This NCAA Basketball handicapper shares his free pick for one of tonight's matchups in Puerto Rico: West Virginia vs. Connecticut. Find out which team the College Basketball odds favor.
The Huskies will enter as 4.5- to 5-point favorites in the in NCAA Basketball odds for this evening's game in Puerto Rico. It's a neutral court, so the oddsmakers like Connecticut as the better team.
If you're not sure about an ATS play and would rather take a stab at the O/U. the number is at 134.5 for now, but 135 is also there for the taking
The Huskies are a perfect 3-0 on the season, but they've already had to sweat quite a bit. Their wins haven't come in dominant fashion, which has to be somewhat concerning to coach Kevin Ollie.
Connecticut opened with a 66-53 win over Bryant and then topped College of Charleston by eight and Dayton by 11. Each of their last two wins have come on neutral courts, and now we've reached the title game, with West Virginia the last remaining obstacle to some early-season hardware.
In the semis against the Flyers, Ryan Boatright led the way for the Huskies, scoring a game-high 20 poins to go with five rebounds, four assists and three steals. Rodney Purvis added 19 points on 8-of-15 shooting in 30 minutes of play, while Daniel Hamilton logged 14 points and five rebounds.
There's no doubting who the go-to guy for UConn is. With Shabazz Napier and DeAndre Daniels gone, this is Boatright's team now, and it looks like he's ready for the challenge. Boatright is averaging 21.0 PPG, 6.3 RPG and 4.7 APG through three games this season.
But, will the playmaking guard get enough help elsewhere this season? This is a very toung team, as Purvis is a sophomore and Hamilton is a freshman. Big man Amida Brimah is a sophomore as well, so it's going to be up to Boatright to provide the leadership for Ollie's team.
West Virginia Mountaineers
After opening with two relatively easy wins, the Mountaineers have kept up their success in the tournament.
In the first round, West Virginia overcame George Mason in a blowout 91-65 win, and they followed that up with a 70-66 victory over Boston College in the semi-finals.
It was a rough start for the Mountaineers, who were actually down 32-21 after one half. They turned on the style after the break though, outscoring the Eagles 49-34 in the second half to earn their berth into the championship finale.
West Virginia had a tough time offensively, but ultimately made enough plays down the stretch to secure the hard-fought win. Juwan Staten, Devin Williams, Daxter Miles Jr., and Jevon Carter all reached double-digit scoring, Miles Jr. added a team-high six rebounds, with Staten pacing the Mountaineers with four assists before fouling out after only 24 minutes of action.
We can't imagine Staten is too happy with his showing against Boston College, so we fully expect him to come out with extreme focus in the title game. It's going to be a great back-and-forth matchup between him and Boatright.
NCAA Basketball Pick
We like the Mountaineers to present a great challenge for the title tonight, and as such we're backing them with our NCAA Basketball picks.
Boatright will be the best player on the court, but West Virginia has more experience, and they've got quite a talented guard of their own in Staten.
The Mountaineers have been excellent on the boards as well this season, which could turn out to be critical in the title game. In short, we're grabbing those points and expecting a fight from West Virginia in this spot, thereby making the underdogs in NCAA Basketball odds are preferred play in Puerto Rico. Best of luck!
Free NCAA Basketball Pick: West Virginia Mountaineers +4 at 5Dimes