The First Four gave bettors a taste of what’s to come in the weeks ahead, but the action gets fierce Thursday, as the Round of 64 gets underway. With 16 games on tap, bettors should have no trouble finding interesting wagers. Let’s look at some March Madness player props and parlay picks for Thursday’s slate.
During March Madness, the sheer volume of betting markets gamblers have access to can be — well, maddening. But we have sifted through the masses for you. Here are a few of our favorite player props and parlay picks for Thursday’s games.
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March Madness Player Props: Thursday
The following are five of our favorite player props for Thursday’s games:
No. 16 Northern Kentucky vs. No. 1 Houston
- Jamal Shead, over 12.5 points -115 (DraftKings)
Shead is one of four players for Houston who have averaged over 10 points a game this season (10.3 ppg). The team has been quiet about the status of Marcus Sasser, who got injured during the AAC Tournament. If he plays, it will probably not be for long, freeing up scoring opportunities for Shead, Jarace Walker, and J’Wan Roberts.
He has scored 16+ in four of his last five games.
No. 15 Colgate vs. No. 2 Texas
- Tucker Richardson, over 5.5 assists +108 (FanDuel)
Colgate is a heavy underdog against a solid Texas team, as they should be. But there is a chance they will give the Longhorns a run for their money if they can heat up from the three-point range (40.78% as a team this season). That means point guard Tucker Richardson will get plenty of opportunities to record assists.
He averaged 5.8 APG during the season but had 11, 12, and 11 during the Patriot League Tournament.
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No. 7 Texas A&M vs. No. 10 Penn State
- Jalen Pickett, under 17.5 points -120 (DraftKings)
Pickett is the best player on the team and the leading scorer, but the Nittany Lions will live and die by the three in this game. Why? Because A&M struggles to defend against it. If Penn State can heat up, they’ll likely win the game.
While Pickett is not a bad three-point shooter, the Nittany Lions have others that are better. So, most of his scoring opportunities will likely come from second-chance shots. But since Penn State is one of the worst offensive-rebounding teams in the country, he may not get too many.
- Andrew Funk, over 2.5 three-pointers +102 (Caesars)
Funk went 0-5 from behind the arc during the Big Ten title game, but otherwise, he has been one of the better shooters for Penn State this season. Before the Big Ten title game, he had hit 3+ in four of his last five games. With Texas A&M struggling to defend against three-point shooters this season, Funk will likely shoot early and often from behind the arc.
No. 15 UNC-Asheville vs. No. 2 UCLA
- Tajion Jones, over 13.5 points +102 (Caesars)
Jones averaged 15 ppg this season for the Bulldogs but has been on a roll of late, scoring 16.2 ppg over his last ten. Against a tough UCLA defense, it will be tough to replicate those numbers. But he may see more scoring opportunities since the Bruins will want to neutralize UNC-Asheville’s primary scorer, Drew Pember.
Best March Madness Parlay Picks
Parlays are a lot of fun and a great way to boost your potential earnings, but they can also be a great way to drain your bankroll faster than you thought possible. For that reason, we suggest using caution when it comes to making March Madness parlay picks.
Don’t get greedy and add a leg or two because the odds and your potential payout skyrocket. Stick with the legs you feel the most confident about. While it can be tempting to go with four or five-leg parlays, we suggest sticking to two or three most of the time.
Let’s take a look at a few options involving Thursday’s games:
March Madness Parlay No. 1
- Penn State to win outright vs. Texas A&M +126
- Boise State to win outright vs. Northwestern +108
- Parlay Odds: +370
Penn State is a slight underdog in the game, but if they can take advantage of Texas A&M’s poor three-point defense, they could steal a win. As for Boise State, they and Northwestern are a pretty even match (sportsbooks favor Northwestern, -1.5). But the Broncos have been shooting and rebounding better than the Wildcats over the last ten games, giving them enough of an edge to win.
A $100 wager will result in a $470 payout, your stake plus $370 in winnings.
View the board: March Madness odds
March Madness Parlay No. 2
- Tucker Richardson, over 5.5 assists, +108
- Tajion Jones, over 13.5 points +100
- Parlay Odds: +316
When building a parlay, you do not have to pick winners (moneyline or spread) or the over/under. If you are not confident about an outcome but are about how a player will perform, you can build a parlay out of player props, like these two previously discussed.
A $100 wager will result in a $416 payout, your stake plus $316 in winnings.
March Madness Parlay No. 3
- Chibuzo Agbo, over 4.5 rebounds -114
- Arkansas, -1.5 (vs. Illinois) -115
- Oral Roberts-Duke, over 145.5 -115
- Parlay Odds: +556
Northwestern is one of the worst shooting teams in the country (No. 332), while Boise State is one of the better defensive rebounding teams (No. 35). The bricks will be there; it’s just a matter of how many Agbo pulls down.
As for Illinois-Arkansas, neither team has played well down the stretch; Illinois lost three of their last four, while Arkansas lost four of their last five. However, the Razorbacks’ losses all came against ranked teams. Neither team shoots well from three-point range or the free-throw line, and both play good defense.
This has the makings of a low-scoring game, but both offenses are capable when things click. It’s hard to say whether either will, but Arkansas made runs in the Tournament in the last couple of years. They’ll bring their “A” game and take home the win.
Oral Roberts does not play tough defense; instead, they look to outscore opponents by making it rain from three-point range. Duke’s defense is solid, but the Golden Eagles will not stop shooting because it becomes problematic. As for Duke, while they have been winning with defense lately, the absence of an Oral Roberts defense will create plenty of scoring opportunities.
A $100 wager will result in a $656 payday, your stake plus $556 in winnings.