- UConn and NC State put their unbeaten records on the line Saturday at noon at the neutral site Mohegan Sun Arena
- The Huskies are coming off a tight win over a solid USC squad, while the Wolfpack have dominated three inferior opponents
- The odds for the game, as well as matchup analysis and a pick, can be found in the article below
In Connecticut’s last battle of unbeaten teams, the Huskies emerged victorious, edging USC 61-58. They’ll hope for a similar result on Saturday at noon ET, when they face NC State at the neutral site Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.
Neither team has been able to prove much yet — five of their six combined wins come against teams outside KenPom’s top 200 — but hey, wins are wins.
Here’s how the current odds look for this matchup, which is expected to be well contested on both sides.
UConn vs NC State Odds
|Team||Moneyline||Point Spread||Over/Under Total|
|UConn||-104||+1.5 (-120)||Over 143.5 (-114)|
|NC State||-112||-1.5 (-102)||Under 143.5 (-106)|
Odds taken Dec. 4 at FanDuel.
How They’ve Fared So Far
Both teams are 3-0, which is pretty much all that matters. Neither side has had to taste the bitterness of defeat.
But when looking at who they’ve played, UConn holds a bit of an edge, having just beaten USC (ranked No. 51 by Ken Pom). The Huskies won, 61-58, grabbing the lead with about seven minutes left in the first half and never relinquishing it.
Sounds impressive, right? At the same time, UConn scored only five points in the final 14 minutes of the game. That’s quite the opposite of impressive, but they held on — thanks in part to the Trojan’s 3-of-19 3-pt. shooting.
NC State has had no such trouble closing games or winning with conviction. All three of the Wolfpack’s wins have come by 30-plus points. It’s important to note, however, that their highest ranked opponent on Ken Pom is No. 224 UMass Lowell.
NC State is a perfect 3-0 against the spread this season, and they’ve actually won five straight ATS when extending back into the tail end of last season. The Wolfpack are 0-7 ATS in their past seven Saturday games, but that seems awfully trivial.
BIG dub in Bubbleville for @PackMensBball:
D. Daniels – 18 pts
J. Hellems – 17 pts
C. Hayes – 17 pts
— ACC Men’s Basketball (@accmbb) December 4, 2020
UConn is 2-1 ATS this year, with five ATS wins in their past seven games dating back to last season. The Huskies like the neutral site games, it seems, winning ATS in four of their past five.
This game feels primed for the under, as both teams have hit the under in two of their three matchups this season. The under happens to be 5-1 in UConn’s past six neutral site games; it’s also happens to be 5-1 in NC State’s past six games following a win.
Who To Watch For
Ahead of UConn’s matchup against USC, we highlighted Huskies senior forward Isaiah Whaley as the player to watch, given his do-it-all abilities. And he did come through against the Trojans, with 10 points, five rebounds and five blocks — but somebody else stood out even more.
James Bouknight, an all-freshmen guard in his conference last season, stepped up to lead all players with 18 points (including 3-of-6 3-pt. shooting) and added seven rebounds and two assists. He was an ugly 2-of-9 on 2-pt. shooting, but made up for it from long range. Bouknight has averaged 14 shots per game so far this season, which means he’ll likely dictate how successful the offense is on a given day.
James Bouknight is putting in work for UConn ? @jam3s210
The sophomore is averaging 18.7 PTS and 6.3 REB, leading the Huskies to a 3-0 start to the season. pic.twitter.com/bhfizZma9e
— B/R Hoops (@brhoops) December 4, 2020
For NC State, the standout right now is senior guard Devon Daniels, averaging 18 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. The Wolfpack haven’t need to lean on a particular scorer so far, given that all their victories came in blowout fashion, but that figures to change against the Huskies.
UConn’s Slow Finish Is Concerning
We’re looking at two good teams here, so if you think UConn’s strength of schedule is the differentiator, so be it. But the Huskies really limped to the finish line against USC, and that wouldn’t instill much confidence in me as a bettor.
That’s why we’ll lean with NC State on the moneyline, plus the under.
Pick: NC State Moneyline (-112); Under 143.5 (-106)