UConn vs. Florida College Basketball Odds, Picks: Great Spot to Sell Red-Hot Huskies
Michael Hickey/Getty Images. Pictured: Kyle Lofton
- Undefeated UConn is favored in its first true road game of the season Wednesday night against Florida.
- The Huskies have looked dominant this season, but this might be a good time to sell as the market is as high as ever on them.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.
UConn vs. Florida Odds
Most pundits and preseason rankings had Connecticut among the top 25 teams in the country, but none had the Huskies pushing into the top five of the AP rankings to begin December. After an undefeated start to the new season, Connecticut sits fifth in the AP Top 25 as it travels for its first true road game of the season in Florida on Wednesday night.
The Gators have been up-and-down to begin the season under new head coach Todd Golden. They don’t have any wins against top 100 KenPom teams and took a bad home loss to Florida Atlantic — although the Owls are better than anticipated thus far.
Golden has the Gators playing as fast as ever and going deep into the bench. The play has been quite inconsistent, but Wednesday presents a great opportunity to sell high on their opponents. Connecticut is at the peak of the market headed into Wednesday and the Gators have a foil for dominant Huskies big man Adama Sanogo.
The Huskies went to Portland for Feast Week as a largely unproven entity. They had challenged for the Big East conference tournament title and beaten plenty of good teams, but the offense was inconsistent last year and resulted in an early NCAA Tournament exit. With a few key players back, most expected the Huskies to settle in as a top 20 team but not a true title contender.
After three dominant wins in Portland during Feast Week, the Huskies have put the country on notice. They didn’t just beat Oregon, Alabama and Iowa State. They routed them. None of those games were closer than 14 points in final margin. They won the title out west and followed it up with a convincing home win against Oklahoma State, also by 10 points.
The improvements for the Huskies have largely come through the offensive development of Sanogo. He’s top five in KenPom player of the year ratings and has taken a massive step forward in his offensive efficiency. Yet, with all of his improvements this year, he hasn’t faced an opposing center with the quality of Colin Castleton.
Connecticut went to the transfer portal to become better at perimeter shooting this season. Danny Hurley brought in multiple solid shooters that have also made 3s at an unsustainable rate thus far this season. Joey Calcaterra was a career 37% shooter at San Diego who is hitting a ridiculous 58% from beyond the arc this season.
Triston Newton was a 32% shooter at East Carolina and he’s made 38% of his 3s, while multiple other shooters on the roster have taken a 6% leap in their 3-point percentages. Consider me skeptical that the Huskies will continue to shoot this well from 3, and it’s only further inflating their market perception.
Even though Florida’s defense has shown some holes on the perimeter, it’s hard to score on the Gators on the interior. They rank 35th in 2-point defense and rank 21st in near proximity field goal percentage allowed, per Haslametrics.
That’s the Castleton effect and he grades out as an excellent rim protector. He’s matched up with plenty of dominant bigs and limited their ability to dominate the game and will be looking to draw Sanogo into foul trouble early in this game.
The perimeter defense hasn’t been great, but opponents have also made 37% from beyond the arc against them. The ShotQuality data suggests that they’ve been quite unlucky at defending the 3-pointer this season. The offense doesn’t turn the ball over much at all and should be able to generate plenty of looks off the dribble.
The Huskies’ defense doesn’t concede much at the rim either, but they can be had off the dribble as a whole. Florida’s guards’ ability to get into the paint and create from there will decide if the Gators can pull off the mild upset or keep this game competitive enough to cover.
UConn vs. Florida Betting Pick
Before the season started, Florida would have been favored in this game. It’s a sign of the new market inflation for the Huskies that you now have to lay multiple possessions on the road. If you really think the Huskies are a top-five team in the country, this line is correct.
But keep in mind that last year, a less talented Florida team was at home against a top five Kentucky team in March and only caught four points. We know a lot less about this Huskies team, especially if Castleton is able to get Sanogo into foul trouble or limit his offensive effectiveness.
I’ll take the Gators at +3 or better to bring the Huskies back down to earth a bit on Wednesday night.
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