The Connecticut Huskies are off to a very solid start in this 2012-2013 college basketball season. They'll try to move forward on Thursday when they host the New Hampshire Wildcats.

The NCAA basketball odds makers are yet to release their lines for this matchup, but let's keep a step ahead by preparing our picks in advance.

Where do we believe that bettors can find the best value in tonght's matchup, and which way are we leaning with the evenings sports picks.

The Wildcats can win because… 

Their opponent is dragging a little bit, displaying less than considerable energy against opponents it perceives as "easy." Connecticut was not very inspired in its most recent game this past Sunday against the Stony Brook Seawolves, another member of the America East Conference, the same league in which New Hampshire resides. UConn went through the motions and did not show much of any emotion in a 73-62 win that was far less comfortable than a Big East-America East matchup should be. One has to emphasize the point that the Huskies played Stony Brook at home, not on the road. They really should have been able to steamroll the Seawolves but proved unable to do so. 

If New Hampshire can play with a lot of energy and suppress its inclination to play with fear against a big-name opponent in its own region of the country, the Wildcats could be in a position to make this game close. Connecticut has to pick up its energy level; if it doesn't, we could see one of those sleepyhead early-season upsets that crops up every now and then in the world of college basketball. Connecticut, it is worth pointing out, also lost recently against the New Mexico Lobos on Nov. 19. UConn started its season strongly but has regressed since then. The Huskies are 5-1 and still doing better than preseason expectations suggested, but the Huskies are on a bit of a downslope at the moment. New Hampshire needs to seize this portal of possibility. 

The Huskies can win because…

Tyler OlanderThey're the better team and they're playing at home. Connecticut might have been suffering from the post-Thanksgiving blues when it slogged past Stony Brook. The Huskies should play with a lot more energy in this game. They have so much more talent than New Hampshire. They're faster, and they're also longer and more powerful near the rim. Tyler Olander, in particular, is the kind of rangy and muscular rebounder with a non-stop motor whom New Hampshire will not be able to contain. Even if Connecticut misses a lot of shots in its initial halfcourt offense, the Huskies are going to be able to crash the glass and use their combination of size and power to their advantage.

Connecticut outrebounded and outworked Michigan State earlier in the season. If you outrebound and outwork Michigan State, your credentials as a quality rebounding team are going to be hard to top in the United States. New Hampshire simply does not punch in Connecticut's weight class, and that's precisely why this game is likely to end up in a rout for the homestanding Huskies.

As stated earlier, this game remains unlined. However, do head over to our NCAA Basketball Picks page for all of the info you need to come out on top with tonight's games.

Outlook & NCAA Basketball Betting Prediction:

Power. Size. Length. These three qualities are going to be too much for New Hampshire to overcome. Take Connecticut in a big way on Thursday night. 

NCAA Basketball Picks: Connecticut at Bwin