The defending National Champions UConn Huskies are ranked No. 1 in the AP Poll, and are now back at full stength.
Big man Donovan Clingan recovered from injury to play against Creighton earlier this week, a suffocating 62-48 win at home. The 7'2" center has as big of an impact as any player in the country and we were quickly reminded how dominant this Huskies team is this season. Now, the team heads to Villanova to take on a Wildcats team that will look to stretch the floor and pull an upset.
Do the home underdogs have enough firepower to cover, and potentially upset, UConn?
Here's our full betting preview:
New BETMGM users, sign up below and get $158 in bonus bets when you make a first bet of just $5! Get started now.
Connecticut vs. Villanova Odds, Spread and Total
Villanova vs. Connecticut Betting Trends
- Connecticut is 11-7 against the spread (ATS) this season
- Villanova is 2-1 ATS as an underdog this season
- Connecticut has gone OVER in 10 of 18 gmaes this season
Villanova vs. Connecticut How to Watch
- Date: Saturday, January 20th
- Game Time: 8:00 PM EST
- Venue: Wells Fargo Center
- How to Watch (TV): Fox Sports 1
- Connecticut Record: 16-2
- Villanova Record: 11-6
Villanova vs. Connecticut Key Players to Watch
Eric Dixon: Dixon is going to likely draw the Clingan assignment when the big man is on the floor, but it's going to be his gravity on offense that impacts this game. Dixon is a floor stretching center, a career 38% three-point shooter. Can he open up driving lanes for the Wildcats with his ability to pull Clingan from the rim?
Donovan Clingan: Clingan only played 15 minutes against Creighton, but his impact was on full display, grabbing five rebounds and blocking two shots in the team's double digit win. On the year, Clingan is averaging over 13 points per game and shooting 61% from the field. He's a true matchup nightmare on both ends with his fluidity and nice touch.
Villanova vs. Connecticut Prediction and Pick
UConn was elite without Clingan, and now the defending champs have another weapon to deploy against a pedestrian Villanova defense that will struggle with the Huskies motion offense.
Clingan will be limited once again as he works back from a foot injury, but the offense has been fine without him and will put the Nova defense in circles. UConn is scoring at a top 35 rate in terms of cutting action, per ShotQuality, at a top 100 rate. Villanova hasn't seen much of that action, 279th in terms of frequency, and are right around the national average.
We saw Villanova struggle with Marquette's free flowing offense earlier this week, and UConn has the ability to shoot from the perimeter as well, top 100 in three-point percentage this season. With Villanova's inability to turn opponents over, I struggle to see the team getting stops.
The Wildcats take three's at a top 10 rate in the country and could run hot from three, but I'm going to trust the defending champs to go on the road and cover as small favorites.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
Track Reed's bets here!