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Grant Nelson #2 of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts as we offer our best Elite Eight player props and best bets for the NCAA Tournament on Saturday.
Grant Nelson #2 of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts after scoring against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the second half in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Arena on March 28, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images via AFP.

After three upset wins in the Sweet 16 on Thursday, the NCAA Tournament rolls on as we offer our best March Madness player props and best bets for Saturday's Elite Eight schedule based on the best March Madness odds.

It looked as though we were in store for a chalky Elite Eight, but March once again brought the madness.

The Sweet 16 featured three upsets, setting up a wild slate on Saturday. Despite the fact that some lower seeds are playing this weekend, there's still a ton of talent on display.

The No. 1 overall seed and overwhelming favorite by the Final Four odds, the UConn Huskies (34-3), are favored to beat the third-seed Illinois Fighting Illini (29-8) in the first game on Saturday.

Later in the day, the No. 6 seed Clemson Tigers (24-11) look to keep their hot run going when they battle the No. 4 seed Alabama Crimson Tide (24-11), fresh off a win over the No. 1 seed North Carolina Tar Heels.

As part of our March Madness predictions, here are our March Madness player props and best bets for Saturday (college basketball picks based on odds from our best March Madness betting sites; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Saturday’s March Madness best bets

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Saturday’s March Madness schedule and odds

(Odds via BetMGM)

Saturday’s March Madness player props

Terrence Shannon Under 22.5 points ⭐⭐⭐

Best odds: -120 via bet365

Terrence Shannon has been on a tear for Illinois, averaging 23.5 points in the regular season before bumping it up to 31.2 points in the postseason. But there's a reason our best sports betting sites have this total priced so low.

UConn's defense enters the Elite Eight ranked sixth in adjusted efficiency, holding six of its last seven opponents to 60 point or fewer. It also hasn't allowed any player to exceed 20 points in this tournament, and just two players have exceeded the 22-point total in the Huskies' last 13 games.

Shannon is on a heater, but so were Jaedon LeDee (18 points) and Boo Buie (nine), and all of the other star scorers who met their end against this Connecticut defence. I don't expect Shannon to break that trend on Saturday.

Donovan Clingan Under 8.5 rebounds ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Best odds: +105 via BetMGM

Clingan may be the most talented big man on the court Saturday, but the UConn sophomore hasn't exactly been a prolific rebounder recently. He's fallen below the 8.5-rebound mark in two of three games this tournament, five of his last seven games overall, and 25 of 32 games this season.

So why is he catching such a generous price against Illinois, which features the eighth-tallest rotation in the country? The Fighting Illini have out-rebounded all three opponents in March Madness and feature five starters at 6-6 or taller - not including super-sub Dain Dainja (6-9, 270 lbs).

With the Under trading as short as -112 via FanDuel, this plus-money value is worth grabbing ahead of Saturday's Elite Eight showdown.

Jack Clark Over 15.5 points + rebounds + assists ⭐⭐⭐

Best odds: -125 via DraftKings

In many ways, Jack Clark has been the key that unlocked Clemson's stunning run from ACC afterthought to the doorstep of the Final Four. And the 6-10 forward should have his fingerprints all over Saturday's contest.

The senior forward has played at least 30 minutes in every game this tournament, and he cleared this mark in two of three games before a quieter showing against Arizona. He still made an impact with three offensive rebounds - tied for his most since Feb. 3 - despite taking just three shots all game.

I expect Clark to be more aggressive against Alabama, which surrendered a combined 46 rebounds in Thursday's win over UNC and still ranks outside the top 100 in defensive efficiency. I don't love this price, but I do love the total for this prop, which is only offered at DraftKings.

Grant Nelson Under 11.5 points ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Best odds: -120 via BetMGM

What in the world got into Nelson in the Sweet 16? The former North Dakota State star scored three points in each of Alabama's first two tournament games, but he erupted for a season-high 24 points on Thursday, with two triples and 10 mad free throws - one shy of his career high.

I'd be shocked if he pulled off something similar against this Clemson defense, which ranks 13th in efficiency since Clark entered the starting lineup on Feb. 6. The Tigers have the length along the perimeter to switch on ball screens and the size inside to hold their own against Nelson under the basket.

This will also surely be a much slower-paced game than the one Alabama played against UNC, which will mean fewer opportunities for Nelson to play hero in the Elite Eight on Saturday.

College basketball best bets made Friday at 4:45 p.m. ET.

Here are our best March Madness betting sites:

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