College Football Odds & Picks for Yale vs. UConn: Fade Subpar Offenses in Underwhelming Matchup
M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Steven Krajewski.
Yale vs. UConn Odds
|Time||12 p.m. ET|
|TV||CBS Sports Network|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.|
Mobile sports betting went live in Connecticut this week, and what better way to celebrate with an intrastate matchup between Yale and University of Connecticut.
Now unfortunately, bettors in Connecticut are not allowed wager on in-state colleges. But if you’re like me and grew up in Connecticut but now live in another state, we can have some fun with this Nutmeg State matchup.
Yale has a rich history of college football success. Sure, Alabama’s 18 national championships are pretty impressive, but they still have a ways to go before they match Yale’s 27. And well, the New York Times named UConn the National Champion last season.
Saturday will mark the 50th meeting between these programs and the first meeting since 1998. The Bulldogs dominated the early days, winning the first 16 matchups, and they have a 32-17 overall record against UConn, which has now won 14 of the last 16 meetings.
Yale vs. UConn Betting Preview
The Bulldogs went 9-1 to win the Ivy League championship in 2019, their second conference title in three years before the Ivy League canceled the ’20 season.
Tony Reno’s squad is off to just a 2-2 start, dropping the season opener to Holy Cross and losing a heartbreaker in overtime last week at Dartmouth. They have picked up wins against Cornell and Lehigh.
After starting quarterback Kurt Rawlings suffered a season-ending injury in 2018, true freshman Griffin O’Connor took over and won the 2018 Ivy League Rookie of the Year. With Rawlings now gone, O’Connor is back under and has thrown six touchdowns and for 217 yards per game.
Running back Zane Dudek burst onto the scene as a freshman in 2017. He was named First-Team All-Ivy League after leading the conference in rushing yards (first freshman ever to do so), touchdowns and all-purpose yards. His 7.1 yards per carry was second in Ivy League history.
Dudek battled injuries in 2018 and his production dipped in 2019, but he was still selected to the Second Team All-Ivy League. So far this season, he is averaging just 56.3 yards per game and the Bulldogs desperately need him to return to his freshman form.
The Yale defense has been really strong this season, allowing just 15.3 points per game. It has allowed more than 20 points just once in its first four games.
Defending the pass has been the strength for Yale. It has allowed just 177.3 passing yards per game and has allowed two touchdown passes while picking off three passes.
Cornerback Wande Owens has been the best player on defense with 22 tackles and interception and four pass break ups. Clay Patterson is their best Havoc creator, leading the team with 7.5 tackles for loss and six sacks through four games.
Connecticut opted out of playing in the 2020 season. I bet there are plenty of folks in Storrs that wish the Huskies would have opted out this year too.
You know anytime the Governor has to come out and declare they are committed to staying at the FBS level, things are not going well.
The Huskies are off to a 0-7 start, most recently losing 27-13 to winless UMass. Our Action Network Power Ratings have UConn graded as the worst team in the country. Saturday might be UConn’s last chance at a win this season.
Randy Edsall “retired” after the first two games, and then interim head coach Lou Spanos tested positive for COVID-19 and missed last week. He is expected to be back on the sidelines this Saturday.
Jack Zergiotis started the season at quarterback but was eventually replaced for a rotating cast. Sophomore Steven Krajewski was the main quarterback in week three, six and seven.
True freshman Tyler Phommachanh was the starter in Weeks 4 and 5 and looked really solid, but he got hurt late in the Vanderbilt game and is out indefinitely.
Krajewski will get the start on Saturday and has thrown three touchdowns and five interceptions this year. He has developed good chemistry with true freshman Keelan Marion, who over the last two games is averaging 91 yards and has a touchdown catch in each.
Only Donald Brown, Terry Caulley and Jordan Todman have totaled more rushing yards in Huskie blue than running back Kevin Mensah. Yet this big mystery in Connecticut has been the strange disappearance of UConn’s fourth all-time leading rusher.
After racking up over 1,000 yards in 2018 and ’19, Mensah has been passed on the depth chart by true freshman Nathan Carter. Mensah has had fewer than five carries in the last four games.
Carter has looked good as his workload has increased. He is averaging 5.1 yards per carry this season and over the last two games has averaged 22 attempts and 138 yards per game.
The offense ranks 129th in the country in Success Rate and the defense is only slightly better at 122nd. They have been slightly better against the pass, ranking 111th in Success Rate and 77th in pass yards per game. Although, that might be more related to game script as their opponents usually have the lead.
Linebacker Jackson Mitchell has been a tackling machine for the Huskies, leading the team with 73 tackles, over 30 more than the next closest player. He actually leads the entire country in tackles.
Yale vs. UConn Betting Pick
Both of these teams look to establish the run early and lean on their running backs. Yale has not had the success on the ground they have in the last couple years, and UConn is dealing with injuries on the offensive line that will hurt them in the run game.
The quarterback play has been inconsistent for both these squads and they do not have the skill on the outside to spread the field. Yale is averaging just 22.8 points per game, while UConn’s offense has managed just 16 points per game this year.
Sustaining drives will be difficult, especially for the Huskies. Yale has the best third down defense in the FCS, allowing a conversion just 21% of the time. UConn ranks 128th in the country, converting just 26.5% of their third down attempts.
All of Yale’s games have stayed under this total this year, and UConn games have cleared this total in just two of their six games.
Get yourself a delicious pizza from Frank Pepe’s and sit back and watch a defensive battle down in this Nutmeg State classic on Saturday.