Connecticut at South Florida Free Play

On February 25, 2016, in Free Picks, NCAAB, by Stephen

Connecticut minus 13 at South Florida

As far as RPI, Connecticut still is a top 40 team. But the Huskies can’t afford – nor should they – take South Florida lightly. Connecticut had won five of six before losing 65-60 to Cincinnati on the road this past Saturday.

The Huskies would assure themselves of an NCAA Tournament at-large position without having to capture the American Athletic Conference Tournament by winning three of their final four regular-season games. After this matchup, though, for them are games against Houston and SMU. So I don’t expect the Huskies to sleep on this game. They haven’t lost to a team outside the top 100 all season.

The question is can they cover a spread this high against the Bulls, who are better now than what their 7-21 shows. South Florida opened 5-21 with seven straight AAC losses. The Bulls have turned things around to a degree going 4-4 in their last eight. They have won two in a row with the last win coming this past Saturday, 80-71, against Memphis as an eight-point home ‘dog. That victory has brought the Bulls out of the AAC cellar.

Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie gave his team Monday and Tuesday off. The Huskies know the importance of playing well here. Playing on the road should ensure maximum concentration. I see the Huskies coming out refreshed, energized and focused. They certainly have the talent to bury the Bulls, who I believe will regress following their huge upset of Memphis. They don’t have the pedigree to play so many “A” games in a row.

South Florida is 4-9-1 ATS at home versus opponents with a winning record. The Bulls have covered only 32 percent of their past 51 home contests. The last time they won three consecutive conference games was 2012.

Only 10 teams in the country allow fewer points per game than the Huskies, who surrender 62.1 points. South Florida ranks 334th in the nation averaging 63.9 points a game. The Huskies have the height to counter South Florida’s tall front line.

Connecticut has yielded an average of 57.1 points in its last six road games. So it’s within reason to conclude the Bulls could be held to less than 54 points.The Huskies average 73 points a game and are stepping way down in class after having faced Cincinnati, SMU, Tulsa and Temple – the top four teams in the AAC.

(Stephen Nover is a documented 80-40-2 on his last 122 premium and free plays for 67 percent.)


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