Purdue vs UConn Predictions, Picks, and Odds for Tonight's National Championship Game

While Tristen Newton's shots haven't been falling, his playmaking remains the catalyst for UConn's offensive success. We break down his impact in our Purdue vs. UConn National Championship Game betting picks below.

Last Updated: Apr 8, 2024 6:20 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Tristen Newton UConn Huskies Big East March Madness
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

It's bittersweet. Yes, we get the excitement of crowning a new national title winner, but tonight's matchup between the UConn Huskies and Purdue Boilermakers also signals the end of March Madness picks for another season.

I guess if we’re going to close out one of the most exciting sporting events on the sports betting calendar, we’re doing it in style; these top-tier programs seemed destined to collide in the final all season and the signs point to this being an excellent matchup.

Oddsmakers have Connecticut set as a 6.5-point favorite over Purdue in Glendale, Arizona, but my best bet comes from diving into the Purdue vs. UConn props — see exactly who I'm targeting, along with my favorite SGP, in my Purdue vs. UConn predictions for tonight.

Purdue vs UConn picks and predictions

My best bet: Tristen Newton Over 5.5 assists (-120 at Pinnacle)

The UConn Huskies are a healthy favorite in the March Madness odds for Monday’s National Championship Game against the Purdue Boilermakers, not just because the Huskies dominated the field during their return to the title game (average margin of +25 points), but because they’ve been here before.

As the defending champ, Connecticut also owns the edge in experience, with guys like senior guard Tristen Newton setting the course for UConn.

He won’t be rattled by the pressure and has been able to impact the Huskies’ outcomes in so many ways, including making plays. His shooting has been a mess the past two contests (combined 4-for-17 from the field) but his ability to facilitate the offense and set up UConn’s other scores is constant.

The Bob Cousy Award winner finished with nine assists in the win over Alabama in the Final Four and is averaging more than seven assists over the five March Madness games. For the season, Newton dished out 6.2 dimes per outing and that’s where his Over/Under assist prop sits for Monday’s matchup.

College basketball odds are dealing Newton’s assist total as high as 6.5 (Under -158) while other shops are at 5.5 (Over -120). That's where my college basketball picks are looking.

Player projections for the title game have Newton forecasted for 6.4 helpers over 32 minutes. Considering he’s likely to log 35+ minutes in the tightest game UConn has played all March (he played 35 minutes vs. Alabama), Newton’s ceiling on assists is north of seven.

This run-in with Purdue won’t be played at the same up-and-down pace as facing Alabama, but the Huskies’ offensive game plan can poke holes in the soft spots of the Boilermakers defense.

Connecticut is one of the best attacks in the land at creating scoring chances off cuts, ranked No. 4 in points per play and running those sets at the 52nd highest rate in the country, according to ShotQualityBets.

The Huskies also light it up with their off-screen sets (No. 8 in PPP at 17th highest play rate) — all of which are facilitated by Newton’s passing prowess. It's the reason UConn sits No. 3 in average assists per game (18.7) in the country and boasts the fifth-highest assist-to-FGM ratio in the land (63.6%).

Purdue, conversely, can struggle against that ball movement. The Boilermakers, who give up more than 14 assists an outing (279th) and allow an assist-to-FGM rate ranked 281st (54.7%), find themselves ranked 168th and 107th in points allowed per play vs. cutting and off-screen schemes. 

As mentioned, Newton’s shooting touch has wavered in recent games, but his playmaking is the constant Connecticut needs to become the first back-to-back title winner since 2007.

He’s logged 6+ assists in three of the five tournament games and surpassed that bar in 10 of his last 18 appearances.

Purdue vs UConn same-game parlay

Tristen Newton 5+ assists

Cam Spencer 15+ points

Lance Jones 2+ made threes

UConn moneyline

Newton is at the wheel of the UConn attack and has dished out 5+ assists in 10 of his last 12 games overall.

With Zach Edey clogging up the middle, UConn will need to rely on perimeter players to make shots. Spencer is shooting the ball well and will see extra touches on those kickouts.

With both teams packing the paint, guys like Lance Jones will get plenty of space from outside. He shot 4-for-9 from distance against NC State and has made 2+ triples in four of five tournament games.

The spread says UConn and the game models all give the Huskies the nod, some in a closer contest. To me, Connecticut is much more adaptable than Purdue with more options on offense.

Learn how to bet a same-game parlay with these helpful tips and strategies.

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Purdue vs UConn best odds

Purdue vs UConn spread and Over/Under analysis

  • Even before Saturday’s Final Four games were played, oddsmakers had lines for the potential title game matchups open for wagering, with UConn set as a 5.5-point favorites over Purdue. After the Huskies closed out Alabama, books opened UConn between -6 and -6.5.

  • Connecticut and Purdue opened among the front runners to win the 2024 national title back in the fall, with the Huskies at +1,200 and the Boilermaker at +1,800, according to BetMGM. Heading into Monday, the moneyline odds for the national title game have UConn around a -300 favorite with Purdue coming back between +210 and +230 to win outright.

  • Monday’s Over/Under total opened at 146.5 points and has come down to 145.5 at some books with early action on the Under. Purdue has played Under in its last three games and is 2-5 O/U in the postseason. UConn has gone Under in all five tournament games and is 1-7 O/U in its last eight outings.

  • Covers Consensus data shows 60% of picks laying the points with the Huskies in the National Championship Game. As for the total, 59% of picks are taking the Over as of Monday morning.

Purdue vs UConn betting trend to know

UConn has covered the spread in 24 of its last 32 games (+15.15 units). Find more college basketball betting trends for Purdue vs. UConn.

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Purdue vs UConn game info

Location: State Farm Stadium, Glendale, AZ
Date: Monday, April 8, 2024
Tip-off: 9:20 p.m. ET

Purdue vs UConn key injuries

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