Providence head coach Ed Cooley directs his team during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against DePaul, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Shafkat Anowar)
- Connecticut (9-5, 6-5 Big East) battles Providence (11-10, 7-8 Big East) on Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 6:30pm ET
- Last week, the Friars pulled a home upset on the Huskies, winning 70-59
- The odds for the game, as well as matchup analysis and a pick, can be found in the article below
Due to COVID-19 cancellations, Connecticut is on pace to play about 10 fewer games than it did last season. For a bubble team hoping to make the NCAA tournament, that means every game counts even more than usual.
On Tuesday, Feb. 16, UConn has a chance to avenge last week’s loss to Providence (tip off at 6:30pm ET) and retain a winning record in the Big East conference. The Friars, meanwhile, are looking to get back to .500 in conference play and to string three wins together for the first time since December.
Providence vs UConn Odds
|Providence||+5.5 (-110)||+195||Ov 133 (-110)|
|UConn||-5.5 (-110)||-245||Un 133 (-110)|
Odds as of Feb. 15th.
How They’ve Fared Recently
UConn is just 2-4 in games played over the past month, but that includes some tightly contested games against formidable conference foes. First, the Huskies lost by four to St. John’s (67th in KenPom); then, they lost by eight to #19 Creighton; their other losses came against Seton Hall (33rd in KenPom) and, of course, Providence (more on that one in a bit).
On the positive side, UConn’s most recent matchup was a road win against Xavier (52nd in KenPom), 80-72. R.J. Cole came off the bench to score 24 points, which included 5-of-7 shooting from 3-point range.
Leaving RJ Cole open is a bold strategy, Cotton. pic.twitter.com/b3cDL19jSo
— #BIGEASThoops (@BIGEASTMBB) February 13, 2021
What you need to know about UConn is this: they are a long, athletic team (55th in NCAA Division I in average height) that loves to rebound and swat shots. They rank eighth in D-I in offensive rebound rate (36.4%) and fourth in defensive block rate (15.8%).
Providence is an even taller team (28th in average height), but they aren’t as well known for offensive rebounds or blocks. No, the Friars make their hay in limiting their own mistakes (27th in non-steal turnover rate, 7.9%) and defending the 3-point shot (47th in D-I, 30.6%).
The Friars are 4-4 in the past month, knocking off Creighton but also losing to Seton Hall, St. John’s and Georgetown (97th in KenPom). They have compiled a pair of double-digit victories of late, first against UConn and then against DePaul. Providence held DePaul to 47 points on Saturday, a season-low allowed by the Friars.
UConn is 10-4 against the spread overall, with a 4-3 ATS record at home. The Huskies have covered in seven of their past 10, but they are just 1-2 ATS as the favorites recently. There is no over/under trend to speak of with UConn.
Martin spin cycle🌪️🌪️🌪️#ThisIsUConn | #PullTheSled pic.twitter.com/lVo3R4O6X0
— UConn Men’s Basketball (@UConnMBB) February 13, 2021
Providence is 10-11 ATS this season, including a 5-4 ATS mark on the road. They have covered in consecutive games after losing ATS in their previous three. Six of the Friars’ past eight games have finished under the projected point total.
Last week’s matchup between UConn and Providence — won by Providence, 70-59, as 2.5-point underdogs — was the first meeting between these schools since 2013. For obvious reasons, we’re only going to focus on that one.
The Friars earned an 11-point win over UConn as the two teams met for the first time in eight years
Read >>> https://t.co/aiaLg44wX7 pic.twitter.com/FrA4OEfoqX
— PC Men’s Basketball (@PCFriarsmbb) February 11, 2021
The Friars won the rebound battle (plus-five), committed only four non-steal turnovers and held UConn to 20% shooting from 3-point range. In other words, the game went exactly how they wanted it to go.
Pick: Providence +5.5 (-110)
Jordan Horrobin is a sports journalist whose MLB, NHL, NFL and NCAA work has appeared in outlets such as The Athletic, MLB.com, the Detroit Free Press and more. He is currently based in Toronto, also working as a contributor for Forbes.com and a freelance editor for Sportsnet.