Connecticut Huskies vs. Cincinnati Bearcats Point Spread Pick
Point spread: Cincinnati -5
The No. 22 Connecticut Huskies will try to continue their climb up the national rankings when they face the No. 7 Cincinnati Bearcats this Thursday night at Fifth Third Arena. Tip-off for this AAC matchup is slated for 7 p.m. (ET) and the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN
UConn vs. Cincinnati Game Overview
Connecticut cruised through the nonconference portion of its schedule with 11 straight-up victories in 12 games, but play in the newly formed AAC got off to a rocky start with back-to-back losses to Houston and SMU both SU and against the spread. The Huskies have now won five of their last six conference games SU to improve to 5-3 on the year. They covered in four of their last five outings to improve to 10-9 ATS overall. The total has gone OVER in seven of their last nine games.
The Huskies have turned things around on offense with 80 or more points in five of their last six games. They are now averaging 76.1 points and shooting 46.5 percent from the floor and a solid 41.5 percent from 3-point range. One of their top scorers, DeAndre Daniels (13.4 points) remains questionable for this game with an ankle injury. Shabazz Napier is the team's highest scorer with 17.9 points and Ryan Boatright is the third player scoring in double figures with 12.4 points a game.
Cincinnati comes into this contest riding a 14-game winning streak SU, but it is just 3-5 ATS in its last eight games. It closed out the month of January with a huge 69-66 victory over No. 14 Louisville as a nine-point road underdog, but failed to cover as a 14-point home favorite this past Sunday in a tight 50-45 victory against South Florida. The Bearcats are 21-2 SU overall with a 10-7 record ATS. They remain a perfect 10-0 SU (4-5-1 ATS) in conference play and the total has stayed UNDER in 14 of 17 games this season.
Sean Kilpatrick has led the way for Cincinnati with 19.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists, but he has struggled with consistency shooting the ball with a field goal percentage of just 41.9 percent. Justin Jackson is the only other player scoring in double figures (11.3 points) and he leads the team in rebounds with seven a game. The Bearcats are only scoring 70.2 points, but what has made them so hard to beat this season is a defense that is holding opponents to an average of 56.7 points a game.
UConn vs. Cincinnati Betting Trends
The Huskies are 4-1 ATS in their last five games following a SU win and 4-1 ATS in their last five games against a team with a SU winning record. The total has gone OVER in 17 of their last 23 games on the road.
The Bearcats are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 home games and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games against a team with a SU winning record. The total has stayed UNDER in eight of their 10 conference games this year.
Head-to-head in this matchup, the underdog is 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings and the total has stayed UNDER in four of the last six games.
Point Spread Pick
The playing status of Daniels could have an impact on this game's final closing spread. The Huskies would be hard-pressed to win this game SU if he cannot go, but assuming he is in the starting lineup, I really like their chances to cover on the road. Connecticut is finding its form at just the right time and in great position to keep this game close until the final buzzer.