kansas, Villanova, Duke, and North Carolina are the only teams remaining in the quest for a national championship. Because there are just two games on Saturday, expect spreads and totals to present little betting value,  as oddsmakers are very sharp with their lines at this point of the season. If you cannot find any perceived value on the full game spreads or totals, then player props can be a great alternative.

Let’s take a look at my favorite player prop for each game in the Final Four, odds courtesy of PointsBet.

Jermaine Samuels over 14.5 points (-125)

Kansas vs Villanova has the profile of a low-scoring matchup, but I still like Samuels’ points prop in this spot. Standing at 6’ 7”, Samuels is a tad undersized compared to the average starting center in college basketball, especially compared to the other Final Four teams. However, he knows how to take advantage of this size discrepancy with his speed and athleticism in pick-and-roll sets. Per Synergy, Samuels ranks in the 80th percentile as the roll man in pick-and-roll plays, scoring better than 1.2 points per possession and shooting over 55%. Expect Samuels to be a mismatch for David McCormack of Kansas, who ranks in the 19th percentile and allows 1.149 points per possession when defending the roll man in pick-and-roll sets.

Read Jared Smith’s best bets for the Final Four games

Samuels has averaged 11.1 points per game this season. However, he has been much more involved offensively throughout the postseason and he will continue to be busy without the injured Justin Moore in the lineup. In 4 NCAA Tournament games, Samuels has averaged 17.5 points per game with at least 9 shots from the field. He has even shown the ability to knock down perimeter shots, as he has made at least 1 3-pointer in each of Villanova’s NCAA Tournament games despite shooting under 30% from downtown this season. Furthermore, Samuels draws almost 4 fouls per 40 minutes and shoots over 77% from the free-throw line. Simply put, he can score from anywhere on the floor.

Check out all our parlays, picks and expert analysis in our March Madness hub

Armando Bacot over 16.5 points (-105)

With a total of 151 and a history of high-scoring contests between the teams, there should be plenty of points in the first NCAA Tournament matchup between Duke and North Carolina. Over Bacot’s point total will likely be a popular bet for this game, and for good reason. Bacot is averaging 15.8 points per game in North Carolina’s 6 postseason games with at least 10 field-goal attempts in those contests.

Read our March Madness Final Four parlay (+623 odds)

Duke’s goal defensively is to limit perimeter shots and and not send opponents to the free-throw line for easy points. Per KenPom, Duke ranks 228th in percentage of opposing points from 3-point range and 356th in percentage of opposing points from the free-throw line, while allowing the 10th-highest percentage of points from 2-point range. This sets up perfectly for Bacot, as he controls the paint for the Tar Heels and is their main post-scoring threat. Duke also ranks 215th in opposing offensive rebound rate, so I would not be surprised to see Bacot, who ranks 25th nationally in offensive rebounding rate, scoring a few easy put-backs off second-chance opportunities.

This feels like a perfect matchup for Bacot. In his last 4 games against the Blue Devils, he has averaged 17.25 points per game on around 62% shooting from the field.

Check out our March Madness Hub for more expert NCAAB analysis Predictions, Parlays and all the latest round-by-round Odds

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