Stanford vs. UConn NCAA Basketball Picks

Jeff Grant

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 1:52 PM GMT

Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013 1:52 PM GMT

The Connecticut Huskies may display rust early on due to a long layoff, but their depth will be the difference against the Stanford Cardinal Wednesday night. Find out why we have decided to focus our NCAA Basketball picks on this matchup's spread tonight.

Let’s take a closer look at the NCAA basketball odds for this non-conference affair at the XL Center, with the opening tip scheduled for 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

[gameodds]14/252531/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

A challenging stretch

Stanford is set to play ranked opponents in back-to-back games for the first time this season, as it will take on the Michigan Wolverines in Brooklyn, NY after this contest.

The Cardinal are 4-13 SU versus ranked opponents under head coach Johnny Dawkins, as they attempt to pick up their first victory in five tries against the Huskies. 

Coming off a long layoff

Connecticut is coming off a 12-day break for final exams, as it looks to become the 10th team in program history to open up a season with a perfect 10-0 record.

The Huskies have landed in the No. 14 spot nationally in terms of RPI, as they’ve played a very challenging non-conference schedule, which includes victories over the Florida Gators and Indiana Hoosiers.

Offensive firepower 

College basketball handicappers need to keep an eye on the Cardinal throughout the season in terms of going OVER the betting total, as they come in averaging 81.9 points per game on 50.4 percent shooting. 

Stanford is very dependent on its starting rotation, as four players are averaging double figures, with junior guard Chasson Randle leading the way at 18.2 points a contest. 

Beyond the arc 

The Huskies may get off to a slow start from beyond the arc due to the long layoff, but it’s important to point out that the program leads the country in shooting 46.5 percent from the three-point area this season.

Connecticut point guard Shabazz Napier is the key player to handicap in this matchup—leading the team in averaging 15.3 points, 7.0 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game.  The senior has knocked down 16 of 28 shots from long range. 

Prediction 

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Huskies with their NCAA basketball picks, as they’ve had nine players appear in every game this season, while the Cardinal have failed to defend the perimeter in their two losses against BYU and Pittsburgh. 

College Basketball Pick:  Connecticut Huskies -7

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