AAC action here as the UConn Huskies travel to take on the Cincinnati Bearcats. The Huskies have struggled recently, and oddsmakers have the Bearcats as double digit favorites here. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN2.
There was a lot of hype this year surrounding UConn basketball. After firing Kevin Ollie, the team brought in Dan Hurley and there was instantly a ton of buzz that UConn basketball might be back. They got off to a hot start, but have struggled recently, losing three of their past four games.
What is especially concerning is that only one of those recent losses was on the road, and they’ve also lost some lopsided games. Five of their six losses this year have been by at least eight points, and three have been by at least twelve. They haven’t won a road game all year, and lost by eight to a mediocre USF team in their most recent game away from home.
Inside the Film Room:
Jarron Cumberland creating offense vs UCLA pic.twitter.com/AH1I7u4171
— Justin Berg (@BergieNights) August 25, 2017
They shot just 6/22 from three in that game, and I’m worried that their outside shot will again struggle in front of this Cincinnati home crowd. The Bearcats play smothering defense, and I don’t think UConn will be able to get much going offensively. UConn has played a very weak slate, their strength of schedule is ranked 253rd by Kenpom, and I think playing Cincinnati will be a shock to them.
Cincinnati Survives OT Thriller
It looks like it might be a down year for Cincinnati basketball, although they should still be pretty good. They lost a ton of production from last year’s team to the pro ranks, so they won’t be an NCAA 2 seed like they were last year, but they’ll still be the favorites to win the conference.
Cincinnati has played well recently, winning 13 of their past 15 games. While they haven’t played great on the road this year, they’ve been excellent at home. In their most recent game they suffered a significant scare against Tulsa, having to go to overtime to beat the Golden Hurricanes.
They haven’t just won at home, they’ve dominated. They’ve won each of their last nine home games by at least 14 points, and that includes some wins over good teams like Ole Miss. Their defense is ranked 20th by Kenpom, and they play smothering aggressive defense that forces a bunch of turnovers. They stole the ball 15 times from Tulsa, and forced them to commit 22 turnovers overall. Their aggressive tight defense will give UConn’s backcourt fits, and I think turnovers will be the difference here.
- 7-1 ATS in their last 8 home games
- 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss
- 1-9 ATS in their last 10 road games
- 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall
- 3-9 ATS in their last 12 vs. American Athletic Conference
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I like the Bearcats a lot here, as their strength at home matches up perfectly with UConn’s weakness on the road. UConn has covered just one of their last ten games on the road, while Cincinnati has covered seven of their last eight games at home.
Prediction: Cincinnati -11
Full-Game Total Pick
I also like the under a lot here. Neither team shoots the ball great from three, and the Bearcats play some of the best defense in the country. The under is 6-1 in UConn’s past seven, and 4-1 in Cincinnati’s last five games. This one will be very low scoring.