NCAA Basketball Picks: Look for UCONN to Push Pace In High-Scoring Affair vs. Michigan

Charles Stark

Wednesday, November 25, 2015 1:16 PM UTC

Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015 1:16 PM UTC

UCONN host Michigan in a marquee matchup for The Battle for Atlantis, one of the richest pre-season tournaments in college hoops. Break down the NCAA basketball odds with me inside.

Odds Overview
NCAA Basketball odds have come out with a total for this game at 135.5 -110 at Bookmaker. For my NCAA pick of the day, I'm going to back over the total in this matchup in what should be one of the best games of the day. Both teams have some talent on both ends of the floor, but I think with their depth and the pace to be pushed, we should get over the total.


Michigan Wolverines
In two games against Division I opponents, Michigan is averaging 79 points per game, shooting 46.4% from the field, and 46% from beyond the arc. Head coach Jim Beilein has a pretty deep team this year led by senior guard Caris LaVert and Derrick Walton Jr.  Most recently they lost at home to Xavier 86-70. It seems that overall they're not quite as talented as some of the teams Beilein has had in his tenure, but they are pretty deep across the board. What I do like about this team is, so far, their three point shooting has been off the charts ranking eighth in NCAA Division I college basketball. Connecticut might have some trouble defending their complex motion offense.

Defensively, Michigan is allowing 77 points per game, 43.1% shooting from the field, and 40.9% from distance. Those are not great numbers and they could struggle on this end of the floor against a talented Connecticut lineup. From defending the three to points in the paint Michigan has been pretty weak so far this season.


Connecticut Huskies
Connecticut comes in averaging 89.3 points per game, shooting 51% from the field, and 36.7% from beyond the arc. Right now they would be the pick to win the American Conference this season as they have a solid group back and some good returners. Head coach Kevin Ollie has already been quoted as saying that the group he has this season is very talented. So far, Seton Hall transfer Sterling Gibbs has led the team in scoring at almost 16 points per game. He has been a nice addition to returners Rodney Purvis and Daniel Hamilton. What I do like about this team is how they push the tempo averaging 64 field goal attempts per game along with just over 26 three point attempts. Expect them to do that again tonight and for Michigan to run with them.

Defensively, UCONN is allowing 60 points per game, 33.5% shooting from the field, and 30.9% from beyond the arc. Those are all good numbers but they have come out against the likes of Maine, New Hampshire, and Furman, not exactly top tiered competition. Don't expect them to have that lockdown type of performance against a solid offensive team in Michigan.

Ultimately, what we have is an athletic UConn team that will go a bit up-tempo against a Michigan team that has been excellent at shooting the three. What this should lead to is a pretty high-scoring affair, and for of your NCAA picks, I recommend backing the over when these two meet in the Bahamas.

Free NCAA BAsketball Pick: Over 136 at Bookmaker

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