College Basketball Odds, Expert Picks & Predictions for Buffalo vs. UConn (Tuesday, Nov. 15)
Photo by Joshua Bessex/Getty Images. Pictured: Adama Sanogo (UConn)
- Buffalo and UConn go head-to-head on Tuesday evening from Hartford.
- Will the Bulls' tempo actually work in the Huskies' favor in this matchup?
- Kyle Remillard answers the question and provides his best bet for this affair.
Buffalo vs. UConn Odds
-115o / -105u
-115o / -105u
Buffalo head coach Jim Whitesell has always promoted a fast-paced playing style. And through two games, it’s his Buffalo Bulls leading the nation in Tempo, according to KenPom.
The Bulls opened the season with a one-point victory over Colgate in a back-and-forth matchup. But that up-tempo style had adverse effects on the program last time out, as Buffalo was dismantled by 35 points by James Madison.
The Bulls hope to bounce back against a top-20 opponent in Connecticut. It’s a new-look Connecticut team for year five of the Dan Hurley era. The Huskies’ roster is primarily built from the transfer portal.
They have been impressive in their two matchups this season, though, beating Stonehill and Boston University by an average of 30 points.
Buffalo is also dealing with major turnover on its roster. Will the Bulls be able to keep this game competitive to cover the number?
Buffalo has historically been one of the better teams in the MAC. Under Whitesell, we have come to learn the group plays at a tremendous pace.
That quick tempo has led the group to some offensive woes, though. The offense has turned the ball over on 25% of its possessions this season, which ranks outside the top 300.
The Bulls also haven’t been able to secure defensive rebounds, and that’s a major concern when matching up against one of the top rebounders in America in Adama Sanogo.
The program ranks among the bottom of the country in returning minutes, as it only brought back 12% of its minutes from last year, according to Bart Torvik. That could be the reason for the self-inflicted errors against Colgate and James Madison.
Through those two matchups, the offense has three players averaging in double figures. Yazid Powell, a JUCO transfer, is leading the group at 16 points per game. Curtis Jones and UCF transfer Isaiah Adams are each putting up over 10 points per game, as well.
The main issue has been the interior defense for Buffalo. It’s allowing opponents to hit 60% of its 2-point field goals, which ranks 311th nationally.
Hurley’s squad looks much different than it did last season.
The Huskies are without R.J. Cole and Tyrese Martin, who both opted in for the NBA draft.
In addition, the program lost two forwards Tyler Polley and Isaiah Whaley, who both graduated. The transfer portal stole another three players from the roster, including forward Akok Akok.
Sanogo is one of the few returning pieces, and the offense will be built around the 6-foot-9 forward. Sanogo is putting up 23 points and 11 rebounds per game through his first two matchups.
After making the Big East First Team last season, he’s the favorite to win Player of the Year in the conference.
He’s likely the only true big man in the starting lineup for Hurley. Sanogo will be surrounded by two transfer guards in Tristen Newton (East Carolina) and Nahiem Alleyne (Virginia Tech). Both bring some range to the program, as Alleyne hit 39% from beyond the arc in his three years with the Hokies.
Both Jordan Hawkins and Andre Jackson have extremely high upside and round out the forward position. Though the two had limited playing time last season, they both thrived with their opportunities.
Buffalo vs. UConn Betting Pick
With 10 new players on the Connecticut roster, there are some expected rough patches looming ahead. But the talent edge has allowed the Huskies to avoid any potential let downs early in the non-conference schedule.
That trend should continue in this matchup, given Buffalo is dealing with massive turnover itself. With only 12% of its minutes returning from last year, Buffalo is reliant on the newcomers adjusting to Whitesell’s up-tempo style.
That too will take time to adjust, highlighted by the 35-point loss to James Madison.
The Bulls have struggled to defend the paint, take care of the basketball and rebound.
Now they match up against one of the most elite interior scorers in the country in Sanogo. He’s going to dominate the boards on both ends of the floor. And a Hurley-inspired defense will surely be able to force Buffalo into more turnovers in this matchup.
I’m backing Connecticut to stay hot and win in blowout fashion thanks to Buffalo’s up-tempo style.
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