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Iona vs UConn Odds & Picks – Huskies 8.5-Point Favorites Over Gaels

John Perrotto

by John Perrotto in College Basketball

Mar 16, 2023 · 1:15 PM PDT

Connecticut Huskies forward Adama Sanogo holds the ball under the hoop
Mar 4, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Connecticut Huskies forward Adama Sanogo (21) rebounds the ball in front of Villanova Wildcats forward Eric Dixon (43) during the first half at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
  • UConn is an 8.5-point favorite over Iowa in an NCAA Tournament West Region first-round game Friday in Albany, N.Y.
  • Iona carries a 14-game winning streak into March Madness
  • A look at the Iona vs UConn matchup and odds can be found below with a pick

No. 13 Iona puts its 14-game winning streak on the line when it tries to knock off No. 4 UConn in an NCAA Tournament West Region first-round game at 4:30 p.m. ET Friday at MVP Arena in Albany, N.Y.

Iona (27-8, 20-14 ATS) kept its streak going by beating Marist 76-55 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament Championship Game. The Gaels’ average margin of victory in those 14 games is 16.6 points.

UConn (25-8, 21-12 ATS) had its six-game winning streak snapped by Marquette 70-68 in overtime in the semifinals of the Big East Tournament. The Huskies have lost in the first round of the NCAAs in each of the last two seasons.

TBS will televise the game.

Iona vs UConn Odds

Team Moneyline Spread Total
Iona +360 +8.5 (+100) Over 141 (-110)
UConn -450 -8.5 (-120) Under 141 (-110)

UConn is an 8.5-point favorite over Iona and a -450 choice on the moneyline in the college basketball odds for an 81.82% implied win probability. The Huskies are listed at +1800 in the NCAA Tournament championship odds.

The winner moves on to the second round of the March Madness bracket to oppose either Saint Mary’s (26-7) or VCU (27-7).



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Iona on Long Winning Streak

Participating in March Madness for the second time in three years, Iona is led by sophomore guard Walter Clayton Jr. The Gaels missed the tournament last season despite winning 25 games.

Clayton has averages of 16.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.9 steals a game. He is second in the MAAC in steals and third in scoring.

Despite making just 5 of 20 shots from the field against Marist, Clayton had 17 points, six rebounds and four assists.

Junior guard Daniss Jenkins led Iona with 27 points and five assists, knocking down 6 of 9 three-point attempts in his second-highest scoring game of the season. He scored 22 points in the second half while notching his eighth game of 2022-23 with at least 20 points.

Jenkins leads the MAAC in assists with 4.9 a game while also averaging 15.6 points and 4.4 rebounds.

Iona had a strong defensive performance in the conference title game as it held Marist to 33.3% shooting (18 of 54), including 25% (5 of 20) on threes. The Gaels also turned 18 Red Foxes’ turnovers into 23 points.

For the season, Iona is seventh nationally in three-point defense (29.2%), 39th in overall field goal percentage allowed (40.9%) and 42nd in scoring defense (65.0).

Iona junior forward Nelly Junior Joseph is scoring 15.1 points, grabbing 9.4 rebounds and blocking 1.5 shots a game. He is second in the conference in rebounding, blocks and field goal percentage (55.1).

Senior forward Quinn Slazinski has averages of 11.3 points and 5.7 rebounds.

UConn Strong on Both Ends

An overtime dry spell cost UConn in its loss to Marquette at Madison Square Garden. The Huskies did not score in the final two minutes and had just two points in the last 3 ½ minutes.

However, junior forward Adama Sanogo had another strong performance with 19 points and 11 rebounds while making 8 of 12 shots from the field. It was his sixth double-double of the season.

Sanogo leads the Big East in scoring at 16.8 points a game and is also averaging 7.3 rebounds.

Overall, UConn is 33rd in Division I in scoring (78.5) and 45th in free throw percentage (75.4). The Huskies are just as strong defensively as they rank 15th in three-point percentage allowed (30.0), 40th in overall field goal defense (41.0%) and 43rd in scoring (65.0).

Sophomore guard Jordan Hawkins has a 16.1 scoring average, though he managed just five points against Marquette. He shot 2 of 11 overall and 1 for 8 from three-point range.

Freshman forward Alex Karaban finished with 10 points and five rebounds and senior guard Naheim Alleyne also had 10 points. UConn outrebounded Marquette 37-27.

Huskies senior guard Tristen Newton is also having a fine season with 10.2 points, 4.6 assists and 4.2 rebounds a game. His assist average ranks fifth in the Big East.

Iona vs UConn Prediction

UConn has won four games in a row against Iona, including an 80-62 victory during the 2019-20 season at home. While Iona and its winning streak under legendary coach Rick Pitino must be respected, the well-rounded Huskies have the look of a potential Final Four team and should roll.

Pick: UConn -8.5 (-120)

Season record: 32-29 (+0.2 units) ATS, 4-10 (-5.5 units) ML


Other March Madness first-round predictions:

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