Our daily series on college basketball betting continues. See older posts here…Two huge games between closely matched top-15 teams tonight: No. 9 Georgetown at No. 13 Connecticut, and No. 10 Wisconsin at No. 11 Purdue.
UConn is favoured by 2.5, and Purdue by 4.5. Here’s why we like the underdog in both cases:
Having relied heavily on five freshmen all season, including three in the starting lineup, it was only a matter of time before the Huskies hit a wall. Instead, they absolutely slammed into one. UConn has lost three of its last five, including two at home, and a blowout loss to St. John’s at Madison Square Garden.
The Huskies are simply too one dimensional, especially in the clutch. 30 per cent of their possessions end in Kemba Walker’s hands, and while that works in their favour when he’s on (UConn is 10-0 when Walker shoots at least 45 per cent), the Huskies are doomed when he’s off (7-5 when he shoots below 40 per cent).
Georgetown has the tools to neutralize Walker in senior guard Chris Wright and junior guard Jason Clark. It also has the experience necessary to win on the road, where it recently prevailed over two-then top-15 teams in Syracuse and Villanova. Most importantly, they’re tops in the Big East at getting easy baskets, and second at preventing them, as evidenced by their offensive and defensive two-point shooting percentages. Meanwhile, UConn is dead last in offensive 2-point percentage.
Even at home, that’s a recipe for defeat. We like Georgetown.
The Big 10 is a pretty simple conference to pick games, if you’re not looking at the spread. The home team wins. True to form, neither the Boilermakers or the Badgers have lost at home this season.
But giving Wisconsin 4.5 points is simply too much. The Badgers’ four road losses have come by an average of exactly 4.5 points, and as the top free throw shooting team and least turnover-prone team in the nation, they have all the ingredients for success on the road.
JuJuan Johnson obviously presents a tough matchup, but his rebounding ability is overrated and the teams are evenly matched on the boards. We expect Jordan Taylor to match E’Twaun Moore point-for-point and keep Wisconsin in the game long enough to cover. Take the Badgers.
Record against the spread: 3-2-1
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