Date/Time: March 20, 2014, 6:55 p.m. EST
Line: UConn -4.5
The college basketball tournament starts on Thursday and many fans and handicappers alike will be glued to the big menu that is delivered on the opening day of action. One of the most intriguing early games is the contest that puts the Connecticut Huskies up against the St. Joseph Hawks. These two teams are loaded with talent and have a chance to make surprising run in the tournament.
The latest 2014 NCAA Tournament college basketball odds for this game opened up with the Huskies listed as (-4.5) point favorites. Although UConn is considered the favorite, the public is jumping on the Hawks in this contest. Over 62 percent of the early action is on St. Joe’s but up to this point the line has yet to change.
The Hawks come into this game with plenty of scoring punch. The Hawks are the top-shooting team in the Atlantic 10, hitting 46.8 percent from the field. The Hawks are 9-2 in their last 11 games entering the event. Phil Martelli’s squad last won an NCAA game when it reached the Elite Eight back in 2004 and they want to make another run. This will create a difficult matchup for the Huskies.
The Huskies do have one of the best players in the country. Guard Shabazz Napier (17.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg) beat out the likes of Louisville’s Russ Smith and Cincinnati’s Sean Kilpatrick for AAC player of the year honors. Connecticut, which lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament, in 2012, won the 2011 national title and reached the Final Four in 2009. They will be looking for another run this year when they tip things off against the Hawks.
The latest 2014 NCAA Tournament college basketball betting trends for this game reveal that both teams have positive wagering angles heading into this game. The Hawks are 4-1 against the spread (ATS) in their last 5 games when playing against a team with a winning percentage above .600, 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games when going up against a team with a winning straight up record and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games overall. The Huskies are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 NCAA Tournament games, 21-10 ATS in their last 31 neutral site games and 12-3 ATS in their last 15 games following a straight up loss.
While many people are calling for the upset in this game, the Huskies are just too talented to lose in this spot. The Huskies have enough firepower and talent to win and cover in this opening round game.
Free Pick: UConn Huskies -4.5
Cole started off as a part time handicapper and a full time computer programmer. After developing a computer program that consistently provided winners in NFL, NBA, MLB, and college sports Cole went into full time handicapping. The computer program and his knack for winners made him a rising star in the handicapping world. His complex computer program based on algorithms and analytical calculations have led to a 60% ATS rate.