NCAA Basketball Picks: Cincinnati vs. Uconn

Jeff Grant

Friday, February 28, 2014 5:47 PM GMT

The Connecticut Huskies will try to gain revenge from an earlier season loss to the Cincinnati Bearcats, as the two teams prepare to meet Saturday afternoon. Let’s take a closer look at the NCAA basketball odds for this American Athletic Conference matchup, with the opening tip scheduled for Noon ET on ESPN.

Treading water

For the first time during the 2013-14 campaign, Cincinnati is treading water record-wise, as it has split its last four games—dropping a 58-57 decision to the Louisville Cardinals as four-point home underdogs last time out.

The Bearcats have one of the more talented guards in the country in Sean Kilpatrick, who is averaging a team highs in points and minutes played. 

It’s important to point out that the program is 1-7 ATS in its last eight games following a SU loss.

Clearly looking ahead

Connecticut improved to 5-1 SU in its last six games after picking up a 61-56 victory over the South Florida Bulls as 10.5-point road favorites Wednesday, but it was clearly looking ahead to this revenge game.

The Huskies dropped a 63-58 decision to the Bearcats in the first meeting as six-point road underdogs in the NCAA basketball odds, with star point guard Shabazz Napier connecting on just 5 of 19 shots from the field.

College basketball handicappers will find that the road team has covered the number in seven of the last nine meetings in this series.

Series history

The Bearcats are 5-8 SU all-time when taking on the Huskies, but they’ve won three of the last four meetings.

Sports bettors will be interested in knowing that the last four installments of this series have been decided by an average of five points.

Scoring at home

Napier is averaging 20.9 points in seven conference home games, and he’s score 27 in each of his two meetings there versus Cincinnati.

Connecticut is averaging 76.9 points on 45.1 percent shooting in front of its fan base, as it prepares to go against a defense that surrenders just 57.4 points a contest.

Outlook

I’m expecting the Huskies to be favored by 3.5 points when the market opens up Friday afternoon, as they hold a decisive edge in free throw shooting—a critical statistic in a matchup that’ll likely be decided in the closing minutes.

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