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UMass Lowell vs Hartford – Odds & Picks for America East Championship Game

Chris Amberley

by Chris Amberley in College Basketball

Updated Mar 12, 2021 · 4:47 PM PST

D.J. Mitchell
Hartford's D.J. Mitchell dribbles the ball under pressure from Villanova's Justin Moore, right, in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, in Uncasville, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
  • Hartford is a 2-point favorite over UMass Lowell in the America East Championship Game on Saturday (March 13th, 11 am ET)
  • Both programs are seeking their first ever NCAA Tournament appearance
  • See below for analysis, odds and a betting prediction

The America East Conference will produce a first-time champion this year, as both Hartford and UMass Lowell will be seeking their inaugural conference title when they clash on Saturday (March 13th, 11 am ET). Both programs are coming off upset victories in the semifinals, and Saturday’s matchup will mark the first ever America East Championship game without either of the top-two seeds.

UMass Lowell vs Hartford Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
UMass Lowell River Hawks +2.0 (-110) OFF Over 135.5 (-110)
Hartford Hawks -2.0 (-110) OFF Under 135.5 (-110)

Odds taken March 12th.

Hartford (14-8, 8-6 Am. East) opened up as a 2-point favorite, in a game that features a total of 135.5. The Hawks entered the tournament as the 4th seed, while UMass (11-11, 7-8 Am. East) was seeded 6th. This will be third consecutive year these two programs have met in the America East tournament, with Hartford winning in the quarterfinals in 2019 and 2020.

Hartford Takes Down Vermont

The Hawks opened up the conference tournament by blowing out Binghamton, and followed that up with another double-digit win over Albany. They squared off against the 2-seed Vermont in the semis, and promptly upset the Catamounts 71-65 as a 9.5-point underdog.

This will be the second straight year they’ve reached the America East Championship game, but last year’s final was wiped out due to COVID. Austin Williams led the way versus UVM with 25 points and 9 boards, while Traci Carter added 22. Hartford shot a ridiculous 62.8% from the field, including 52.6% from beyond the arc, and won the rebounding battle handily.

Defensively, they held Vermont to one of its lowest point totals over the last month, which isn’t a major surprise since defense is the Hawks’ calling card. They rank second in the conference in points allowed, and are tops at defending the three-point line.

Now, they’re just a win away from their first ever NCAA Tournament appearance, the same of which can be said for UMass Lowell.

River Hawks On an Amazing Run

After knocking off Stony Brook to begin the tournament, UMass Lowell has racked up upset wins against the 3rd seed New Hampshire and most recently over top seed UMBC. The River Hawks trailed for most of the second of half of the semifinal versus the Retrievers, but a late three-ball by Connor Withers followed by some clutch free throw shooting helped them squeak by with a 79-77 victory.

Withers led the way against UMBC with a career-high 28, including 9 triples, while Obadiah Noel poured in 22. UMass Lowell shot 50% from the field, 48% from beyond the arc, and committed just 9 turnovers en route to the win. Solid offensive efficiency is nothing new for the River Hawks, as they ranked second in the America East in points per game and field-goal percentage, and first from three-point land.

They’re looking to become the lowest seed ever to win the America East Tournament, but if their last performance against Hartford is any indication, that may be easier said than done.

Hartford Is March Madness Bound

These two programs met twice in UMass Lowell’s building this year, with both teams earning a win. The second game was a complete blowout, as the Hawks shot 48% from the field and forced 19 turnovers, in a 17-point victory. Hartford has since gone on to win six of its last nine games, and they haven’t just been beating the number, they’ve been obliterating it.

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They’re 6-3 ATS over that stretch, and 4-0 in their last four contests. They’ve covered by an average of 11.4 points in those outings, so asking them to cover just 2-points on Saturday feels like a steal.

Yes, the River Hawks are also undefeated ATS in this tournament, but after being robbed of a March Madness berth last season (thanks COVID), Hartford won’t be denied again in 2021.

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