Play the Total as Best NCAA Basketball Pick for SMU vs. Connecticut

Willie Bee

Sunday, March 1, 2015 1:33 PM GMT

It's the final true road game of the season for SMU, and it'll be a tough one for the Mustangs as they venture to UConn for a college basketball odds matchup with the Huskies.

They're so close, the SMU Mustangs can almost taste it. Their last two steps towards an American Athletic Conference regular season title are treacherous, however, beginning with Sunday's stroll in Connecticut to face the Huskies.

CBS will broadcast the tip a little after 2 PM (ET), and the NCAA basketball odds are a toss-up at several sports books, a few making the Huskies 1 point chalk. The first total to be seen was 123½ points.

The day begins with SMU and Tulsa tied atop the AAC standings, each sporting 14-2 records.  Connecticut is 4.5 games behind that pair but still hopeful of improving on its current fifth seed slot for the conference tournament set to begin 12 days from now. The Huskies will have a nice advantage regardless of their seeding since the tourney will be played on their home-away-from-home floor at the XL Center floor in Hartford, site of today's ballgame.

 

Ponies Put Perfect Record Vs. UConn On Line
Sunday's scrap will be the second in just over two weeks between the two clubs, and only the fifth time SMU and Connecticut have met on the hardwood. Three of the previous four have taken place since the formation of the AAC a year ago, the first coming almost 40 years ago in 1965.

One might naturally assume it was UConn with the advantage in the series, but it's the Mustangs who have won all four prior clashes instead.

The collision in Dallas on Valentine's Day ended in a relatively easy dubya for Larry Brown and his Ponies. Favored by 6½ at Moody Coliseum, SMU quickly fell behind the Huskies in the first five minutes before getting things in gear to eventually take a 15-point lead into halftime then coasting to the 73-55 final. That was just enough to hop 'over' a 124½ point total.  Last year's meeting at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs proved a winner for 'under' bettors.

 

Mustangs To Take Week Off Before Finishing At Home
Southern Methodist (23-5 straight up, 13-10-2 against the spread) started this week on the road in Memphis on Thursday, and left Bluff City with a 66-57 decision over the Tigers. The victory was the fifth straight for the Mustangs, four of those wins also covering the NCAA basketball odds and four of them profitable for 'over' bettors.

Averaging just under 70 points per game during the win streak might not sound that impressive, but the offense has been getting it done. The Mustangs have shot at least 46.9% in each of the last five games, something they'll have to continue today as well as next Sunday when they finish things up with a huge showdown in Dallas against Tulsa.

Need More Action? Check our Odds Movement & Top Betting Trends Weekend Edition

Huskies Aiming For 7th-Straight Conference Home Win
For Kevin Ollie and Connecticut (16-11 SU, 9-15 ATS), it has been a tale of two seasons as far as the home and road schedule goes. The Huskies have found life away from the Nutmeg State difficult winning just three of seven AAC games on the road, but have won six straight at home since dropping their league opener to Temple on New Year's Eve.

UConn picked up one of those infrequent road wins this past Wednesday at East Carolina, a 60-49 decision over the Pirates that was more than enough to cover a -5 spread. It took a huge second half to get that done, however, after the Huskies trailed by nine at halftime and shot less than 40% for the game.

It's difficult not to like the Huskies on their home floor despite the Mustangs owning the perfect 4-0 series record up to now, but I'm liking the 'under' for my free college basketball pick.

Free NCAA Basketball Pick: SMU-Connecticut Under 123.5 at 5Dimes