The NCAA Final commences tonight with the UConn Huskies taking on the San Diego State Aztecs. Action tips off at 9:20 p.m. ET. Below we continue our College Basketball odds series with an Adama Sanogo over/under points prediction, odds, and pick.
UConn big man Adama Sanogo is a 6'9″ forward from Mali who led the team in scoring and rebounding during the regular season. For the year, Sanogo averaged 17.2 PPG, 7.6 RPG, and 0.8 blocks per game while shooting 61% from the floor and 76% from the free-throw line. A strong, powerful big, Sanogo uses his 245 lbs. frame to overpower his opponents. That being said, he has unusual touch for a big man and notably nailed two three-pointers early in their Final Four win over Miami. For as good as Sanogo was during the regular season, he took his game to a whole different level this tournament where he averaged 20.2 PPG and 9.8 RPG.
Here are the Adama Sanogo NCAA Final odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
March Madness Odds: Adama Sanogo Over/Under Points Odds
Over: 16.5 (+100)
Under: 16.5 (-128)
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Why Adama Sanogo Could Cover The Over
To be frank, Adama Sanogo has been the best player in the tournament in nearly every round. The junior big man has just one game where he hasn't eclipsed 16.5 points. He put up 28 against Iona, 24 against Saint Mary's, 18 against Arkansas, 10 against Gonzaga, and then finally 21 against Miami. His dominance wasn't just reserved for the postseason, however, as he eclipsed 16.5 points in 22 of their 38 games. Sanogo is hardly a one-year wonder either, having increased his scoring output in each of his three seasons at UConn.
Sanogo scores in a multitude of ways. First and foremost, the big man dominates the paint. His tall, bruising frame allows him to brush off defenders at will and finish through contact. Sanogo shoots 61% from the floor with a majority of his looks coming at or around the rim. That being said, he has stretched his game out this season and is averaging 0.5 threes per game on 1.4 attempts per game. That is good for a 37% three-point percentage – an elite number for a big man of his caliber. While his rebounding and shot-blocking have gone down from last season, that is likely due to his renewed focus on the offensive end.
While San Diego State does have an elite defense, they haven't faced a big of Sanogo's caliber. Looking at how they've fared against opposing big men during this tournament, it is easy to see how Adama could hit his over on points. While they haven't faced many traditional big men, the one comparable opponent they did face was Creighton's Ryan Kalkbrenner. Kalkbrenner averaged 15.9 PPG this season and plays a similar role to Sanogo. While he didn't have the most efficient performance, the seven-footer finished with 17 points on 8/17 shooting. While Sanogo only attempted 17 shots once this tournament, he is more efficient than Kalkbrenner and has the added bonus of being able to stretch the floor.
Why Adama Sanogo Could Cover The Under
Perhaps the biggest detriment to Sanogo hitting his point total is UConn's potential to dominate the game. San Diego State features an elite defense and their physical style potentially plays contrary to Sanogo's success. If the Aztecs come into the game with a clear game plan for him, Sanogo could look to pass to his open teammates more than usual. We saw that in their Elite Eight win over Gonzaga. They limited Sanogo's shot attempts (3/11) and did a good job of forcing him into touch shots. However, the big man adjusted and dished out a season-high six assists. While that is the right play for his team to win the game, it certainly doesn't do betters any favors.
Additionally, star guard Jordan Hawkins will likely look to make his mark on the Final Four after being limited by an illness in the semifinal. Because he averages 16.2 PPG, this could turn into Hawkins' game.
Final Adama Sanogo Over/Under Points Prediction & Pick
There is no fun in taking under – especially in a championship game. It seems that FanDuel knows that, as the over for Sanogo's points is juiced to plus odds. That being said, the +100 is a trap worth falling for considering how dominant he has been throughout the tournament. While San Diego State is physical and will have a lot of different bodies to throw at him, UConn's bread and butter has been Sanogo scoring inside. Don't expect them to stray from that formula tonight.
Final Adama Sanogo Over/Under Points Prediction & Pick: Adama Sanogo Over 16.5 (+100)