2023 March Madness Prop Bets and Predictions
March Madness can be a busy time for professional and recreational bettors alike, but dabbling in some entertainment wagers for some lunch money never hurt anyone. That’s where prop bets come in! While prop bets allow for some extra side fun, they can also be lucrative endeavors for those willing to pay attention.
Doc’s Sports offers college basketball expert picks for every game on our NCAA basketball predictions page.
At this time of the year, sportsbooks need to be sharp with their main markets. The overall betting interest in full game sides, totals and futures reaches its peak, and the limits on how much you are allowed to wager on such events is drastically increased. One wrong move from the sportsbook operators and risk management team could prove to be catastrophic to their bottom line.
Sportsbooks use props, and exotic entertainment selections, to lure in the betting public where they can attempt to take advantage with their main market selections. The prop menu is not carefully organized, nor thought out. Limits are low, which tells us one thing above all else; they are beatable! This is where sharp bettors can swoop in and pick off some high value wagers and add to their bottom line. Armed with that knowledge, let’s take a look at some prop bets that may hold some positive expected value that we can extract from the bookmakers, while also looking at some we would recommend avoiding.
Team to make The Final Four?
(UCLA +350 from NCAA West Region)
How can we not look to UCLA here? Kansas are the favorites from the West Region due in large part to their championship pedigree and strength of schedule, but the Bruins have a real shot here. You’ve heard the saying “offense wins games, defense wins championships” - well UCLA have the #1 rated defense in all of college basketball in terms of efficiency rating when adjusting for strength of schedule. They finished the regular season winning 10 straight games and have won 12 of their last 13. During that span, they allowed their opponents to score only 59.77 points per game. They look after the ball, while slowing down their opponents' tempo perfection. We don’t trust Connecticut or Gonzaga, and the rest are simply long-shots. UCLA have also proven they can get it done away from home on a far more consistent basis than the Jayhawks this season. We’ll take a small piece of UCLA that has stellar combo play with Tyger Campbell and Jaime Jaquez, which is then supplemented by the outside shooting of David Singleton that is able to stretch the floor better than anybody.
Team Win 2023 Championship?
There are the obvious front-runners here such as Houston, Alabama, Kansas and Purdue, but it’s a team like the Longhorns that really interests us from a value perspective. First of all, they have struggled with some inconsistency at times this season (allowing KSU to score 116 comes to mind) but it’s exactly those in-season let-downs that often give us the added value bump come tournament time. Texas have a lot going for themselves. They have played the 8th toughest strength of schedule, including the 5th toughest in terms of opponents adjusted offensive rating, and 6th toughest in terms of opponents adjusted defensive rating. They rank 18th in adjusted offensive rating themselves, and 11th in adjusted defensive rating. They’ll push the pace and force the action, and more importantly, knock down their free-throws which is vital at this point in the season. They haven’t been able to win away from home for the most part with a poor 4-6 record, but the strength of schedule has been brutal. Sometimes you get a feeling about these things, and something tells me the Longhorns are primed to go on a heater and turn heads. It’s worth the shot at +1,800 for small potatoes.
Number 1 Seed to Win Championship?
(Yes -130) (No +100)
The value is on the No. First of all, 24 of the last 37 national champions were the #1 seed. That’s just shy of 65%, which converted to an odds format would equate to almost -190. However, past success does not indicate future success, and this feels like one of the weaker tournaments from a #1 seed perspective in quite some time. The oddsmakers are not stupid, and they know the success these #1 seeds have had, especially in recent years. They are not discounting this price for no good reason. Plus money on the no? Sign me up!
Number 1 Seed Lose in the First Round?
(Yes +825) (No -1400)
First of all, the combined SU record of number 1 seeds in the tournament is 145-1 all-time. There was a huge upset back in 2018 where UMBC beat Virginia, but apart from that; nada. In fact, that record of 145-1 is a winning percentage of 99.315%. If we convert that win percentage odds, it would imply almost -15,000. Based on history alone, there would be value in laying the -1,400 on the No. However, sportsbooks know that everyone likes a long-shot and instead will be looking to donate money on the Yes at the measly price of +825. That line indicates that approximately one in eight number 1 seeds could be expected to lose in the first round. That’s just absurd. Now, don’t get it twisted, I am not suggesting for one moment to back the -1,400 line here, as a freak incident which has happened in the past could wipe you out for good. Just know this is one of the perfect examples of a prop to stay far away from as there is no reason to provide free donations to the sportsbooks.
August Young has proven to be one of the absolute best handicappers in the industry. As of Selection Sunday (3/12/23) August’s Clients are up +$12,710 on the college basketball picks season, including a +10,790 CBB heater in 2023 alone. Speaking of which, Young is up an astounding +$20,475 across all sports in 2023 which includes showing profit in each and every sport he handicaps! If you are new to Doc’s Sports you can get a no obligation free $60 account to try out August Young on this page. Existing members can get 15% off a one week or remainder of the season college basketball package with promo code AYMM15
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