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Kyle Filipowski of the Duke Blue Devils reacts after scoring during the second half of the Sweet 16 against the Houston Cougars, and we offer our top Elite Eight player props and best bets for Sunday based on the best March Madness odds.
Kyle Filipowski of the Duke Blue Devils reacts after scoring during the second half of the Sweet 16 against the Houston Cougars. Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images via AFP.

Two Final Four berths from the Midwest and South Regions are on the line on Sunday, and we offer our top player props and best bets for the Elite Eight based on the best March Madness odds.

We have just two games remaining in the Elite Eight, and the matchups could not be more different. One was likely featured in many brackets, pitting a 1 vs. 2 seed. The other? It probably busted a few brackets, as a 4-seed squares off with an 11-seed.

The Midwest Region is the only one to feature the top two seeds in the Elite Eight, as Purdue and Tennessee battle at 2:20 p.m. ET. The South Region Elite Eight showdown is a shocking all-ACC matchup, with the No. 11-seed NC State Wolfpack squaring off with the North Carolina rival No. 4-seed Duke Blue Devils.

Duke came out on top when they met at the end of the regular season, yet the Wolfpack got revenge in the ACC Tournament. They powered through five consecutive victories in as many days to earn their spot in the NCAA Tournament, and that momentum has persisted into March Madness. Can they beat their in-state rival again? 

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

Sunday’s March Madness best bets

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Sunday’s March Madness schedule and odds

(Odds via Caesars)

Sunday’s March Madness player props

Braden Smith Under 11.5 points (-110 via FanDuel) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Under on Braden Smith's points prop is our most confident five-star play of the day, as he will be dealing with SEC Defensive Player of the Year Zakai Zeigler all game. The Volunteers held Smith to just six points on 2-of-9 shooting in the first meeting, and that was with Zeigler playing just 28 minutes while he worked his way back from a knee injury.

Smith has scored 11 or fewer points in five of the previous six games and impressively topped that plateau in his last game against Gonzaga when he also dished out 15 assists (his second-highest assist total of the season).

However, Zeigler will ensure limited touches and shot attempts, just as he did to Creighton’s Steven Ashworth, whose nine shot attempts were tied for his third-lowest in his last 15 games.

Smith’s Under is juiced as high as -125 at our other best sports betting sites, so the best value for this wager is at FanDuel.

Dalton Knecht Under 2.5 3-pointers made (+100 via BetRivers) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Tennessee’s Dalton Knecht made three of five 3-point attempts in the first meeting with Purdue, and the Volunteers scored 1.1 points per possession involving Knecht in “off-ball” possessions, per college basketball analyst Jordan Majewski.

Knecht has made three or more 3-pointers in seven of the previous 10 games, including in two of the three games in the NCAA Tournament. However, we expect him to be enticed more to operate in the mid-range given how far Purdue head coach Matt Painter will use Zach Edey in drop coverage.

The Boilermakers are also a top-40 team in terms of defending 3-pointers, so that also bodes well for some slight shooting regression with Knecht.

BetRivers is the only one of our best sports betting apps at which bettors can get the Under on Knecht’s 3-pointers at plus-money odds.

Mohamed Diarra Under 11.5 rebounds (-114 via FanDuel) ⭐⭐⭐

NC State’s Mohamed Diarra has been a rebounding machine lately, totaling 12 or more in seven consecutive games. However, we are intrigued by the contrarian nature of this play with the O/U set at 11.5, which is already down to 10.5 at some of our other best sportsbooks.

First, Diarra is battling the fatigue factor as he is actively fasting for Ramadan, during which he is not allowed to eat or intake any fluids between sunrise and sundown. With this game tipping at 5:05 p.m. ET, it will likely not be over before sunset, which means the NC State coaching staff may limit his minutes considerably without a means to hydrate him.

Also, Diarra has been instrumental in NC State’s pick-and-roll defense, and he is a large reason it held Marquette to 0.89 points per possession among 38 possessions when the Golden Eagles used pick-and-roll.

We expect Diarra to again be pulled away from the basket much more to defend Duke’s heavy pick-and-roll offense, just as he was when he finished with seven total rebounds in a regular-season loss against the Blue Devils.

Kyle Filipowski Over 24.5 points + rebounds (-120 via DraftKings) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Duke star forward Kyle Filipowski has gone Under this projected total in two of three NCAA Tournament games, but he most impressively beat this total in the Houston game against one of the most physical and stout defensive teams in the country.

We can excuse Filipowski for his 19 combined points and rebounds against James Madison, as he was limited to just 21 minutes with first-half foul trouble, and the game was also a blowout.

Filipowski was one of Duke’s lone bright spots offensively in a 74-69 ACC Tournament loss to NC State, scoring 28 points and grabbing 14 rebounds. Filipowski torched NC State big man DJ Burns in pick-and-roll action, and the Blue Devils scored 1.34 points per possession against the Wolfpack when they used pick-and-roll, per Jordan Majewski.

Head coach Jon Scheyer is smart enough to rely on his best player in the biggest game of the year, and we expect a big game from Filipowski.

College basketball best bets made Sunday at 2:23 p.m. ET.

Here are our best March Madness betting sites:

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