UConn vs. Georgetown Basketball Odds & Pick: Hoyas Will Keep Things Close Against Huskies
Rich Schultz/Getty Images. Pictured: James Bouknight of Connecticut.
- Connecticut doesn't have much to play for on Saturday after securing the 3-seed in the Big East tournament.
- Georgetown has heated up after a poor start to conference play and is seeking momentum headed into the league's tournament.
- College basketball betting analyst Kyle Remillard explains why the Hoyas have a decent chance of pulling an upset on Saturday.
Georgetown vs. UConn Odds
|Time | TV||Saturday, 12 p.m. ET | CBS|
Georgetown travels to face off against Connecticut in what will be the Huskies’ senior night and final game of the season.
Dan Hurley’s squad is 13-6 on the year and in prime position to make the NCAA Tournament after winning five of their last six games. Connecticut owns a top-30 adjusted efficiency margin and has been a different team since James Bouknight returned from his injury.
With him in the lineup the Huskies appear to be a serious contender come the Big East tournament and NCAA Tournament.
Patrick Ewing’s Hoyas had a rough start to the season winning just three of their first 11 contests, including a 1-5 record in Big East play. Since then, they’ve gone 6-3 with wins over Creighton, Seton Hall, Xavier and Providence.
One of those three losses came from the hands of the Huskies, who won 70-57. That first matchup was tied through 30 minutes of play before Connecticut outscored the Hoyas, 26-13, in the final 10 minutes.
Slowing down the Connecticut guards is going to be the key focus for Georgetown in this game as both Bouknight and R.J. Cole were fantastic in the first meeting.
When UConn has the ball
There may be no individual player more important to its team than James Bouknight is to Connecticut. When he is in the lineup, the Huskies are 9-2 and outscore opponents by an average margin of 10.5 points. When he missed eight games with an elbow injury, Connecticut went just .500 as shown in the graphic below.
In the first meeting with Georgetown, Bouknight had a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while R.J. Cole filled the stat sheet with 17 points, seven assists, five rebounds and six steals. Those two, along with Tyrese Martin, have contributed 49.3% of Connecticut’s total points this season in addition to 48.5% of their total assists.
Connecticut plays at one of the slower tempos in the country which leads to some closer games. They hold the No. 1 ranked defense in the Big East, allowing just 97.5 points per every 100 possessions, according to KenPom.
One knock against the Huskies is that they foul more than nearly any other team, sending teams to the line on 37.0% of their field goal attempts. Connecticut struggled to put away Georgetown until late in the first matchup, and I anticipate a similar game flow in this one.
When Georgetown has the Ball
The vibe around the Georgetown locker room is to enter the Big East tournament with as much positive momentum as possible. The Hoyas have won four of their last five games and are getting it done on the defensive end, holding teams to just 66.8 points in that span.
The 3-point shot is going to be a huge storyline for this game. Georgetown has hit 37.2% of its 3-point attempts this season in Big East play, which ranks first in the conference.
That wasn’t the case the first time these two teams met when the Hoyas hit just 21.1% of their 19 attempts. In the Hoyas’ four recent wins, they have hit 37-of-80 attempts from behind the arc, good for an astounding 46.3%.
Jahvon Blair and Jamorko Pickett are the only two seniors on the roster who came to Georgetown in Patrick Ewing’s first year. Both of them have eclipsed the 1,000-point mark during this season and are the team’s two leading scorers.
Blair is averaging 15.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.2 assists while Pickett is scoring 12.9 points and grabbing 8.0 rebounds. The Hoyas have two other players who average double-digits.
Betting Analysis & Pick
UConn has now clinched the 3-seed in the Big East tournament and doesn’t have too much to play for in this game. Georgetown is a scrappy team that hung with the Huskies for the majority of the first meeting before going cold from outside to end the game.
This should be another slower-paced game similar to the first matchup. UConn may not match the intensity that Ewing’s squad is going to bring. I’m backing Georgetown as a double-digit underdog in a game that I anticipate being close down to the wire.
Pick: Georgetown +10 (down to +9).