Texas Tech guard Jarrett Culver
Will Culver be the leading scorer in the Final Four? Photo by Keenan Hairston [CC License].
  • Cassius Winston is averaging 19.0 points per game over his last eight contests
  • Jarrett Culver is averaging 23.8 points over his last six
  • Jared Harper has scored 17 or more in three of four games in the NCAA Tournament

With Zion Williamson and the Duke Blue Devils ousted, some say the Final Four lacks superstars. That might be the case, but there are still many elite college players and more than one future lottery pick.

Who will score the most points in Minneapolis on April 6? Bovada has posted a prop on the subject; let’s take a look and see who offers the most value.

Odds to Score Most Points in 2019 Final Four

Player (Team) Most points in Final Four odds at
Bovada
Cassius Winston (MSU) +225
Jarrett Culver (TT) +225
Bryce Brown (Auburn) +600
De’Andre Hunter (UVA) +700
Kyle Guy (UVA) +700
Jared Harper (Auburn) +900
Ty Jerome (UVA) +850
David Moretti (TT) +1200
Matt McQuaid (MSU) +1600
Kenny Goins (MSU) +1600

*Odds taken 04/04/19

Even as Favorite, Winston is a Good Bet

Cassius Winston is a good play here because he’s the best player on what appears to be the best team.

Virginia is a higher-seed than Michigan State, but most experts feel that Michigan State – after knocking off No. 1-overall seed Duke – is the best team at the Final Four.

While the Spartans are the only team in this Final Four which defeated Duke, Virginia went 0-2 against Duke, Texas Tech lost to them at a neutral site in December, and Auburn lost to Duke in Maui in November.

The other key here is that while Winston has to go through Texas Tech – a tough defensive team – the teams that have beaten the Red Raiders have all had strong point guard play. That’s a good sign for him getting through the semifinal and playing in two games, which is critical to this prop.

Final Four Picks: Red Raiders Have Value as Underdogs (Again)

Winston has averaged 19 points per game in the NCAA Tournament, twice scoring 20 or more. He’s either scored or assisted over 51% of Michigan State’s points during March Madness, so you know he’ll have the ball plenty in his had.

Harper Offers Value With Auburn

Jared Harper is great value at this price because he’ll be the fastest player on the floor against Virginia. The Cavaliers might have no one who can stay in front of him on defense and keep him from getting to the basket.

Harper’s speed was lethal against Kentucky in the Midwest Regional final, and that was against an opponent which had played Auburn twice before. Virginia has not seen Harper’s speed yet.

With Virginia, Avoid Jerome But Consider Hunter

Ty Jerome and Virginia might beat Auburn but Jerome – who poured in 24 points against Purdue – has a matchup which isn’t likely to lead to a lot of points. Auburn’s backcourt is extremely quick and if Virginia is likely to have a big scorer, it is probably De’Andre Hunter on the interior.

Jerome will need to be focused on defending Jared Harper and sometimes Bryce Brown. If he plays good defense, he will help his team. I’m much more interested in taking a shot with Hunter to lead the Cavs over Jerome or even Kyle Guy, who has been inconsistent this tournament.

Avoid Culver

Culver is a fantastic guard that’s averaging 23.8 points per game over his last six contests. Even in an off game against Gonzaga, he still had 19 points. And given the way that Texas Tech plays, with the offense running through him, he’s going to score.

My concern is Michigan State should have a much easier time on defense in this matchup than they did in the Elite Eight when they had to stop a three-headed monster. They’ll start with Aaron Henry, who matched up with R.J. Barrett in the Elite Eight. Barrett did end up with 21 points but it took him 17 shots. They should be able to slow Culver down, so I’ll pass on him.


SBD’s Final Four Coverage