College Basketball Props – Best Player Prop Bets for Saturday, Jan. 16th

Illinois Fighting Illini

Illinois center Kofi Cockburn, right, goes up for a shot against Northwestern guard Chase Audige during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Evanston, Ill., Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
  • 15 of the top-25 teams in college basketball are in action on Saturday, January 16th
  • Player props are available for many of the NCAA’s biggest stars
  • See below to find out where we think the betting value lies

Is there a better way to spend a Saturday than glued to college hoops on your television screen for 12 hours? This Saturday’s slate features 15 of the top-25 teams in the Nation, and many of the game’s biggest stars.

COVID related issues have robbed us of seeing #6 Kansas, #13 West Virginia and #22 Oregon in action, but it’s still going to be a jammed pack slate starting at Noon EST. Of course there are plenty of ways to bet each game, but perhaps the most beatable market these days is player props.

Unlike professional basketball, online sportsbooks only post player props for a handful of college basketball games. Nevertheless, we’ve scoured the odds board and have identified our three favorite bets below.

NCAA Player Props – Saturday January 16

Ohio State vs Illinois Points
Duane Washington (Buckeyes) 15.0 (O -112 | U -112)
E.J. Liddell (Buckeyes) 13.0 (O -112 | U -112)
Ayo Dosunmu (Fighting Illini) 21.5 (O -112 | U -112)
Kofi Cockburn (Fighting Illini) 16.5 (O -112 | U -112)
Michigan vs Minnesota Points
Hunter Dickinson (Wolverines) 16.5 (O -112 | U -112)
Isaiah Livers (Wolverines) 13.0 (O -112 | U -112)
Marcus Carr (Golden Gophers) 19.5 (O -112 | U -112)
Liam Robbins (Golden Gophers) 12.5 (O -112 | U -112)
Missouri vs Texas A&M Points
Mark Smith (Tigers) 11.5 (O -112 | U -112)
Xavier Pinson (Tigers) 14.5 (O -112 | U -112)
Dru Smith (Tigers) 11.0 (O -112 | U -112)
Baylor vs Texas Tech Points
Jared Butler (Bears) 15.5 (O -112 | U -112)
Davion Mitchell (Bears) 10.0 (O -112 | U -112)
Mac McClung (Red Raiders) 15.5 (O -112 | U -112)
Terrence Shannon Jr. (Red Raiders) 12.5 (O -112 | U -112)

Odds taken on Jan 16th from DraftKings.

We’ve mentioned this in the past, but it’s worth reiterating that the majority of the time the value in player props lies on betting unders. Of course, it’s not as much fun to cheer against offense, but the books know this and typically shade the lines on the high side.

2021 NCAA Men’s Tournament Championship Odds Tracker

Prop #1: Marcus Carr Under 19.5 Points

Minnesota’s Marcus Carr is averaging 20.9 points per game, so at first glance the total on his points prop screams over. But consider the matchup. The Golden Gophers are facing undefeated Michigan, who’s limiting opposing teams to just 65.8 points per game. The Wolverines have held back-to-back opponents below 58 points, which includes Minnesota last week.

That night, Michigan clamped down on Carr and company holding him to 14 points on 5-of-16 shooting. The Wolverines enter play ranked 10th in defensive efficiency, but they’re not the only team Carr has struggled against. He’s averaged just 13 points over his last four outings versus Michigan, Iowa, Ohio State and Wisconsin, shooting below 32% in each game.

He’s by far Minnesota’s best offensive player, but his stats are heavily skewed due to monster games against weak competition. Fade Carr in this matchup.

Prop #2: Davion Mitchell Under 10 Points

Next up, is Baylor guard Davion Mitchell who after starting the season hot, has cooled off in Big 12 play. He’s failed to reach double figures in three of his past six games, exceeding 10 points just once.

Normally a reliable outside shooter, he’s been ice cold recently, missing each of his last 12 attempts from beyond the arc. His struggles are likely to continue Saturday, as the Bears face Texas Tech, one of the top-7 defenses in the country. The Red Raiders are holding enemy shooters to 39.2% from the field and feature a handful of big guards that should give Mitchell trouble.

Mitchell stands just 6-foot-2, while six of Texas Tech’s seven primary guard defenders are at least 6-foot-4, with three of them standing 6-foot-6 or taller.

Prop #3: Kofi Cockburn Over 16.5 Points

I realize earlier we got on our soapbox about the value in betting unders, but this matchup for Kofi Cockburn is too good to pass up. Illinois’ 7-footer faces Ohio State on Saturday, who doesn’t feature a single rotational player taller than 6-foot-8.

The massive size advantage for Cockburn should lead to plenty of easy looks down low, something he’s been capitalizing on all season. He’s shooting 69.2% from the floor and 70.8% since the start of conference play. Last time out, he poured in 21 in a losing effort against Maryland, and he’s scored at least 17 points in six of his last eight outings.

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