Pick UConn +2.5 vs. Kentucky in NCAA Championship

Jeff Grant

Monday, April 7, 2014 1:22 PM GMT

Monday, Apr. 7, 2014 1:22 PM GMT

The Connecticut Huskies have an unblemished record in national championship games, which makes them a dangerous underdog against the Kentucky Wildcats Monday night. We look at the NCAA Basketball odds to help you decide who to back with your picks tonight.

Let’s take a closer look at the NCAA Tournament odds for this high-profile matchup at AT&T Stadium, with the opening tip scheduled for 9:10 p.m. ET on CBS.

[gameodds]14/263445/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Improbable run
Connecticut has landed in the championship game despite being a No. 7 seed at the start of this event, as it comes off a 63-53 victory over the Florida Gators as seven-point underdogs last Saturday, while going UNDER the betting total of 127.

The Huskies are 3-0 in national championship games and will be led by point guard Shabazz Napier, who paces the team in averaging 17.9 points and 4.9 assists per game. 

College basketball handicappers will find that the Huskies are 9-2 ATS as neutral court underdogs of three or fewer points in their last 11 opportunities.

 

Magical
Kentucky guard Aaron Harrison has hit huge 3-pointers in the team’s last three games, including a 26-footer in a 74-73 victory over the Wisconsin Badgers as one-point favorites last time out.

Harrison is one of five freshmen starters under head coach John Calipari, as the program looks to improve upon its 18-2 SU record in this event with him on the sidelines. 

Over the last two-plus seasons, the team is 21-6 SU and 14-11 ATS on a neutral floor, with the UNDER going 14-13 in that situation.

 

Turning it on at the right time
The Huskies are dangerous underdogs on the SBR Odds page, considering they’ve gone 53-15 SU in their last 19 appearances in the Big Dance.

Connecticut is 10-5 SU all-time when playing in the Lone Star State, including a 5-1 mark in NCAA Tournament play.

It’s also important to point out that the program has won three of four meetings in this series—all coming on a neutral floor.

Read another cappers free pick for this matchup.

Pounding the glass
The Wildcats are scoring 53.6 percent of their points from the two-point area, which is helped by ranking second in the country in offensive rebounding percentage.

Kentucky is averaging 15.5 second chance points per game, and has out-rebounded all but one opponent since the regular season ended.

 

Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Huskies as one of their college basketball picks, as the underdog has covered all four prior meetings in this series. 

Connecticut is fourth nationally in knocking down 77.4 percent of its free throws—a key statistic to monitor down the stretch if the game is close in live wagering. 

Free Pick:  Connecticut Huskies +2.5
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