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Most Outstanding Player Odds for NCAA Basketball Tournament: Winston Takes Top Spot

NCAA Most Outstanding Player Odds April 2, 2019

We’re down to the Final Four for the NCAA men’s basketball championship and after watching the blue bloods of Duke, Kentucky and North Carolina all fall last weekend, the odds to win the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament award have seen a massive shift.

Online sportsbook BetOnline has posted updated odds for which player will take home the hardware as tourney MOP with Michigan State point guard Cassius Winston taking the top spot at +250. Virginia’s Kyle Guy (+375) is next on the list followed by Texas Tech forward Jarrett Culver (+700), Virginia guard Ty Jerome (+750) and Michigan State forward Xavier Tillman (+900) to round out the top five.

With the top three players off the list now from our first update, let’s take a look at Winston’s chances and if there is value on anyone else on the board:

Winston’s Efficiency Has Him In the Driver’s Seat

A lot of these odds below will typically correlate with a team’s chances to win the national title and if Michigan State was to win it all, Cassius Winston would likely be the main reason why. Winston has scored double-digit points in each of his tournament games while shooting 8-for-20 from behind the arc. His steady play running the Spartans’ offense has been one of the key reasons why Michigan State took down Duke in the Elite Eight and why it’s in the Final Four for the fifth time since 2000.

My only reservation for backing him is the balanced play of the entire team and, quite frankly, his odds aren’t great. To be fair and safe, I would likely just take the Spartans at +185 to win the national title and that way you have the entire team covered in case a guy like Xavier Tillman, Nick Ward or Matt McQuaid goes off.

If You Think a Certain Team Wins It All, Take their Best Player

Since 1983, no player has won the Most Outstanding Player award for the NCAA tournament from the losing team. Since the talent isn’t nearly on the level of Hakeem Olajuwon (he won in 1983 with the losing Houston Cougars), the logic tells us to not get cute and to bank on the winning team.

So, with that in mind, I think Jarrett Culver is likely the best candidate based on value at +700 and him being unquestionably the best player on Texas Tech. Culver has been the leading scorer for the Red Raiders as they make their program debut in the Final Four. With their road to a championship needing to go through the Spartans and Virginia or Auburn, he would be the key reason why Texas Tech would cut down the nets.

If I’m banking on a dark horse, I would go with forward/center Mamadi Diakite from Virginia at +2000. The junior from Guinea may not have the scoring stats that usually accompany a MOP candidate but he’s averaging 13 points per game to go with 2.5 blocks and 9.5 rebounds and may have had the play of the tournament with his late floater against Purdue to send the game to overtime. His role will be essential if the Cavaliers are to win the title and I could see him coming up big against Texas Tech or Michigan State in the final.

Think another player will take the Most Outstanding Player Trophy and cut down the nets on April 8? See the full list of players available below:

2019 NCAA Tournament – Most Outstanding Player Award Odds
  • Cassius Winston +250
  • Kyle Guy +375
  • Jarrett Culver +700    
  • Ty Jerome +750         
  • Xavier Tillman +900   
  • De’Andre Hunter +1000         
  • Bryce Brown +1200   
  • Jared Harper +1200   
  • Mamadi Diakite +2000          
  • Matt Mooney +2200  
  • Davide Moretti +2800 
Odds as of April 2 at BetOnline

After an uneventful second round of the NCAA Tournament that saw all 16 favorites survive and advance, the odds for the most outstanding player of the tournament look awfully similar to the oddsboard for which team will win the championship.

Online sportsbook Bovada has updated its odds for which player will have the distinction of being named the best player of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, with Zion Williamson leading the charge at +350. His Duke teammate RJ Barrett is behind him at +850 followed by Gonzaga’s Rui Hachimura (+950), Virginia’s DeAndre Hunter and Kyle Guy (both at +1000), Michigan State’s Cassius Winston (+1000), Gonzaga’s Brandon Clarke (+1200) and North Carolina’s Coby White (+1200), Cameron Johnson (+1500) and Luke Maye (+2000) to round out the top 10.

It’s Zion’s World, we’re just living in it

Since 1983, the most outstanding player award has been given to a recipient from the winning team of the tournament each time. So, with Duke favored to win the national title, it obviously makes sense that Zion Williamson is the favorite to take home the hardware at +350. Outside of the eye test of jaw-dropping athleticism and late-game heroics, the superstar freshman has shot 24-for-36 from the field and 4-for-9 from three-point range (57 points) through two games.

I’m not sold that his teammate RJ Barrett (+850) can outproduce Zion statistically, so if you think Duke is going to win the national title, you might as well take Zion at +350, because those are currently better odds than what sportsbooks are offering for Duke to win the national title (+300).

Don’t Sleep On the Tar Heels

Through the first two games of the tournament, the most dominant team so far has to be the North Carolina Tar Heels. The balanced approach that head coach Roy Williams has instituted throughout the lineup has teams on their heels (pun not intended) with their fast-break ability and propensity to scoop up every rebound.

That’s why they have three players in the top 10 who could win the MOP and if I had to put my money down, it would be on point guard Coby White. The forgotten freshman has been the engine that makes the Tar Heels go as he pushes the ball hard up the court on every possession and has been excellent defensively against opposing guards. He didn’t have a great game against Iona in the first round but as we get to the latter stages of the tourney, point guard play will be essential for success so I like his odds at +1200.

Think another player will take the Most Outstanding Player Trophy and cut down the nets on April 8? See the full list of players available below:

2019 NCAA Tournament – Most Outstanding Player Award Odds
  • Naz Reid +12500
  • Davide Moretti +12500
  • Ryan Cline +12500
  • Louis King +10000
  • Payton Pritchard +10000
  • Terance Mann +10000
  • Tremont Waters +8000
  • Mfiondu Kabengele +8000
  • Kerry Blackshear Jr. +8000
  • Armoni Brooks +7500
  • Admiral Schofield +6500
  • Nickeil Alexander-Walker +6000
  • Jared Harper +5000
  • Bryce Brown +5000
  • Corey Davis Jr. +4000
  • Grant Williams +3000
  • Tyler Herro +3000
  • PJ Washington +3000
  • Jordan Poole +3000
  • Ignas Brazdeikis +3000
  • Jarrett Culver +2200
  • Carsen Edwards +2200
  • Nick Ward +2000
  • Luke Maye +2000
  • Cameron Johnson +1500
  • Coby White +1200
  • Brandon Clarke +1200
  • Cassius Winston +1000
  • Kyle Guy +1000
  • De’Andre Hunter +1000
  • Rui Hachimura +950
  • RJ Barrett +850
  • Zion Williamson +350
Odds as of March 25 at Bovada