NCAA Tournament Prop Bets for Monday's National Championship Game

Aidan Cotter
Aidan CotterAidanCotterFD
NCAA Tournament Prop Bets for Monday's National Championship Game

The Connecticut Huskies face the Purdue Boilermakers for the 2024 Men's National Championship game tonight.

Via the college basketball odds at FanDuel Sportsbook, we can get into the action by checking out prop bets for tonight's title game.

For bettors, numberFire's Matchup Heat Map helps identify favorable game environments, while KenPom and Sports-Reference offer a wide range of team-level statistics. We can also turn to Bart Torvik and RealGM for advanced player stats and splits.

Let's check out FanDuel Sportsbook's college basketball odds and dive into our wealth of statistical data to find tonight's best National Championship prop bets.

Please note lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published.

NCAA Tournament National Championship Prop Bets

Tristen Newton Over 15.5 Points (-115)

UConn guard Tristen Newton has averaged just 13.4 points per game in the NCAA Tournament after leading the Huskies with 15.2 points per game in the regular season.

His usage rate has dropped (25.1% to 22.4%), but he's still put up 10.4 shots per game -- right in line with the 11.0 attempts per game he averaged during their first 34 outings.

While we aren't getting much of a discount on this points line, a better shooting performance should lift him over 15.5 against Purdue. He's shooting just 42.3% overall and 29.0% from three during the tournament but should have a more efficient night against Purdue.

While the Boilermakers are 12th nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency, they've fallen victim to big scoring totals from opposing perimeter players in the tournament. NC State guard DJ Horne went for 20 against them in the semifinals, while Tennessee's Dalton Knecht (37 points) and Gonzaga's Nolan Hickman (16 points) both went over this line the two games prior.

Newton should benefit from Purdue's drop coverage defense in the pick and roll. Purdue opts to sit big man Zach Edey in the paint and have their on-ball defender chase over the top of ball screens. That tends to open up mid-range looks for the ball-handler -- Purdue gives up the sixth-highest rate of mid-range shots in the country, per Bart Torvik.

We saw Newton excel against this style of defense in two regular season matchups with Creighton, who play drop and allow the highest rate of mid-range shots in the country. Against Creighton and their 7'1" center Ryan Kalkbrenner, Newton went for 16 and 27 points and attempted 15 and 21 shots.

It doesn't hurt that Newton's already proved capable of scoring on the biggest stage. In last year's National Championship, Newton led all scorers with 19 points despite averaging just 10.1 points per game for the season.

With a size advantage over Purdue's guards, look for the senior to have another big game and go over 15.5 points in the process.

Braden Smith Over 17.5 Total Points + Assists (-104)

I'm expecting both point guards in tonight's National Championship to have big games, so we can look for Purdue's Braden Smith to go over 17.5 combined points and assists (PAs).

For the season, Smith is averaging 19.5 PAs (12.0 points and 7.5 assists) per game. While his scoring has dipped to 8.4 points per game in the NCAA Tournament, the sophomore has upped his assist average to 8.8 per game in the Big Dance.

He is coming off a rough game against NC State (9 PAs on 1-of-9 shooting) but notably has a pair of double-doubles in the tournament.

Like with Newton, Smith should benefit from UConn dropping their big man, Donovan Clingan, into the paint. That should give Smith plenty of open mid-range looks -- an area he's attempted 36.8% of his shots this season.

It should also allow Smith to collapse the defense and find open shooters, which is his specialty. Smith's 7.5 assists per game this season ranks fourth nationally while his 38.3% assist rate ranks 12th.

There is some concern that UConn will deploy projected lottery pick Stephon Castle on Smith. A 6'6" wing, Castle finished 25th in EvanMiya's Defensive Bayesian Performance Rating, so he's certainly a tough matchup for the 6'0" Smith. In turn, that may breathe some life into the over for fellow guard Lance Jones' points prop, currently set at 10.5 on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Still, by combining Smith's points and assists, we have multiple ways to hit the over on this prop.

If you’re betting on the men’s college basketball championship on April 8th, you can take advantage of FanDuel Sportsbook’s 25% Profit Boost! See the promotions page for more information.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.