2017 Final Four: Best Prop Bets for Gonzaga vs South Carolina

National sportswriter Mike Tierney reveals his favorite prop bets for the first Final Four game Saturday.

 

South Carolina, the Cinder-fella of the Final Four, presents all sorts of headaches with prop plays.

Are the real Gamecocks the ones who averaged a modest 72 points a game and shot a so-so 41.4 percent before the NCAAs?

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Or are they the ones who are scoring 11 more points and connecting more than six percentage points higher in the tournament?

Answers to those two $64,000 questions would lead to confident prop choices for Saturday?s semifinal opener.

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Let?s tee up four of them and see if we can connect. (Numbers are courtesy of the Westgate LV SuperBook.)

First team to score 10-plus points: South Carolina +125, Gonzaga -145

In three their four NCAA tilts, the Gamecocks were first to 10 by an aggregate total of 13 points. While Duke beat them to 10, the game was tied 11-11. A slow starter, South Carolina is not.

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Gonzaga might have the superior squad and be on top after 40 minutes. The lead at the second TV timeout is up for grabs. The favorable odds make this a simple call.

Pick: South Carolina +125

Largest lead by either team: 15.5 points (Over -110, Under -110)

Nobody had a larger average margin of victory this season than the Bulldogs. Blowouts became routine.

The NCAAs have been a different story. After a walk-over against a small-major foe, Gonzaga eked out a pair of wins. The runaway against Xavier was more like the regular season, but the Gamecocks are a cut above.

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Coach Frank Martin will not allow a we?re-happy-to-be-here attitude to overtake his team. The 'Cocks will keep Gonzaga within range.

Pick: Under -110

Total points for South Carolina's Duane Notice: 10 (Over -110, Under -110)

The Gamecocks' guard has scored above this amount in three tourney outings, twice by substantial margins, and matched it on the fourth.

Notice is logging between 34 and 38 minutes per game, so he rarely takes a breather. If South Carolina is ahead down the stretch, he will be on the floor drawing fouls, which means trips to the line.

Teammates Sindarius Thornwell and Chris Silva could struggle to score in the post against the Zags' bigs, so the points must come from somewhere. All of Notice's backers need is for him to attain double digits. Easy.

Pick: Over

Total points for Gonzaga's Nigel Williams-Goss: 18.5 (Over -110, Under -110)

The Zags' All-American guard is certainly shooting enough to hurdle this figure, with 61 attempts in the NCAAs. But only 19 have found the target.

Williams-Goss is averaging 16.7 this season, nearly two points below the total here. South Carolina defends guards like the dickens. Just ask Baylor's three backcourt starters, who combined for 12 points against the Gamecocks.

Granted, big players step up in big games. This is a steep step that Williams-Goss likely won't reach.

Pick: Under -110

Most Valuable Player

Gonzaga's Nigel Williams-Goss is the second most-likely player to win 2017 NCAA Tournament MVP:

Justin Jackson (North Carolina) 7/2
Nigel Williams-Goss (Gonzaga) 4/1
Joel Berry (North Carolina) 5/1
Dillon Brooks (Oregon) 7/1
Tyler Dorsey (Oregon) 7/1
Sindarius Thornwell (South Carolina) 15/2
Kennedy Meeks (North Carolina) 8/1
Jonathan Williams (Gonzaga) 8/1
Isaiah Hicks (North Carolina) 12/1
Jordan Mathews (Gonzaga) 12/1
Jordan Bell (Oregon) 17/1
Przemek Karnowski (Gonzaga) 19/1
Dylan Ennis (Oregon) 35/1
PJ Dozier (South Carolina) 55/1
Duane Notice (South Carolina) 55/1
Chris Silva (South Carolina) 55/1