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2023 NCAAB Tournament Final Four Player Props: Fade Jordan Hawkins While He’s Famous

Jordan Hawkins Connecticut Huskies NCAAB player
Jordan Hawkins 24 of the Connecticut Huskies looks on during the game against the Arkansas Razorbacks in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Mens Basketball Tournament at T Mobile Arena on March 23 2023 Sean M HaffeyGetty ImagesAFP

Saturday’s Top Prop Pick

NCAAB Pick: Jordan Hawkins Under 16.5 Points (-115) at FanDuel


Do you have a good set of player projections to rely on for your Final Four picks? Is there even such a thing? Projecting college basketball scores is difficult enough, let alone individual player stats. 

Maybe we should give the computers a break and use some old-school betting logic instead. Saturday’s opening contest between Florida Atlantic and San Diego State is one of those rare opportunities to put the Over in our March Madness picks; it makes sense to do the same for our player props – at least the ones related to scoring. 

Meanwhile, we’ve already recommended the Under for the nightcap between Miami and UConn, so you don’t need a computer to tell you that’s the right side for your Final Four player props. But which ones?


Florida Atlantic Owls vs. San Diego State Aztecs 

Saturday, April 01, 2023 – 06:09 PM EDT at NRG Stadium


Looking at the NCAAB odds, the over/under for our first National semifinal is holding steady at 131.5 points as we go to press, with 68% consensus on the Under according to the numbers here at OddsTrader. It’s still early in the week, so that consensus is presumably sharp, even if the projections show some value on the Over. 

We’ll hear from the betting public later in the week. As a rule, they tend to prefer the Over, so it’s harder to find value on that side; the trick is to avoid picking the star players that casual fans are betting on, and take one of the less heralded players on the NCAAB odds list instead. 

Who Is Nicholas Boyd?

Say hello to Florida Atlantic’s “Weapon X.” Boyd is a 6-foot-3 sophomore guard who does a little bit of everything for the Owls. He’s fourth on the team in scoring at 8.9 points per game; Boyd’s total on Saturday’s early NCAAB lines is just 7.5 points, with the Over priced at +105. 

Fighting Aztecs?

Granted, San Diego State’s defense is anything but average. They rank fourth on Ken Pomeroy’s Division I efficiency charts, and they play a relatively slow pace of 65.7 possessions per game (No. 266). 

Every defense has a weakness, though, and in SDSU’s case, that weakness can be found in the paint. Beyond the arc, they’re rock-solid, allowing opponents to shoot just 27.9% (No. 3). Inside the arc, they allow 49.4% (No. 170)

Boyd can score from pretty much anywhere on the court. He does tend to shoot more often from downtown, 4.4 attempts per game compared to 2.7 from closer range; we’re counting on FAU head coach Dusty May to tailor his offense appropriately and put Boyd in a position to succeed this Saturday.
 

NCAAB Pick: Nicholas Boyd Over 7.5 Points (+105) at FanDuel


Miami-Florida Hurricanes vs. Connecticut Huskies

Saturday, April 01, 2023 – 08:49 PM EDT at NRG Stadium


If only one of these games could have the Under in our college basketball picks, this is the one to wish for; it’s got the two high-profile teams from the Big Six conferences going at it in prime time. Now all we need to do is the opposite of FAU-SDSU, and pick a star player to go Under their points total. 

Who Is Jordan Hawkins?

He’s the guy who scored 20 points for UConn in their Elite Eight romp over Gonzaga. Hawkins is a 6-foot-5 sophomore guard who’s already drawing comparisons to Klay Thompson and Desmond Bane. And he’s the closest thing to a star player in this matchup. 

Hawkins doesn’t have quite the same profile as Gonzaga’s Drew Timme, who was an easy Under pick for our Elite Eight player props. At 16.3 points per game, Hawkins is second on the Huskies in scoring behind Adama Sanogo, but he also hits a ton of crowd-pleasing threes: 3.0 per game on 7.7 attempts. 

For Saturday’s contest, Hawkins has been assigned a total of 16.5 points, with the Under priced at -115; he’ll be up against a Miami defense that only ranks No. 104 on the Pomeroy charts, and one that’s middle of the pack in 3-point percentage allowed at 33.4 (No. 155). 

The thing is, despite their quick pace of 69.0 possessions per game (No. 90), the Hurricanes are really good at limiting shot opportunities. On the season, Miami they’ve allowed just 22.9 attempts per game (No. 268) from 3-point range, and 37.0 attempts (No. 218) from 2-point range. 

That defensive pressure, plus the extra attention Hawkins got last Saturday after dropping 20 points on Gonzaga, makes Under 16.5 points an easy choice for our NCAAB picks. 

Bet accordingly. 

NCAAB Pick: Jordan Hawkins Under 16.5 Points (-115) at FanDuel


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