Final Score: UConn 75 – Providence 71
NCAAB Pick: Providence +7.5 (-108) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)
What did you give up for Lent? Hope it wasn’t college basketball since there’s a key Big East clash between Providence and UConn on Wednesday that we have a couple of free NCAAB picks for.
Providence Friars vs. UConn Huskies
Wednesday, February 22, 2023 – 06:30 PM EST at Gampel Pavilion
There was a lot of bark associated with the Connecticut Huskies heading into the season when the team was picked among the favorites on the NCAAB futures to win the Big East. The Huskies even howled their way up to No. 2 in the nation thanks to a 14-0 start.
But after a 3-0 start in conference play, the rest of the Big East found ways to muzzle Dan Hurley and the Huskies, leaving UConn having to fight for a first-round bye in the conference tourney in advance of a clash with Providence on the Hump Day college hoops slate.
Providence still has designs on winning the Big East regular season title and the top seed for the tournament that goes with it, and Ed Cooley’s crew is just a game behind Marquette for those honors. The Huskies are still mathematically in the hunt for a share of the crown but need the dominos to fall just right.
Rivalry History & Betting Trends
Cooley and his crew will be seeking a season sweep of UConn. The Friars hung a 73-61 number on the Huskies in early January, breaking away from a close game six minutes into the second half behind Bryce Hopkins’ 27 points. The Friars were 5.5-point home underdogs.
The two rivals were limited to just one game last season due to the lingering coronavirus, and that meeting took place down Interstate 384 in Hartford where the Friars pulled off another upset with a 57-53 triumph getting 7.5 from top sportsbooks.
It has been a little more than two years since Providence and Connecticut took the floor at Gampel Pavilion, and the Huskies emerged victorious both straight up and against the spread with a 73-61 decision in that February 2021 contest.
- UConn has a 45-31 advantage in the all-time series with Providence.
- The Friars and Huskies have split their last 10 meetings, each side also going 5-5 ATS in that span.
- ‘Under’ bettors have cashed 3 of the last 4 games played in either Storrs or Hartford.
Friars Have Dropped 4 of Last 5 Big East Roadies
Providence is coming off a good week at home. The Friars opened with an important 94-86 win over Creighton on Valentine’s Day, the game going to double overtime before matters were resolved. Bookmaker (visit our Bookmaker Review) closed Providence on a +1 spread.
Devin Carter led a trio of Friars in the 20+ points column by scoring a career-best 25. Creighton simply ran out of steam in the contest, scoring just 2 points in the second overtime period. The win lifted Providence into a tie for third in the Big East.
The Friars moved up into a three-way tie for second place with the ensuing 85-72 win over Villanova on Saturday. Providence withstood a challenge by the Wildcats early in the second half. Ed Croswell and Bryce Hopkins each posted double-doubles in the victory.
It was the 10th double-double for this season for Hopkins, who is tied with Adama Sanogo for the Big East lead in scoring (16.9 ppg) and second in rebounding (9.3 rpg).
UConn Leads Big East Allowing 64.3 PPG
It was a light schedule for Hurley and the Huskies who had just one game last week. They made good on the lone trip to the floor by using a 14-0 run in the second half on Saturday to dump Seton Hall, 64-55.
While the triumph didn’t have quite enough to cash for UConn backers, who were giving up 11-11.5 on the college basketball odds, the victory did allow the Huskies to move a game in front of the Pirates for the all-important No. 5 slot in the Big East standings.
Foul trouble kept Sanogo on the bench and limited the 6-9 junior to just 8 points, stopping a string of 12 consecutive games in which he’d scored 10+. Connecticut struggled from beyond the arc by making just 4-of-22 following a 7-of-27 effort in a loss at Creighton.
Spread Too Large, Total Just Right
It’s an early tip on FS1, and the best US betting sites have UConn favored by 7.5 with 144 for the total in the matchup. Both teams have 20-7 records and similar ATS marks, with the biggest difference being the Friars are 13-14 O/U while the Huskies run 16-11.
The total appears spot on, so I’ll lean to the high side there while taking the points in a close, but much-needed, win for the Huskies.
Final Score: UConn 75 - Providence 71
NCAAB Pick: Providence +7.5 (-108) at Heritage Sports
NCAAB Pick: Over 143 (-108) at Heritage Sports
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.