December 18, 2013

Basketball Pick: Stanford vs. Connecticut

Matchup: Stanford Cardinal vs. Connecticut Huskies

Date/Time: December 18th, 9:00 ET

Television: ESPN2

College Basketball Odds from WagerWeb

Point Spread: Off

Total: Off

It’s going to be a Big Wednesday match-up as the Connecticut Huskies are hosting the Stanford Cardinal in the XL Center at 9:00 ET on ESPN2. Connecticut is ranked 10th and riding high off its 9-0 record that includes a win over the 15th ranked Florida Gators while Stanford enters this contest 7-2 and facing its first ranked opponent of the season.

The Cardinal are looking to pull the upset on the road and are led by their top-scorer G Chasson Randle who is averaging 18.2 points per game. In his team’s last contest, Randle put up 16 points in an 83-56 rout of the UC-Davis Aggies. Stanford F Dwight Powell leads the squad with 7.3 rebounds per game and 4.1 assists per game. These California boys have no problem scoring the basketball averaging 81.9 points per game, which is good for 37th in the country. They are also the 13th ranked team in field goal percentage, shooting just over 50 percent from the field. Stanford’s losses have come in games where it struggled to defend against the BYU Cougars, who put up 112 points, and the Pittsburgh Panthers who blew out the Cardinal 88-67 on November 26th. The chances of the Cardinal to win this game will rest on their ability to score points and outrebound a Connecticut group that ranks 194th in rebounding the basketball. Stanford is 4-3 ATS to start the season with a 1-0 record on the road.

Connecticut has faced and passed three tough challenges in its perfect record, with one-point wins over the aforementioned Gators and the Indiana Hoosiers, while its third challenge was a two-point close call over the Boston College Eagles. The Huskies have been led by the play of G Ryan Boatright who is averaging 12.0 points per game. Leading assist man G Shabazz Napier made the shot of the season for Connecticut to beat the Gators on a buzzer-beater earlier this month. Napier averages 5.9 assists per contest and provides a solid 15.3 points per game. Three of Connecticut’s nine wins have come inside of the New York City/Brooklyn area just 140 miles south of Storrs it calls home at the XL Center, so it has yet to officially play a road contest. The Huskies will be hoping a two-week layoff since their 95-68 win over the Maine Black Bears will not leave them a rusty mess against a tough Stanford squad. UConn also has the top three-point shooting team in America, knocking down 46.5 percent of its shots from downtown.

Prediction:

We think the Huskies have enough defensive ability to slow down the Cardinal and get this job done despite the long layoff. UConn has won and covered all three of the games in this series since 1998, though there hasn’t been a meeting of these clubs since the 2003 NCAA Tournament. More importantly, the Huskies are 6-2 ATS in their last eight against the Pac-12, and they’ll walk away with their first cover in a month on Wednesday night. Connecticut 74 – Stanford 61

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Adam Markowitz

is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.

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