UConn Huskies vs Iona Gaels March Madness Betting Preview
13th Seeds Are 31-113 All-Time Against 4th Seed
We start our UConn Huskies vs Iona Gaels preview with a glance at the current odds for either team’s chances to win the March Madness tournament. The Huskies are +2200 to win while the Gaels are +45000 (Bet $100, win $45,000). We’re not exactly going to run out and bet the Gaels to win the tournament but perhaps there is some value on this match-up when cruising down the list College Basketball spreads to open the ‘Big Dance’.
UConn to Avenge Big East Loss; Continue Hot Streak
There is no doubt that the UConn Huskies look like one of the shiny teams that should be going deep into your March Madness bracket. They have won 10 of their last 13 games and are 21-11-1 against the spread overall. They should be plenty mad after losing a 2-point affair to Marquette in the Big East Tournament as a 4-point favorite.
The school is a four-time tournament champion with its last title coming in 2014 when it beat Kentucky, 60-54. This is the Huskies’ 35th trip to the tournament, with their 1996 Sweet 16 run vacated because two players accepted plane tickets home. A penalty that would be easily avoided today.
How the Huskies Got Here
Connecticut set the tone for the entire season after starting the season with 14 straight wins, covering 11 of those games with a push. After they dropped six of their next eight games before winning 8 of 9 to end the year. Dan Hurley’s team didn’t shy away from competition, playing 13 quad-one games, finishing 7-6 in those contests.
Their signature win this season was against #2 Alabama, 82-67, in late November. At the time, the Tide was just 18th in the country before rising to become to second-best bet (+800) to win the title. UConn was an incredible 13-7 against quad one and two teams.
How Far Can The Huskies Go?
It’s not out of the question to think that the Huskies will be a Final Four Team. They have been terrific against the number and have played a schedule that will have them battle-tested come Friday. They have an offense that is virtually unstoppable when they go on a run, backed by Adama Sanogo and Jordan Hawkins who average over 16 points a game. We think there will be another surprise team coming midwest that will do them in (Texas A&M) but anticipate another terrific showing from one of the staples of college hoops.
Pitino Does It Again
It’s incredible the job that Rick Pitino has done at Iona while getting buried by the national media. Pitino’s team won the MAAC Championship with ease, punching their ticket to the school’s 16th tournament appearance and second under Pitino who will be making his 22nd trip to the postseason.
How The Gaels Got Here
Iona plays terrific team basketball, a fact reflected in their 15.3 assists per game average. To say the least, they are well-coached and will likely show up and play well against UConn to start the game. Iona ended the season with a 58-net rating. That was lower because they simply didn’t play a difficult NCAAB schedule.
Their only quad-one game was against New Mexico in mid-December, a game they lost by eight, 82-74. Their battle armor is even thinner when you consider they only played three games all season against quad one or two teams, losing all four. Iona finished the season 19-14 ATS.
How Far Will Iona Go?
Unfortunately for Iona, this will be a one-and-done season. Not since 1980 has Iona won a tournament game, losing 16 of their 17 overall. The spread is smaller than anticipated but this will simply come down to VCU being close enough with a chance to cover but under no circumstance will they advance.
Handicapping the Game
To conclude our UConn Huskies vs Iona Gaels preview by jumping into the betting numbers for each team.
UConn was terrific against the number this year, but let’s look at their season with a small filter in place. Against regular board teams, the Huskies were 15-12 ATS including the Big East Tournament. On a neutral court, they’ve covered four of five games this season, adding to a 12-8 ATS record since 2019-20 on a neutral court. Iona found themselves in an underdog role just once this season, failing to cover against New Mexico. The Huskies win this game by 15-20.
That concludes our UConn Huskies vs Iona Gaels preview, we wish you the best with this year’s tournament. (Odds change frequently, be sure to check for the most up to date changes.)
|Last Updated: 03/14/2022||Teams|
|Moneyline||Huskies -450, Gaels +340|