2014 NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player Odds: MOP Picks and Predictions
by Aaron Smith - 3/24/2014
The first week of the NCAA Tournament is now behind us , and the tournament has been just as outstanding as always. Every year there is a nice Cinderella story in the first week as well as a ton of tightly-played contests. Mercer's upset over Duke was certainly the upset of the tournament thus far. Both Dayton and Stanford meeting in the Sweet 16 as No. 10 and No. 11 seeds, respectively, is also a very rare situation. There were four overtime games on the first day of the tournament. Already, it has been an NCAA Tournament full of tons of drama. It's likely that the best is yet to come.
There are always great futures and props to bet on this time of the year. One of the best is the NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player. BetOnline has now released odds for the 2014 Most Outstanding Player Award. Keep in mind when betting on this particular future that you are really going to need the player's team to win it all. The last man to win the MOP Award despite his team not winning the title was Hakeem Olajuwon in 1983. Let's take a look at some of the favorites and see where there might be some value. All odds listed are from BetOnline.
Scottie Wilbekin, Florida (+700) Wilbekin is the favorite here because Florida is the overall betting favorite right now when it comes to winning the NCAA Tournament . Wilbekin is the team's point guard and most important player. Wilbekin piled up 21 points to lead Florida to a Round of 32 win over Pittsburgh.
Russ Smith, Louisville (+900) Russ Smith is certainly Louisville's most important player. Smith is averaging 18.1 points per game. He scored 42 points in a game against Houston a few weeks ago, so he is capable of going off at any time. If you think Louisville has a good shot of cutting down the nets, then you have to consider a guy like Smith.
Gary Harris, Michigan State (+1,000) Harris is a terrific all-around player for Tom Izzo's Michigan State Spartans. Harris leads the team in scoring at 16.9 points per game, and he also leads the team in steals. Michigan State is clearly peaking at the right time, and Harris is a huge part of their success.
Adreian Payne, Michigan State (+1,000) No one has played better in the first couple games of the NCAA Tournament than Payne. He has been a man on a mission. Payne was particularly dominating in the team's second-round win over Delaware. In that game, he scored 41 points and made 17 out of 17 free throws. Payne is healthy now, and at his best he is one of the best players in the country.
Nick Johnson, Arizona (+1,200) Nick Johnson is clearly Arizona's MVP, so if you are high on the Wildcats you better consider Johnson for MOP honors. Johnson is an all-around star who leads the team in scoring and is clearly their best defender as well. Even though he isn't the team's point guard, they do run most of their offense through him.
Casey Prather, Florida (+1,500) I've thought for a very long time that Casey Prather is one of the most underrated players in college basketball. Prather does everything extremely will for Billy Donovan's Gators. He is the high-energy guy who makes key players down the stretch, and he is also the team's leading scorer at 14.1 points per game. What's the most impressive part? Prather is shooting a ridiculous 60.7 percent from the floor for the season.
Patric Young, Florida (+1,800) Young is the Gators main man in the post. He doesn't necessarily put up gaudy numbers, so I'm not sure he'll be one of the first noticed for this award. Young is as consistent as they come, though, and he'll be a tough matchup for anyone in the path of the Gators in this tournament.
Luke Hancock, Louisville (+1,800) Hancock won the MOP Award last year thanks to his tremendous shooting efforts in the Final Four. He isn't the team's best player overall, but he has already proven this year that he is as clutch as they come. When the team needed a bucket badly against Manhattan down the stretch, it was Hancock who came through two times in a row.
Aaron Gordon, Arizona (+2,000) Gordon may be a freshman, but he isn't playing like one right now. He has tons of athleticism and is capable of huge things. Since Brandon Ashley is out for Arizona, there is a bigger weight on Gordon's shoulders.
Montrezl Harrell, Louisville (+2,000) Harrell doesn't necessarily dominate on a consistent basis yet, but he's still a youngster. This guy can thoroughly dominate a game for stretches, though, and he clearly has the potential to carry this team in important games.
Nick Stauskas, Michigan (+2,200) Stauskas was thought of as a shooter last year. This season he has proven he is far more than just a great shooter. Stauskas is a tremendous player who makes everyone around him much better. He is as important to the Wolverines as just about any player on this list is to their team.
Joe Harris, Virginia (+2,500) Tony Bennett's team is full of smart players who know how to play basketball the right way, and Harris is the team leader. He makes good decisions with the basketball and puts himself in the right position in key moments.
Pick: Casey Prather (+1,500) Florida is the favorite for a reason, and it still surprises me that Prather doesn't get more attention than he does. Prather is a wing who can do it all on the floor, and if this team gets to the Final Four it won't surprise me a bit if Prather's stock takes a big jump based on some great performances on the big stage.
Here is the full list of odds for the NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player in 2014:
Scottie Wilbekin, FLA (+700)
Russ Smith, LOU (+900)
Gary Harris, MIST (+1,000)
Adreian Payne, MIST (+1,000)
Nick Johnson, AZ (+1,200)
Casey Prather, FLA (+1,500)
Patric Young, FLA (+1,800)
Luke Hancock, LOU (+1,800)
Aaron Gordon, AZ (+2,000)
Nik Stauskas, MI (+2,200)
Joe Harris, VA (+2,500)
Jordan Adams, UCLA (+2,500)
Malcolm Brogdon, VA (+2,500)
T.J. McConnell, AZ (+2,500)
Ben Brust, WI (+3,500)
DeAndre Kane, ISU (+3,500)
Julius Randle, UK (+3,500)
Kyle Anderson, UCLA (+3,500)
Melvin Ejim, ISU (+3,500)
Aaron Harrison, UK (+4,000)
Andrew Harrison, UK (+4,000)
Frank Kaminsky, WI (+4,000)
Glenn Robinson III, MI (+4,000)
James Young, UK (+4,000)
Jordan McRae, TN (+4,000)
Sam Dekker, WI (+4,000)
Shabazz Napier, UCONN (+4,000)
Traevon Jackson, WI (+4,000)
Brady Heslip, BAY (+5,000)
Cory Jefferson, BAY (+5,000)
Isaiah Austin, BAY (+5,000)
Jarnell Stokes, TN (+5,000)
Xavier Thames, SD ST (+5,000)
Chasson Randle, STAN (+6,500)
Dwight Powell, STAN (+10,000)
Dyshawn Pierre, DAY (+20,000)
Jordan Sibert, DAY (+20,000)
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Read more articles by Aaron Smith
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