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Centers of Attention: Edey, Clingan Top NCAAB Prop Picks

It doesn’t get much better than this as the teams that spent much of the season sitting atop the national polls will meet in Monday night’s national championship game. UConn looks to not only become the first team since Florida in 2006 and 2007 to win back-to-back NCAA Division I men’s basketball national titles, but the first to do so while winning all 12 March Madness games by double digits.

There were some impressive player prop payouts in the two semifinals when looking at the college basketball betting lines. Could it be more of the same in the final game of the 2023-24 college basketball season?

Centers of Attention: Edey, Clingan Top NCAAB Prop Picks
Centers of Attention: Edey, Clingan Top NCAAB Prop Picks

There isn’t much recent March Madness history between UConn and Purdue. The only other meeting between the Boilermakers and the Huskies in the NCAA tournament came in 2009, when UConn won 72-60 as a seven-point favorite.

When looking at college basketball futures odds, UConn was first at -200 and Purdue was second at +200 in the odds to win March Madness when the Final Four began.

Purdue meets up with UConn at 9:20 p.m. ET on Monday at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.,with the March Madness championship at stake. The game will be televised on TBS.



Purdue’s Zach Edey to score the first points (+295)

Zach Edey is not only his team’s top scorer, but only two of his teammates have attempted more shots than Edey has field goals converted this season.

Edey has scored the game’s first points in three of Purdue’s first five games in this year’s NCAA Tournament. Expect the Boilermakers to get the 7-foot-4 Edey involved down low against UConn’s 7-foot-2 sophomore Donovan Clingan to set the tone in the national championship game.


His points scored and rebounds are a little on the high side, so consider going with Edey to open the scoring when looking at the March Madness player prop options.



UConn’s Donovan Clingan to have 9+ Rebounds (+120)

After pulling down 40 rebounds in the previous four March Madness games and having a career-high 16 boards against Marquette in the Big East tournament title game, Clingan was rather quiet in the rebounding department against Alabama in the national semifinals.


The adjusted tempo for UConn is 328th and it is at No. 211 for Purdue, according to the Pomeroy college basketball ratings, so there might not be as many possessions or available rebounds. However, Clingan should be fired up by the challenge of going at it with Purdue’s Edey, the National Player of the Year front-runner, so it is worth taking a shot at Clingan having at least nine rebounds on Monday night.


Purdue Braden Smith to have 2+ 3-pointers (+149)

Braden Smith was in danger of having his first game without a field goal since the 2023 Big Ten tournament title game when the Boilermakers faced North Carolina State in the national semifinals.

Smith had missed his first eight shots before connecting on a 3-pointer with 3:24 left to play as part of a 14-1 run to put the game out of reach.

Smith is one of four Purdue players with at least 50 3-pointers this season so take a look at the +149 odds set by the BetUS sportsbook for Smith to have at least two 3-pointers against UConn.



UConn’s Cam Spencer to have 2+ Steals (-126)

Cam Spencer, a Rutgers transfer, is best known for his 3-point shooting as he heads into Monday’s championship game leading UConn with 98 3-pointers made and 221 3-pointers attempted. However, he has at least two steals in three of the last four games for UConn.

It bears watching to see if UConn tries to get Purdue out of its comfort zone by speeding up the Boilermakers when Purdue is running its offense. If that happens, it could give Spencer a chance to have some more steals in this game.


A Quick Look Back

Those making March Madness bets can only hope that the player props deliver as well as they did in the semifinal games.

The biggest payout came when UConn freshman Stephon Castle dropped 21 points on Alabama as that carried +613 odds.

UConn’s Alex Karaban pulling down eight rebounds paid out +400 while the three steals by Purdue’s Braden Smith carried a +400 return in Las Vegas odds. Smith also paid out at +227 by coming down with eight rebounds.

Those who bypassed Purdue All-American Zach Edey’s points and rebounding props and settled on the +380 odds for him to have at least four assists were rewarded.

Lance Jones of Purdue hit four 3-pointers and that came with +363 odds, while the eight rebounds by UConn’s Cam Spencer had +318 odds.

UConn’s Tristen Newton handed out nine assists (+242), Purdue’s Fletcher Loyer hit three 3-pointers (+221), and Castle had at least four assists (+206). All of those sportsbook props all had odds over +200.


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Questions Of The Day

Which players led UConn and Purdue in scoring in the national semifinals?

Freshman Stephon Castle had 21 points in UConn’s win over Alabama while 20 points and 12 rebounds by Zach Edey against North Carolina State led Purdue into its first national championship game since 1969.

What are the game odds for the championship game matchup between UConn and Purdue?

UConn is listed by our sportsbook as the 7-point favorite with -310 odds to win the game outright. The moneyline is at +255 for Purdue with the total set at 145 ½ points.


The odds and predictions in the article are based on the time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.

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