Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#629 Indiana -3 vs.
#630 UConn 141.5
Tuesday, December 10, 2019 at 9:30pm EST
Written by Blake V.



#629 Indiana University
#630 University of Connecticut


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A marquee non-conference showdown will take place on Tuesday night when Indiana and Connecticut square off in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden. The Hoosiers and Huskies are two of the premier programs in college basketball, with nine national championships between the two sides. Both schools are led by young coaches, with Dan Hurley at Connecticut and Archie Miller at Indiana.

Connecticut looking for signature win

Connecticut is off to a 6-2 start this season, opening the year with a 22-point win against Sacred Heart. The Huskies’ first loss of the year came in a nine-point decision against Saint Joseph’s—a game in which Connecticut was favored by 13.5 points. Their best win of the season came in the following game, where they picked up a win against then-No. 15 Florida. Since then, the Huskies have picked up wins against Buffalo, Miami, Maine and Iona, while losing in double overtime to Xavier. They have not played a game since last Wednesday’s 80-62 victory at home against Iona, which marked their third win in a row.

The Huskies are led by senior guard Christian Vital, who is scoring 14.8 points per game. He also leads the team in rebounding with 8.3 per game and is second in assists with an average of 3.0. Vital has been one of the best shooters on the team, connecting on 15 of 43 attempts from beyond the 3-point line. Connecticut operates by committee, though, with four other players in double figures. Junior center Josh Carlton is scoring 12.4 points and grabbing 7.9 rebounds. Freshman guard James Bouknight is adding 11.4 points and 4.0 rebounds. Junior forward Tyler Polley is contributing 10.5 points per outing. Junior guard Alterique Gilbert is also in double digits, logging 10.1 points per contest. He also leads the offense with 4.6 assists per game.

Indiana hoping to bounce back

Indiana had not lost a game until Saturday, where the Hoosiers were beaten by 20 points on the road against a desperate Wisconsin team. Prior to that defeat, Indiana was 8-0, picking up wins against Western Illinois, Portland State, North Alabama, Troy, Princeton, Louisiana Tech, South Dakota State and Florida State. Outside of the Hoosiers’ 80-64 win against then-No. 17 Florida State, they had not been tested. Wisconsin provided a second-consecutive challenge—one that proved to be too much for Indiana. The Badgers did what they wanted offensively, shooting 53.6 percent from the floor. Indiana turned the ball over 12 times, while Wisconsin only gave it away four times in the game.

The Hoosiers also boast a balanced lineup, with four players averaging double digits. Senior guard Devonte Green leads the way with 14.8 points per game and 3.2 assists per game. He has been extremely efficient from the 3-point line, making 15 of 29 attempts from downtown. Green started the season on the bench with an injury, but he has played in six games since returning. Freshman forward Trayce Jackson is scoring 14.8 points per game as well, adding 8.7 rebounds per contest. Junior forward Justin Smith is adding 13.8 points and 4.8 rebounds. Junior guard Aljami Durham is scoring 13.1 points and contributing 2.9 assists. Sophomore guard Rob Phinisee is ‘doubtful’ for Tuesday’s game with an ankle injury.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:


It sounds like Rob Phinisee has does not have much of a chance to return to the court for Indiana in this game. Archie Miller hopes Phinisee can return by mid-December, but the ankle injury will likely hold him out of Tuesday’s game. The Hoosiers were able to get by the easy part of their schedule without him, but they are just 1-1 against tough opponents without his presence on the court. I think this Connecticut team has enough balance to shake the Hoosiers and pick up a win in this contest. The Huskies have been one of the most underrated teams in the country thus far, covering the spread in seven of their eight games this year. I expect that to continue at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, where Connecticut should have the crowd advantage.

Prediction: Connecticut +2.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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Both of these teams are extremely efficient on both sides of the ball and neither team plays anything other than an average pace of play. However, playing in an arena like Madison Square Garden can often-times throw off the shooting rhythm for players. I think this game is going to turn into a slug-fest, with neither team scoring the ball particularly well. The total has gone under in five of the last six games for Connecticut this season, and I expect that to continue on Tuesday. The total has also gone under in nine of the Huskies’ last 11 games against an opponent from the Big Ten conference.

Prediction: Under 141.5

Written By Blake V.

Blake is a lifelong sports fan and hoops junkie. Prior to joining our team at Winners & Whiners and StatSalt, Blake worked for several newspapers and websites. He enjoys combining his beat writing expertise with the knack for finding the winning edge in a matchup. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.