3 Best Prop Bets for Gonzaga vs UCLA NCAA Tournament Game (Expect Jaquez to Thrive Down Low)

Best Gonzaga vs UCLA prop bets for NCAA Tournament game on Thursday, March 23, 2023.
Best Gonzaga vs UCLA prop bets for NCAA Tournament game on Thursday, March 23, 2023. / AP Photo/Chase Stevens

Thursday's NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 schedule concludes with a clash between the No. 3 Gonzaga Bulldogs and No. 2 UCLA Bruins. FanDuel Sportsbook's latest odds list UCLA as the 1.5-point favorite with the projected total set at 145.5 points.

Here are three of the best prop bets for the Bulldogs-Bruins game, courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook.

Gonzaga vs UCLA Prop Bets

1. Jaime Jaquez Jr. — Rebounds: Over 8.5 (-118)

UCLA likely doesn't make it this far without Jaime Jaquez Jr.'s impressive play down low. The senior guard is averaging a career-high 8.1 rebounds per game, which is good for fifth-best in the Pac-12. While that number is lower than the above prop, Jaquez has finished with 9+ rebounds 13 times this season — including in four of his last six games. Gonzaga is a great team, but it just allowed 36 rebounds to TCU. After finishing with 8 boards in each of his last two contests, look for Jaquez to take the extra step and finish with the over tonight.

2. Amari Bailey — Points: Under 14.5 (-115)

UCLA's Amari Bailey has been playing well lately, averaging 17 points over his last five outings. Keeping that in mind, I expect a quieter performance from him tonight. Although Gonzaga's defense isn't spectacular on paper, it's only allowed 67.3 PPG on 40.9% shooting over the last three contests. It's also harder to trust Bailey after he only saw 7 field-goal attempts against Northwestern. With the Bulldogs needing to keep him quiet to win, don't expect a big performance from Bailey.

3. Anton Watson — Assists: Under 3.5 (-174)

Though he isn't known for his passing, Gonzaga's Anton Watson has averaged a respectable 4.4 assists in his previous five games. The bad news for him is that I see that run coming to an end against UCLA. The Bruins' smothering defense has led to their opponents only tallying 11.1 APG (No. 55). Furthermore, they force an average of 15.7 turnovers (No. 18), meaning I won't be surprised if the pressure causes Watson to make some errant passes or to hold onto the ball longer all together. Either way, Watson should be quiet from a playmaking perspective.

Devon Platana is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Devon Platana also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username PepeSilvia0. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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