UConn Vs. Purdue March Madness Betting Odds: National Championship Expert Picks & Predictions

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Written By Eli Hershkovich | Last Updated
UConn Purdue Picks

In the finale of March Madness odds, the national championship game between UConn and Purdue features a battle of No. 1 seeds. This article aims to help bettors with price discovery and handicapping national odds for the point spreadmoneyline, and total while shopping at the best betting sites. Let’s dissect my UConn vs. Purdue picks.

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UConn vs. purdue picks: spread, moneyline, total

Per the odds table above, UConn’s spread odds are after opening as 5.5-point favorites. The initial spread matched the look-ahead line. The most appealing Purdue moneyline odds are . Elsewhere, the total is .

This spread is the biggest among national championship games with No. 1 seeds since 1999 — when Jim Calhoun’s UConn Huskies upset Duke as a 9.5-point underdog.

Will UConn Make History?

After pulling away against Alabama on Saturday night, Connecticut has covered 11 consecutive NCAA tournament tilts. By accomplishing this same feat versus Purdue, the Huskies would be the first team in March Madness history to win two straight titles while covering every game.

With that in mind, oddsmakers have shaded toward the white-hot Huskies. Otherwise, they would mostly see one-way action. For context, my raw numbers make UConn around a four-point favorite. Our partner Haslametrics forecasts a tighter affair with a 72.4-70.1 projection, marginally favoring the Huskies on the moneyline.

When Purdue Has The Ball

On the surface, UConn center Donovan Clingan should have a shot to stymie the likely two-time Wooden Award winner. Per Synergy, the 7-foot-2 Clingan is surrendering just 0.29 points per possession (PPP) on post-up attempts in the NCAA tournament.

The Huskies have also been excellent at digging with the weak side defender in these situations, allowing their defense to rotate over and contest a potential jumper. Granted, Zach Edey is a different beast, especially given his knack for repositioning himself mid-possession.

Despite Clingan’s dominance over the last two matchups, there’s a path to early foul trouble when he’s in single coverage and pick-and-roll sets against Edey. During UConn’s last loss at Creighton, Bluejays coach Greg McDermott attacked Clingan with the latter action via the 7-foot-1 Ryan Kalkbrenner, pinning Clingan to the bench.

Additionally, both teams use their centers in drop coverage, setting up scoring opportunities in the middle of the floor. Purdue ranks in the second percentile of opponents’ mid-range frequency, with UConn in the 21st percentile (via CBB Analytics). At the other end, they cash in at an above-average clip.

Whether UConn throws defensive pest Stephon Castle on Braden Smith or Lance Jones, I expect the other will score above the market’s expectations, given their proficiency in this area. Smith is more effective on paper, but my hunch is Castle will face guard Smith, as he did versus Alabama point guard Mark Sears. Smith has compiled a 21.6% turnover rate, accentuating his struggles against ball pressure and athletic foes.

Thus, I’ve bet 0.40 units on Jones going over 10.5 points. The best odds currently available are . I nabbed -110 on Sunday night, which you’ll see in TheLines.com’s free Discord channel.

When UConn Has The Ball

Dan Hurley’s team has shredded its opponents in various ways. The Huskies average 1.22 points per possession (PPP) in transition, and their half-court offense has handled its fair share of the load throughout the NCAA tournament. However, they have faced several subpar defenses, including the Crimson Tide in the Final Four.

That is not to say the Huskies have no clear path to success. Their patented dribble handoffs can pull Edey away from the rim, giving way to open shots from within and outside the arc. Cam Spencer, whose points prop is lined at , is in the 98th percentile of mid-range efficiency. That’s notable versus Edey in drop coverage.

Nevertheless, outside of the banged-up Northwestern Wildcats, none of UConn’s opponents have attempted to dictate a slower tempo. If Purdue does its job offensively, the Huskies won’t have as many opportunities to push the pace.

According to Haslametrics, the Boilermakers own the fifth-rated adjusted defensive efficiency across college basketball. They’re arguably the Huskies’ toughest defensive test yet. Like the aforementioned Creighton Bluejays, Edey and his teammates are adept at avoiding foul trouble. That’s promising against Clingan, Castle, and Tristen Newton—the first-team All-American point guard—who have all navigated to the free-throw line when UConn’s 3-point looks haven’t fallen this month.

Moreover, throughout March Madness, Clingan has tallied 14 points per game in the paint. For the first time, he is at a size disadvantage versus Edey, making his points prop of appealing to the under. Even if he stays out of foul trouble, he isn’t suited for a 40-minute workload, which is the opposite of Edey.

UConn – Purdue Picks

Along with Jones and Clingan’s props, I wagered a half-unit on Purdue to win outright at +235 ML. The best price available is . I also tossed some pizza money on Jones to win Final Four Most Outstanding Player at 60-1. Jones’ two-way presence should have a big impact if the Boilermakers cut down the nets and Edey doesn’t light up Clingan.

WagerUnits
Purdue ML (+250)0.50
Clingan under 13.5 points (-105)0.50
Jones over 10.5 points (-110)0.40
Jones To Win Final Four MOP (+6000)0.03

uconn vs. purdue: Player Props

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