Connecticut vs. Indiana Expert Pick and Prediction – November 19, 2023
CONNECTICUT VS. INDIANA EXPERT PICK AND PREDICTION – NOVEMBER 19, 2023 — This is the kind of game that Indiana has been saying for years it’s good enough to win. And it’s the kind of game that Indiana has been proving for years it’s not good enough to win. The Hoosiers finally won an NCAA tournament game last year, but they were quickly dismissed by Miami in the second round.
Connecticut, of course, cut down the nets as the national champion last year. These Huskies aren’t as strong as last year’s version, but their work in progress has looked pretty good so far. Dan Hurley’s team hasn’t been scratched yet, winning all three games by at least 32 points.
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The Huskies have looked very strong inside, which could be a problem for Indiana. The Hoosiers have yet to find a real replacement for Trayce Jackson-Davis, although Kel’el Ware is off to a good start. But Indiana doesn’t really have much in the way of depth, as Mike Woodson is still trying to figure out which pieces go where.
Against Connecticut, that could be a big issue. The Huskies go deep into their bench, and they can wear down Indiana if they choose to do so. It’s going to be tough sledding for Indiana in New York.
(3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS)
(3-0 SU, 0-3 ATS)
When: Sunday, November 19 at 1 p.m. EST
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York
Public Bets: 73% on Indiana
Public Money: Unavailable
Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of November 18th, 2023.
Connecticut vs. Indiana In-Season Trends
One of Connecticut’s biggest strengths has been on full display in this young season. The Huskies love to bury teams early, and they’ve done exactly that to Stonehill, Mississippi Valley State and Northern Arizona. None was a surprise, but the Huskies didn’t allow the thought of an upset to hang around for even a half. In all three warmup games, Connecticut led by at least 17 going to the locker room.
Indiana has performed nowhere close to that level. The Hoosiers’ cast of opponents hasn’t been much better, but their biggest halftime lead was five against Wright State. In all three games, Indiana’s final margin of victory stayed within single digits.
Both teams are used to piling on points in the first half: the first half over has gone 23-13 in Connecticut’s past 36 outings and 22-14 in Indiana’s past 36.
Kel’el Ware left Oregon because of clashes with the coaching staff, and it’s hard to imagine where Indiana would be without him. At 18.3 points a game, the sophomore is leading the Hoosiers and has been the difference in every game Indiana’s played this year.
He’ll represent the toughest test the Huskies have seen inside, which means Alex Karaban gets to see if his recent surge is for real. Karaban is averaging almost double his 9.3 points per game from a year ago, but the Huskies’ competition has been admittedly suspect. Dealing with Ware should help reveal how much progress Karaban has made inside.
Connecticut’s 3-0 feels a lot stronger than Indiana’s. The Hoosiers are barely surviving against some mid-level teams, while the Huskies are blowing the doors off their opponents. Connecticut has the edge at both ends of the court, but the Huskies really make second chances hurt.
Indiana doesn’t really excel at keeping teams off the glass, which doesn’t work against Connecticut. Throw in the Hoosiers’ struggles in games like this, and this feels like another strong showing for Connecticut.
Connecticut -6 1H