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Villanova UConn Betting – Wildcats Show Huskies How To Play As A Team

Posted by Washington Tucker on 2/5/2014 2:16:52 AM

Sports betting players have watched Connecticut claw their way back into the Big East pecking order this year on the back of a hot-shooting superstar, but on Monday they’re going to run into a Villanova team that is deep and experienced enough to force the Huskies into another mode of play.

  • (7) Villanova Wildcats at (9) Connecticut Huskies
  • Monday, January 17th, 2011 – 3:30 PM ET
  • Harry A. Gampel Pavillion, XL Center – Storrs, CT
  • Sportsbook Promo Pick: Villanova Wildcats

Villanova UConn Betting Preview – Villanova

Villanova has always been a program for guards, so it should be no surprise that this year’s edition of the Wildcats are powered by a trio of guards, seniors Corey Stokes and Corey Fisher, along with sophomore Maalik Wayns. The experience of Stokes and Fisher is a big reason why the Wildcats don’t miss Scottie Reynolds as much as some thought they would, but that isn’t to say Villanova can’t compete on the boards because they’re a small team. The Wildcats are 33rd in the country in rebounds per game, and they’re 23rd in rebounding margin. Antonio Pena and Mouphtaou Yarou are the men on the glass for the Wildcats, but if they’re not rebounding, the Wildcats really don’t have anyone else to snag those boards.

Defensively, due to their guard play, the Wildcats are excellent on the perimeter, coming in seventh in three-point field-goal defense and they’re 11th in field-goal defense overall. They close out quickly, and their rotations are very solid. They don’t gamble a lot so Villanova doesn’t get a lot of steals, but sometimes it’s better to get and stay in front of your man. This team would be downright scary with a big-time shot-blocker, but the Wildcats manage to do alright without one.

Villanova UConn Betting Preview – UConn

The Huskies’ offense consists of, “give it to Kemba and get out of the way”. Kemba Walker showed a lot of promise as a freshman, but he was also protected by the likes of A.J. Price and Jerome Dyson. Without those two, Walker struggled last year as a sophomore, but he’s exploding as a junior, coming in second only to BYU’s Jimmer Fredette in scoring. Even when he’s not on, like at Texas, you just know he’s going to catch on eventually, and Walker scored seven of UConn’s nine points in the extra period of an overtime win in Austin last weekend. But the Huskies don’t really have a secondary scorer, and a good defensive team will be able to take advantage of this. Sophomore forward Alex Oriakhi is next in scoring, but his major contribution comes on the boards, where he is averaging 9.5 rebounds per game. A pair of freshmen, guard Shabazz Napier and forward Roscoe Smith, are getting their shots, but they’re freshmen, which puts a load of pressure on Walker, who is a leading candidate for national Player of the Year honors.

Oriakhi is also a shot-blocking presence, swatting 2.3 blocks per game, while Walker is out on the perimeter with 2.3 steals per game. The Huskies are 30th nationally in field-goal defense, but they can be taken advantage behind the three-point line. With their stars also leading the way on this side of the ball, the Huskies are a very good defensive team, but again, what if the two have a bad game? You still have a pair of freshmen in Napier and Smith who aren’t used to the rigors of the Big East yet, and they didn’t look good in losses at Pitt and Notre Dame.

Villanova UConn Betting Preview – Outlook And Pick

The Huskies are likely to be favored on their home floor, where they are 3-1 SU in their last four games against the Wildcats, but only 1-2-1 ATS during those games. Both teams have games on the weekend (Villanova hosts Maryland, UConn heads to DePaul, both on Saturday), and that may play a small factor in this game, but not enough, especially in Villanova’s case because they’ll be able to get up for a Big East game. We’re going with the Wildcats for the upset here as we think their guards will be able to slow down and contain Walker, and if he can’t score, where are the points coming from for UConn? The Huskies will have to use their size advantage, but they’ll eventually fall back on their bread-and-butter, which is to get the ball to Walker. Villanova is more of a team, and we think UConn still has to learn how to play as a unit before they can make some real noise among all of the Super Bowl betting going on.

Villanova UConn Betting Pick: Villanova Wildcats

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