NCAA Basketball Picks: Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Connecticut Huskies

Cincinnati Bearcats at Connecticut Huskies
Thursday, 2/21/13, 7:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPN
Opening Point Spread:  Connecticut -1
Current Betting Line:  Cincinnati -1
Opening Total:  126.5
Current Total:  127
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Connecticut Huskies are 4-3 ATS as underdogs this year
The Connecticut Huskies are 4-3 ATS as underdogs this year

Cincinnati has dropped three of its last four games, including a 62-55 setback to the Georgetown Hoyas as four-point home favorites last Friday night, while going UNDER the total for the seventh consecutive contest.  The Bearcats have won 13 of their last 17 games away from Fifth Third Arena, while going 19-0 when scoring 61 or more points this season.  The team has three players averaging in double figures, with junior guard Sean Kilpatrick leading the way, scoring 18.0 points per game.  Cincinnati is 3-1 ATS as road favorites of three points or less the last two-plus seasons, which is important to consider when looking over the college basketball betting lines Thursday night.

The Bearcats earned an exciting 70-67 win over the Huskies last season in Storrs, with Kilpatrick making a three-pointer with 2.7 seconds remaining.  He joins up with JaQuon Parker and Cashmere Wright to account for 59.9 percent of the team’s scoring this season.  The program ranks 17th in the country in field-goal percentage defense, while limiting foes to 29.9 percent shooting from the 3-point area.

Connecticut has won five of its last seven games, as it attempts to bounce back from a disappointing 70-61 defeat to the Villanova Wildcats as 4.5-point home favorites last Saturday, while going UNDER the total for a second consecutive contest.  The Huskies are led by their guard tandem of Ryan Boatright and Shabazz Napier, with the duo combining to score 31.7 points per game.  Connecticut is 4-3 ATS as an underdog this year, with the UNDER going 5-2 in that situation.

The Huskies are 231-85 in 316 regular-season games at the XL Center, which includes a 6-2 mark during the 2012-13 campaign.  During Big East Conference action, Boatright, Napier and freshman Omar Calhoun are combining to average 42.9 points per game, which is fourth-highest in the league behind trios from Syracuse, DePaul and Providence.

Sports bettors will likely back the Bearcats due to their 20-8 ATS mark on the road, while the home team is 1-5 ATS in the last six meetings in this series.

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