Mar 15, 2022
Most Outstanding Player Odds Favor Key Players
Two Gonzaga players are the favorites to be named the NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. Drew Timme and Chet Holmgren have been two of the top players in the country all year, and the Bulldogs are the overall favorites to win the NCAA Tournament.
You essentially have to handicap the national champion when looking at Most Outstanding Player. A player from the championship winning team has been chosen Most Outstanding Player at every single NCAA Tournament since the great Hakeem Olajuwon earned the honor despite Houston losing in the title game in 1983.
2022 NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player Odds
- Drew Timme (Gonzaga) +950
- Chet Holmgren (Gonzaga) +950
- Bennedict Mathurin (Arizona) +1300
- Oscar Tshiebwe (Kentucky) +1600
- Ochai Agbaji (Kansas) +2000
- Jaden Ivey (Purdue) +2400
- Jabari Smith (Auburn) +2500
- Keegan Murray (Iowa) +2700
- All Other Players +3000 or More
Odds Provided by FanDuel - Subject to Change
Bennedict Mathurin is one of the favorites to be named Most Outstanding Player. Mathurin has had a fantastic sophomore season, averaging 17.4 PPG and 5.6 RPG. He was dominant in the Pac 12 Championship Game victory over UCLA too, scoring 27 points to lock up the regular season and conference tournament titles for Arizona.
Mathurin is a solid shooter, and he can do a lot of creating on the perimeter. Arizona has two great big men in Christian Koloko and Azuolas Tubelis, and that takes a lot of pressure off Mathurin. The NBA loves his talent too, as he is considered to be a lottery pick.
The concern is that Arizona is in a difficult bracket. Houston and Illinois are two very good teams looming as potential Sweet Sixteen opponents, and the bottom half of the bracket is stacked with solid squads.
Oscar Tshiebwe might be the most popular pick to win Most Outstanding Player. Tshiebwe is currently favored to win the Wooden Award, and he has been incredible this season. The West Virginia transfer is averaging 17.0 PPG and leads the nation with 15.1 RPG.
Tshiebwe is clearly the best player on a very good Kentucky team that is the favorite to win the East Region. Baylor is the weakest No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, and Kentucky shouldn’t be tested until the second weekend of March Madness.
There are two things to worry about with Tshiebwe. John Calipari has proven to not be a good coach late in close games, and Purdue will be a tough opponent for Kentucky if they meet in the Sweet Sixteen.
The best value to win Most Outstanding Player lies with Ochai Agbaji. Agbaji is the best player on the No. 1 seed with the clearest path to the Final Four. Kansas is in a region where No. 2 seed Auburn, No. 3 seed Wisconsin, and No. 4 seed Providence are all considered overrated by the advanced metrics.
Agbaji has improved greatly over his four seasons in Lawrence. He is now the leader of the Jayhawks, and he is averaging 19.7 PPG and 5.1 RPG while making 47.7% of his field goals and 40.5% of his threes.
The toughest test for Kansas in its bracket might come from Iowa. The Hawkeyes won the Big Ten Tournament, but they haven’t made it to the Sweet Sixteen since 1999.
There is reason to like Jabari Smith at 25-1 if you think Kansas is a bit overrated. Auburn is clearly the second-best team in the Midwest Region as Wisconsin is ranked 34th by Ken Pomeroy, and Providence is ranked 49th. The Tigers are gritty, and they have a frontcourt that can give teams fits with Walker Kessler alongside Smith.
Smith is considered by many analysts to be the probable No. 1 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. Other mock drafts currently have Chet Holmgren or Duke’s Paolo Banchero going first overall, but there is a consensus forming around Smith. He is averaging 17.1 PPG and 7.0 RPG, and he is a big man that can shoot as a 6’10 forward that is hitting 42.8% of his threes and 81.6% of his free throws.
If you’re looking for a lottery ticket to win Most Outstanding Player, the best value lies in Colorado State’s David Roddy at 200-1.
Roddy is one of the best shooters in the nation. He is averaging 19.4 PPG and making 57.4% of his field goals and 45.5% of his threes. We have seen him shine against good defensive teams like Creighton, Saint Mary’s, and Mississippi State, and he was the Mountain West Conference Player of the Year.
The MWC was extremely difficult this year and four teams made the NCAA Tournament. Colorado State would be a live No. 6 seed in any other region, but it will be difficult to traverse the loaded bottom half of the South Region.