With apologies to Connecticut and Miami basketball fans, the most intriguing Final Four game on Saturday is the meeting between Florida Atlantic and San Diego State.
No one, and we mean no one, could have predicted that FAU and SDSU would be among the last four teams standing in March Madness. The winner will advance to Monday’s national championship game, and make history win or lose. It’s been more than four decades since such small conference teams have been this close to the winner’s circle in college hoops.
Below we pick a few player props for the SDSU vs. FAU game. The NCAA Championship odds in this preview are from DraftKings sportsbook.
Lamont Butler Over 8.5 Points (-135)
Perhaps no one in the Aztecs locker room will be more personally invested in winning Saturday’s game than Butler, who was born and raised only about one hour north of San Diego. Butler’s narrative is the stuff of March Madness magic. We like his chances to go well over his 8.7 PPG against FAU.
You’ll need to bet $135 to win $100 (or $67.50 to win $50) on Butler’s scoring in the national semifinal game. In the Elite Eight, Butler poured in 18 points on 8-for-11 shooting.
Nick Boyd (FAU) Over 7.5 Points (+105 via DraftKings)
None of the player props on points is pricing at high odds, but there are opportunities for college basketball bettors.
Boyd is a kid who seems to be champing at the bit to bust out. The sophomore is averaging just 7.2 PPG in the tournament, but he’s a “feel” shooter who can get into a zone and have bigger nights than his statistics show. He’s scored 12+ points in 12 games in his second full season with the Owls, and he typically plays about 22-28 minutes. If he gets a few shots to drop early on Saturday against the Hurricanes, he might be in for a name-making night.
Darrion Trammell (SDSU) 20+ Pts AND San Diego State to Win (+1000)
Alright, let’s include a player prop/parlay, and let’s make it a longshot with a chance to win big. The Aztecs are 2 point favorites (-110), but this feels like a near toss-up. That could change if Trammell goes off like he can.
In his first two seasons, with Seattle University, Trammell averaged 18.7 points per game. He’s facing stiffer competition, but the 5’10 guard has been hoisting shots in this tournament. He’s shot 14-for-30 in the Aztecs last two games, and he’s capable of having a big scoring night. He topped 20 points four times this season.
If Trammell scores at least 20 against Miami AND the Aztecs win, your winning $50 bet with DraftKings mobile sportsbook would return a cool $500. That’s some nice change, friends.
Bryan Greenlee (FAU) Over 2.5 Rebounds (+110)
Two things you often see in a big basketball game is frenetic play and aggressive play. That can result in foul trouble, or on a positive side it can mean loads of missed shots. That leads to more loose balls and rebound opportunities.
Gainesville native Greenlee averages 2.4 rebounds, but he’s a formidable, strong player who can get into position and outfight opponents for missed shots. The 6’0 guard has topped three boards in 16 of the 38 games this season.
In its simplest form, Saturday’s early game is a battle of Defense vs Offense. The Aztecs allow just 62.9 points per game, the 25th lowest among the 262 teams in college basketball. The Owls are the 37th-ranked offensive team (78 PPG).
They say “defense wins championships.” But we like FAU to score enough against the Aztecs to keep their dream alive and advance to Monday night’s title game. Look for sophomore guards Johnell Davis and Alijah Martin to control the game, which should be close at the half. But the Owls would stretch their wings and soar away with the victory on a late-game surge. HOOT HOOT!
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