UConn vs. Auburn Odds, Picks & Predictions: Bet Huskies to Dispatch Tigers in Wednesday’s Battle 4 Atlantis Opener (Nov. 24)

UConn vs. Auburn Odds, Picks & Predictions: Bet Huskies to Dispatch Tigers in Wednesday’s Battle 4 Atlantis Opener (Nov. 24) article feature image
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  • Top-25 college basketball programs collide when the No. 22 UConn Huskies and No. 19 Auburn Tigers meet in the opening round of the 2021 Battle 4 Atlantis on Wednesday.
  • UConn opened as a 3.5-point favorite, but the line has moved towards Auburn during the last 24 hours. As of writing, updated odds make UConn -2.5 vs. Auburn.
  • Find our full college basketball betting preview for Tuesday's 2:30 p.m. ET tipoff, including updated odds, picks and predictions for Wednesday's first-round tournament showdown.

UConn vs. Auburn Odds

Wednesday, Nov. 24
2:30 p.m. ET
ESPN
UConn Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-2.5
-105
142.5
-110o / -110u
-140
Auburn Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+2.5
-115
142.5
-110o / -110u
+120
Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Both Connecticut and Auburn are looking strong in early-season play. The two are a combined 7-0, as well as 4-3 against the spread (ATS).

However, the Battle 4 Atlantis will be both teams’ first real test. Neither has played a KenPom top-200 team, so both are rather untested despite their strong statistical showings.

But, in a battle between two “untested” teams, which one has the edge?

Either way, whichever squad comes into this game hungry and wins will play either Michigan State or Loyola Chicago in the next round. That means another huge game ahead.


Connecticut Huskies

UConn is an imposing force, specifically on the defensive end.

Dan Hurley’s Huskies jumped up the Big East leaderboard last season on the back of the league’s best defense (via KenPom defensive efficiency).

This defensive unit might be even better.

While the Huskies lost James Bouknight, the team still returns all four other starters and most of its depth. Bouknight’s spot will be replaced by sophomore Andre Jackson, who’s taller and bigger than Bouknight and already has posted better defensive statistics than his predecessor has.

Moreover, through three games, the Huskies are fifth in the nation in defensive eFG% (37.45) and fourth in defensive turnover rate (30.2%). Plus, they’re top 10 in both block rate (20%) and steal rate (16%).

It’s going to be very tough to replace Bouknight’s offense. However, the Huskies have taken a bucket-by-committee approach so far, with five different players averaging 10+ points through the first three games.

If UConn plays team basketball on offense and suffocating defense, this unit will challenge Villanova for the Big East crown.

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Auburn Tigers

Following an offseason that saw Bruce Pearl bring back three key starters and an influx of excellent transfers, the Allen Flanigan injury hit hard.

Flanigan’s Achilles likely knocks him out until mid-December. It makes for a tough return to early SEC play, which starts for the Tigers on December 29. However, Pearl can only hope for the speediest recovery possible.

There’s still plenty of talent on this currently ranked team, though.

Take K.D. Johnson, who transferred from Georgia and has been the team’s go-to scorer so far. He leads the team in shooting percentage and is averaging 15 points per game on 43%/47% splits.

Or take Wendell Green Jr., the Eastern Kentucky transfer who has stepped in as the new floor general. He’s averaging over 10 points per game, although he’s been rather inefficient doing so (93.1 ORtg) and his 3:2 assist-to-turnover ratio raises suspicion.

It’ll be monumentally important for Green to avoid turnovers. Last season, the Tigers turned the ball over at the second-highest rate in the SEC and were shredded in transition in the process.

So far, however, the Tigers have kept both the turnovers (14.4%, 23rd nationally) and defensive transition attempts down (21.3%, 257th nationally). It’s been against three underwhelming teams, but it is an improvement.

Between freshmen Jabari Smith and UNC transfer Walker Kessler, Pearl boasts a long and talented frontcourt. However, I’m looking for slightly more out of Kessler so far, who’s been limited to just 4.3 points and 5.7 rebounds per game.


UConn vs. Auburn Betting Pick

Auburn is a talented team, but nobody has looked better than UConn in the early season.

I simply don’t see how Auburn scores enough on the Connecticut length, especially considering the Tigers are without a major offensive contributor in Flanigan.

Auburn’s played solid defense so far, but it is in for some regression on that end. So far this season, Auburn’s opponents are shooting just 54.8% from the free-throw line. Expect that number to go up and for the Tigers to allow more points going forward.

That starts Wednesday vs. UConn.

Pick: Connecticut ML (-150 or better)

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