St. Bonaventure vs. UConn Odds & Picks: Bet the Huskies in Afternoon Action (December 11)
M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: R.J. Cole.
- St. Bonaventure takes on UConn in college basketball action on Saturday afternoon.
- Both programs are capable in making a deep run in March, but one side has the advantage in Saturday's matchup.
- Kyle Remillard breaks down the game below and shares a betting pick based on his analysis.
St. Bonaventure vs. UConn Odds
|St. Bonaventure Odds|
-105o / -115u
-105o / -115u
St. Bonaventure and Connecticut travel to the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey in a matchup between two programs that found similar success in 2020.
St. Bonaventure returns all five starters from last year’s team that won both the Atlantic-10 regular season and tournament. It made the NCAA Tournament for the third time since 2012 but was bounced in the first round by LSU.
Dan Hurley’s bunch finished last season 15-8 overall through a season that was riddled with injuries to key players. The Huskies return nearly all of last season’s production apart from James Bouknight who has been playing for Michael Jordan on the Charlotte Hornets. Connecticut was also bounced in the first round of the NCAA Tournament by Maryland.
Both these programs are more than capable of making a deep run this March, and some key injuries could have a major impact in this matchup.
St. Bonaventure returns all five senior starters from a team that had one of the best seasons in program history. All five are averaging double-digit points for the second consecutive season. The offense starts with point guard Kyle Lofton who is averaging 17.4 points and 5.9 assists. But after suffering a high-ankle sprain in the final minute against Coppin State, his status is questionable. If he’s out, then Jarren Holmes, who has put up 17.2 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.9 assists, will need to carry the majority of the offensive workload.
The Bonnies big man Osun Osunniyi is a monster in the paint, averaging 10.2 points and 7.2 rebounds. He’s the rim protector for St. Bonaventure that has totaled 29 blocks in his nine games this season.
St. Bonaventure defeated Boise State, Clemson and Marquette in route to winning the Shriners Children’s Charleston Classic this season. The group had a letdown game following that tournament, losing to Northern Iowa, but has since won three straight.
The Bonnies own the 28th-best offensive efficiency, ranking and 19th in the nation in turnover percentage. The defense is the anchor of this group that has held opponents to 66 points per game. They don’t allow easy points at the charity stripe as, rank 27th in free-throw attempts allowed per game.
Connecticut moves on from the James Bouknight era, losing his 18.7 points and 5.7 rebounds from last season. The good news is Dan Hurley’s squad returns nearly everyone else from that roster.
The Huskies have won all six of their “bye-games” against opponents that rank outside the top 300. In it’s four games against stiffer competition, they’re 2-2 with losses to Michigan State and West Virginia by a combined seven points. The two victories came in overtime against VCU and double overtime over Auburn.
Connecticut owns a deeper roster that has eight players averaging over six points per game. The leader is guard R.J. Cole who has put up 16.1 points and 4.3 assists per game. He’s the main outside shooting threat for the Huskies, hitting 20-of-57 three-point attempts this season.
Adama Sanogo is a strong complementing scoring threat who is averaging above a dozen points per contest.
Sanogo and Akok Akok both stand above six-foot-10 and have been strong paint protectors this season. They will both make life tough for Osun Osunniyi inside the paint.
Connecticut owns a top-30 offensive and defensive efficiency ranking this season. The group ranks seventh in two-point percentage and sixth in offensive rebound percentage this season.
St. Bonaventure vs. UConn Betting Pick
This is going to be a doozy of a matchup between two programs that will likely have their seasons extended to March.
Kyle Lofton is the heartbeat of the Bonnies offense, and he’s unlikely to play after a high-ankle sprain last week. St. Bonaventure runs an extremely thin bench with the starters taking the majority of the workload, so without Lofton it could be a long night offensively –especially for Osun Osunniyi who will have his hands full with the cycling bigs of Connecticut.
Dan Hurley runs tight man-to-man defense, and Connecticut’s length is going to disrupt the shot-makers for St. Bonaventure. I anticipate R.J. Cole to have a big game if Lofton is indeed ruled out.
I’m laying the points with Connecticut in a game that its depth will have a massive impact.
Pick: Connecticut -3.5 (Play to -4.5)
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