With both the Aggies and Huskies loving to pound it down low, we’re expecting some sore bodies after this one. NMSU has what it takes to cover the March Madness betting spread, find out why in our New Mexico State vs. Uconn picks and predictions.
Get the ice packs ready. Bracket bettors are promised a physical Round of 64 matchup when the No. 12 New Mexico State Aggies battle the No. 5 Connecticut Huskies inside KeyBank Center in Buffalo on Thursday.
March Madness odds have UConn installed as a 7-point favorite but the blueprint for these two programs is very similar. Both enter with plenty of size around the rim and use that girth to push around opponents on both ends of the floor.
The Huskies haven’t been a great bet over the past month and a half, going 3-10-1 against the spread despite a 9-5 straight up mark in that span.
Check out our free March Madness picks and predictions for New Mexico State vs. UConn on March 17.
New Mexico State vs. UConn odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
Oddsmakers opened the Huskies between -6.5 and -7 and the spread has bounced between those two numbers since. The total hit the board at 133.5 and has since slimmed to 131.5 points.
Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until tip-off and be sure to check out the full college basketball odds before placing your bets.
New Mexico State vs UConn predictions
Predictions made on 3/15/2022 at 10:40 am ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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New Mexico State vs. UConn game info
• Lease: KeyBank Center, Buffalo, NY
• Date: Thursday, March 17, 2022
• tip-off: 6:50 p.m. ET
• TV: DTT
New Mexico State vs UConn betting preview
New Mexico State: No injuries to report.
UConn: Jordan Hawkins G (Questionable).
Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Aggies are 11-2 ATS in their last 13 games versus a team with a winning percentage above .600. Find more NCAA betting trends for New Mexico State vs. UConn.
New Mexico State vs UConn picks and predictions
Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.
Connecticut is used to having the size advantage and bullying smaller foes into submission, with pounding offense inside and sturdy rim protection on the defensive end. However, New Mexico State would love nothing more to turn this opening tournament game into a good ole “slobberknocker”.
The Aggies rank out as the 42nd biggest team in the country (just behind UConn in 39th) and attack the paint with a 2-point field goal rate of 54.2%.
They run a similar slowed-down tempo as the Huskies and also rank right alongside them in terms of protecting the interior, sitting 20th in effective field goal percentage allowed (45.5%) versus UConn at 25th in that defensive metric (45.7%).
Connecticut won’t have its usual advantage on the glass (ranked No. 8 in total rebound rate), especially on the offensive end which has helped produce 4.4 extra scoring chances per game (21st). NMSU is 19th in rebound rate (54.6%) and will take away many of those extra touches.
The Huskies do have a more versatile attack and a deeper team on offense but will find themselves in a tighter fight than bookies expect in the Round of 64.
Prediction: New Mexico State +7 (-110)
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This total is ticking down but I’m bracing for a lot of banging inside and a surplus of whistles sending both teams to the foul line.
Connecticut leans into its physicality on defense, which is it can get called for plenty of personal fouls and send foes to the free-throw line an average of 18.4 times per game. The Aggies draw more than 19 whistles an outing (29th) and attempt an average of 19.7 free throws, making almost 14 of those per game.
New Mexico State is great at plugging passing lanes and taking away those assists for points, but UConn is more versatile on offense than most WAC foes. The Huskies have three players averaging double figures in scoring and when the playbook breaks down, they can generate buckets in isolation.
A lumbering NMSU lineup struggles defending one-on-one sets and that could also keep the referees busy, sending its opponents to the stripe. Connecticut attempts just under 19 free throws a contest and makes the most of those freebies with a 75% success rate from the charity line.
This is one of the lowest totals of the opening round but all that scoring with the clock stopped will push the final Over the number on Thursday night.
Prediction: Over 131.5 (-110)
The Huskies have had issues against teams that can match their size this season. They went a collective 3-4 SU and ATS against the likes of Seton Hall, Xavier and Creighton – the three biggest teams in the Big East.
New Mexico State runs no smaller than 6-foot-4 in the starting lineup, led by scoring dynamo Teddy Allen who averages more than 19 points and almost seven rebounds per game.
In the WAC tournament, Allen went off for 25 points against a Grand Canyon defense that ranks Top-5 nationally in many defensive categories.
But what was more impressive was how the Aggies stepped up against Abilene Christian in the tournament final, with Allen limited to only 10 points in 23 minutes due to foul trouble. Guards Clayton Henry and Mario McKinney Jr. picked up the slack – scoring a collective 26 points – to secure NMSU’s bid in the March Madness tournament.
New Mexico State will fight to the end, going 4-0 ATS in all four games as an underdog this season. UConn, on the other hand, is 12-14-1 ATS when giving the points including a 1-3-1 ATS in its last five as favorites.
pick: New Mexico State +7 (-110)