Tuesday College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions: Creighton Bluejays vs. UConn Huskies Betting Preview
Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Rati Andronikashvili (Creighton)
- Creighton takes to the road to face off against Adama Sanogo and UConn.
- The Bluejays are coming off an embarassing second-half effort vs. Xavier while the Huskies have played in a ton of close games this season.
- Kyle Remillard breaks down the Big East matchup and explains which team he is backing from a betting perspective.
Creighton vs. UConn Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Creighton hopes to avoid three losses in a row, as it travels to face the red-hot Connecticut Huskies.
The Bluejays have lost two in a row — and four of their last six — dropping them to 4-4 in Big East play. The program led Xavier, 36-19, at halftime in their matchup on Saturday, but Creighton allowed a 29-2 run to open the second half, which ultimately doomed it.
Meanwhile, it’s been smooth sailing for Connecticut, which has put together five Big East victories in a row. The Huskies’ last four wins have come by double digits, though they have been against the bottom teams in the conference.
The Huskies have yet to beat a top opponent by double digits, and that’s a large ask against a desperate Creighton side in this one.
Xavier-Creighton was a tale of two halves that was reminiscent of the Bengals-Chiefs playoff game Sunday afternoon.
After owning a 95% chance to win at halftime, Creighton melted down in the final 20 minutes of the game.
In the first half, Creighton held Xavier to 8-of-35 from the field (23%) and 1-for-7 from 3-point territory. Meanwhile, the Bluejays were shooting 53% from the field.
The script dramatically flipped in the second half, as Creighton endured a seven-minute scoring drought that included five turnovers. Xavier capitalized with a 19-0 run and outscored Creighton 55-28 in the second half.
In the final 20 minutes, the Musketeers made 19-of-29 shots (66%), including nine of their 12 attempts from beyond the arc.
Now it’s a new month, and Creighton needs to put that loss behind it. The core has been intact all season, with the same five players starting every game. Each player among the five is averaging between nine and a dozen points per game.
7-foot-1 center Ryan Kalkbrenner’s presence in the paint can be felt on both ends of the floor. He’s extremely efficient offensively, hitting 67% of his shot attempts on the season. Defensively, Kalkbrenner is averaging more than three blocked shots per game.
Dan Hurley’s squad has won five conference games in a row and owns a 15-4 record on the season. After stomping Butler and Georgetown, the program barely survived DePaul, 57-50, last time out.
R.J. Cole scored 25 points on 9-of-17 shooting in that game. The rest of the Huskies were awful, combining for 13-of-42 (31%) from the field while missing all 10 3-point attempts.
Cole is the leading scorer for Connecticut on the season, putting up 16 points and 4.6 assists per game. He’s complimented by 6-foot-9 forward Adama Sanogo and Tyrese Martin, who are both averaging over a dozen points per game.
Sanogo is a beast on the boards, as he’s grabbing 8.4 per contest. Martin is a pure scorer, but has been struggling a bit since returning from a wrist injury in December.
The Huskies own a top-30 offensive and defensive efficiency ranking in the country. They’re dominant inside the paint, where they hold opponents to less than 41% on 2-point shot attempts, which is fourth best in the nation.
They grab offensive rebounds on 39% of their misses, which is the second-highest rate in the country. The group averages 14 offensive rebounds a game, which has shadowed an offense that has been mediocre at shooting the basketball.
Creighton vs. UConn Betting Pick
Connecticut takes 65% of its shots inside the 3-point arc, but converts on just 49% of them (200th). That has been shadowed by its ability to find extended possessions with all the offensive rebounds.
Creighton has been solid at securing defensive rebounds and not fouling opponents. The Bluejays foul at the sixth-lowest rate in the country, while Connecticut’s offense typically makes its living at the charity stripe.
This is a Connecticut team that finds ways to win close games. The Huskies have yet to win by more than 10 points in their nine games against opponents that rank inside the KenPom top 100.
The Bluejays were 10-point underdogs on the road against Villanova to start the new year. Creighton’s recent struggles coupled with Connecticut’s cake-walk victories have pushed this number too high.
I expect Greg McDermott’s squad to be chomping at the bit to get back on the hardwood and redeem itself after the embarrassing loss to Xavier.
I’m not only taking the points with Creighton, but I will be sprinkling on the moneyline, as well.
Pick: Creighton +9.5 (Play to +8)
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