Elite 8 West: UConn Huskies vs Gonzaga Bulldogs
Huskies 19-7 ATS in Last 26 Tournament Games
Huskies Hand Arkansas a Massive Loss In Vegas
The Connecticut Huskies finished fourth in the Big East, but no one is thinking about College basketball standings now. UConn won their third straight game of the tournament by double digits on the back of Jordan Hawks who scored 24 points, while Adama Sanogo contributed 18 on 9 of 11 shooting.
The Huskies have now covered 10 of their last 12 games and look every bit like a team that is on a collision course with their first title since 2014. For bettors, we often not only look at who won the game but also look at how they won. In the Huskies’ case, it was a complete win after building a 46-29 first-half lead.
The second half was more of the same as UConn came through for bettors again with a 42-36 second-half cash-out. It wasn’t just the final score against the Razorbacks that will surely attract UConn money against the Zags, it was their relentless defense that limited Arkansas to 31.7% from the field. In the mind of the betting public, this will come in handy against the nation’s highest-scoring team.
With 72% of the betting public on Connecticut, the books took a bath after refusing to move the number. Most took a stance with the Huskies sitting at -3.5 for most of the week. The same can be said for the total (140) -with 71% of the wagers betting this was going to be a high-scoring affair.
Of the four games yesterday, the public handed the books their biggest loss in this one. Let’s continue our Connecticut vs Gonzaga NCAAB scores and odds recap by turning our attention to the Bulldogs who slipped past the UCLA Bruins.
Opening Number Shows Zags Disrespect
There has been a season-long line of thought that Gonzaga isn’t what it used to be despite leading the nation in scoring. That continues into the ‘Elite 8’ where the lower seed Bulldogs (3) are a significant -2.5 point underdog to UConn (4). It will be interesting to see how the public reacts to that number. If early betting patterns are an indication, the books will have to adjust that number up with 98% of the early wagers on the Huskies minus the points.
It’s likely bettors saw the escape show Gonzaga put on against UCLA after Julian Strawther hit a 3-pointer with 7.2 seconds left allowing Gonzaga to regain the lead they gave up in a matter of two and a half minutes.
You have to give Mark Few’s team credit after trailing by 13 at the half, only to put together a 39-16 second-half run to take a 72-62 lead after a Malachi Smith three-pointer with 2:30 left in the game. UCLA responded with their own 14-2 run to take a 76-75 lead with 13 seconds left before Strawther’s three to seal the Gonzaga victory. 66% of the betting tickets were on the over but 65% of the money was on the under.
The spread and moneyline took the majority of wagers on the Bruins, allowing the books to win the nightcap of the Sweet 16. Let’s conclude our Connecticut vs Gonzaga betting preview by looking at early betting patterns and which coach has a historical betting advantage.
Handicapping the Game
There was some hope that the betting public would come in hard on Gonzaga with the Bulldogs likely having a home-court advantage at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The Zags have had plenty of success in the Entertainment Capital of the World with the West Coast Conference Tournament since 2009. That hasn’t mattered with almost every early ticket coming in on UConn and the over.
We mentioned the terrific record against the number that the Huskies have had in the NCAA Tournament in the opening headline, but it should be mentioned how kind head coach Daniel Hurley’s teams have been to bettors since taking over the UConn program in 2018 with an overall ATS record of 74-59-3 (55.64%) including 6-5 ATS in the postseason. Mark Few, who has been at Gonzaga in some capacity since 1989 took over the head coaching duties in 1999.
The Oregon native is 271-233-18 (53.77%) ATS during the regular season, but just 25-35-1 (41.67%) in the postseason. We recommend riding the wave of the Huskies’ defense to get them the win in a high-tempo contest that should also go over the total.
That does it for our UConn Huskies vs Gonzaga Bulldogs. We wish you a very profitable ‘Elite 8’.
|Moneyline:||Huskies -135, Bulldogs +110|
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