The Connecticut Huskies and Iona Gaels are both familiar with the postseason, but one of them will take a step forward Friday when they meet in the first round of the 2023 NCAA Tournament. The No. 4-seeded Huskies (25-8) have reached the NCAA Tournament in each of the past two seasons and the No. 13-seeded Gaels (27-7) will be playing in the Big Dance for the second time in the past three years. However, neither program has advanced past the first round in that span, but now one of them is guaranteed to reach the second-round milestone.
Tipoff is slated for 4:30 p.m. ET. The Huskies are favored by 9.5 points and the over/under for total points scored is 141 in the latest Iona vs. UConn odds from Caesars Sportsbook. Before locking in any Iona vs. UConn picks, make sure you see the college basketball predictions and March Madness betting advice from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. The model enters the 2023 NCAA Tournament 79-53 on all-top rated college basketball picks this season, returning nearly $1,300 for $100 players. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has zeroed in on Iona vs. UConn and just locked in its picks and March Madness predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see the model's picks. Here are several college basketball odds and trends for UConn vs. Iona:
- Iona vs. UConn point spread: UConn -9.5
- Iona vs. UConn over/under total: 141 points
- Iona vs. UConn money line: UConn -440, Iona +350
- IONA: The Gaels are 10-3 against the spread in their past 13 games overall
- UCONN: The Huskies are 16-6 ATS in their past 22 NCAA Tournament games
- Iona vs. UConn picks: See picks at SportsLine
Why UConn can cover
The Huskies have size, depth and experience across their roster. This combination made them one of the toughest teams in the Big East, and those advantages should be enhanced against a smaller-conference opponent. Junior forward Adama Sanogo has been a nightmare matchup for opponents all season. The versatile 6-9 specimen was just named to the Big East's first team all-conference after posting averages of 16.8 points and 7.3 rebounds while shooting 59.4% from the field. He also shoots 35.4% from 3-point range and 78% at the free-throw line.
The Huskies have a rotation of nine players who see the court for at least 14 minutes per game, and all have seen action in at least 30 games. Moreover, they remain fresh in part because none average more than 30 minutes per game. UConn also rates to have a major edge in the paint and on the boards. The Huskies rank No. 12 nationally with 39 rebounds per contest, while the Gaels grab 35.7 per game.
Why Iona can cover
By this time of the season, any team with a winning streak such as Iona's has become accustomed to coming out on top and developed a belief system that it can compete with any opponent. Pitino is noted for being a masterful technician at forming a game plan on short notice. The Gaels have a lineup that is conducive to success in the NCAA Tournament, starting with a prolific and efficient backcourt.
Sophomore Walter Clayton Jr. leads the way with 16.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. He shoots 42.9% from 3-point range and 95% from the free-throw line. Clayton and forward Nelly Junior Joseph were recently named first-team all MAAC. Joseph averages 15.1 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.5 blocks. The 6-9, 240-pound junior will be counted on to neutralize UConn's size in the paint. Iona shares the ball well and averages 15 assists per contest, led by guard Daniss Jenkins with 4.9 per game.
How to make Iona vs. UConn picks
The model is leaning Over on the point total, projecting the teams to combine for 144 points. It also says one side of the spread hits well over 60% of the time. You can only see the model's pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Iona vs. UConn? And which side of the spread hits well over 60% of the time? Visit SportsLine right now to see which side of the spread you need to jump on Friday, all from the computer model that has crushed its college basketball picks, and find out.