The Miami Hurricanes face off against the UConn Huskies in the Final Four tonight.
The Canes come in off impressive upset wins against the two highest seeds in the Midwest Region — causing March Madness odds mayhem — while the Huskies have been destroying opponents throughout the NCAA Tournament.
Oddsmakers are expecting the Huskies to cruise to victory again with college basketball odds opening with them as 5.5-point favorites for this showdown at NRG Stadium in Houston. Here are my best free Miami vs. UConn college basketball picks for April 1.
And for more great betting angles, be sure to check out Ed Scimia's Miami vs. UConn SGP picks!
Miami vs UConn best odds
Miami vs UConn picks and predictions
Coming into the NCAA tournament, one of the knocks against the UConn Huskies was its lack of a true lead guard. That criticism has been put to rest by point forward Andre Jackson Jr. who has taken over as the Huskies' top facilitator.
Jackson is averaging 4.7 assists per game this season and has been better utilized by head coach Dan Hurley since the start of March — upping that number to 6.6 apg. He's coming off a game against Gonzaga where he racked up 10 assists without a single turnover.
He has now dropped at least seven dimes in every game during the tournament and should be poised for another strong performance against a Miami team that struggles to defend and ranks 296th in the country in opponent assists per game (14.4).
My best bet: Andre Jackson Over 5.5 assists (-115 at bet365)
Looking to bet on March Madness action? Here are two of the best bonuses* available:
A) San Diego State and UConn both to win BOOSTED to +250 (was +143) at Betway! Bet Now
B) Get a 25% profit boost on one Final Four bet at Caesars! Opt-in Now
*Eligible USA locations only. Also, check out our full list of best March Madness promotions for 2023.
21+. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.
Miami vs UConn spread analysis
The Huskies have been steamrolling opponents this tourney and are now the odds-on favorites to win the national title at -125. They've beaten every opponent during the NCAA tournament by at least 15 points and are coming off an 82-54 rout of No. 3 seed Gonzaga in the Elite Eight.
UConn also looked like the best team in the country at the start of the season but hit a snag when conference play began. They've since gotten back on track going 13-2 straight up and 12-3 against the spread in their last 15 games. The only losses during that span came in one-possession games against Big East champs Marquette and on the road against a Creighton side that made the Elite Eight.
The Miami Hurricanes finished in first place in the ACC during the regular season but haven't gotten respect from oddsmakers during the tourney. They were a trendy team to fade in the opening round but covered against No. 12 seed Drake as slim 2.5-point faves despite horrific shooting from their typically reliable scoring threats.
Miami hammered Indiana 85-69 as a 1.5-point pup in the second round before knocking off top-seeded Houston in the Sweet 16 by a final score of 89-75. The Canes entered their Elite Eight matchup with Texas as 3.5-point underdogs but stormed back from a 13-point halftime deficit to win 88-81.
Both of these squads have elite offenses with UConn third in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency according to KenPom and Miami ranked fifth. However, the Huskies are far better on the other end of the floor where they rank 11th in adjusted defensive efficiency compared to the Hurricanes at 104th.
The Canes will have a tough time containing UConn guard Jordan Hawkins who averages 16.3 ppg on 41/39/89 shooting splits. They'll hope that big man Norchad Omier (13.3 points and 10.1 rebounds per game) is able to slow down Final Four MOP favorite Adama Sanogo (17.1 ppg, 7.5 rpg) in the paint.
Miami has four players averaging more than 13 ppg, led by Isaiah Wong (16.2 ppg on 45/38/84 shooting) and Jordan Miller (15.4 ppg, 54.9 FG%).
Miami vs UConn Over/Under analysis
This is a pretty high total when you consider how stingy the Huskies are on defense and their below-average pace (204th in the country in adjusted tempo). That said, both teams have been filling up the hoop and the Huskies have been sucked into faster-paced contests against teams that like to run.
Six Huskies games against fast-paced, high-scoring teams in the Big East in Marquette, Xavier, and Saint John's all saw final scores of at least 156 points.
The Hurricanes can push the pace and are 15th in the country in scoring against Div 1 foes (79.6 ppg) while ranking 10th in field goal percentage (48.2%). Their ability to spread the floor, move the ball, and get buckets from multiple weapons have helped them score more than 80 points in their last three games despite facing some stingy defenses during that span.
The Huskies have also been torching strong defensive teams during this tourney. They scored 87 points against an Iona team that allows 65.6 ppg, shot 54% from the floor against Saint Mary's (eighth in the country in adjusted defense), and then dropped 88 points on Arkansas (16th in adjusted defense) in the Sweet 16.
It's little surprise that they scored 82 points against a mediocre Gonzaga defense in the Elite Eight and now they face another weak defensive squad in the Hurricanes who rank outside the Top 200 in opponent effective field goal percentage (51%).
Miami vs UConn betting trend to know
The Under is 6-2 in Miami's last eight games versus a team with a winning record while going 6-1 in UConn's previous seven against opponents with a winning record. Find more college basketball betting trends for Miami vs. UConn.
Miami vs UConn game info
|Location:||NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas|
|Date:||Saturday, April 1, 2023|
|Tip-off:||8:49 p.m. ET|