With Aggies and Huskies loving to pound it, 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.
Prepare the ice packs. Bracket bettors are promised a physical matchup in the round of 64 when the No. 12 New Mexico State Aggies take on 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 plan for these two programs is very similar. Both come in with plenty of size around the edge and use that girth to push opponents off at both ends of the floor.
The Huskies haven’t been a good bet over the past month and a half, going 3-10-1 ATS despite going 9-5 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 regulated sports betting market.
Bettors opened the Huskies between -6.5 and -7 and the spread has bounced between those two numbers ever since. The total hit the chart at 133.5 and has since fallen to 131.5 points.
Use the live odds widget above to track all future line moves up until the warning and be sure to check out all college basketball odds before placing your bets.
New Mexico State vs UConn Predictions
Predictions made on 03/15/2022 at 10:40 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to go to the full analysis.
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Match info New Mexico State vs UConn
• Location: KeyBank Center, Buffalo, NY
• Dated: Thursday, March 17, 2022
• Trick: 6:50 p.m. ET
• TV: DTT
New Mexico State vs. UConn Betting Preview
State of New Mexico: No injuries to report.
UConn: Jordan Hawkins G (Doubtful).
Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.
Betting trend you need to know
The Aggies are 11-2 ATS in their last 13 games against a team with a winning percentage over .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 on our analysis of the line and total in this match. Our best bet is our preferred choice in all markets.
Connecticut is used to having the size advantage and intimidating smaller enemies into submission, with a powerful inside offense and sturdy rim protection on the defensive end. However, New Mexico State would love nothing more to turn this tournament opener into a good old fashioned slobberknocker.
The Aggies rank as the 42nd-greatest team in the nation (just behind UConn in 39th) and attack the paint with a 2-point field goal percentage of 54.2%.
They run a slow pace similar to the Huskies and also rank alongside them in inside protection, ranking 20th in effective field goal percentage allowed (45.5%) against UConn at 25th in this defensive measure (45.7%).
Connecticut won’t have its usual advantage on the glass (ranked No. 8 in total rebound rate), especially on the offensive side which helped produce 4.4 more scoring chances per game (21st). NMSU is 19th in rebound rate (54.6%) and will take away many of those extra touches.
The Huskies have a more versatile offense and a deeper team up front, but will find themselves in a closer fight than the bookmakers expect in the Round of 16.
Prediction: State of New Mexico +7 (-110)
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That total is down, but I’m bracing for a lot of inside hits and a surplus of whistles that send both teams to the foul line.
Connecticut relies on physicality on defense, meaning they can be called for a lot of personal fouls and send enemies to the free throw line an average of 18.4 times per game. The Aggies are shooting more than 19 whistles per outing (29th) and attempting an average of 19.7 free throws, or nearly 14 per game.
New Mexico State is great at plugging passing lanes and pulling off those assists for points, but UConn is more versatile on offense than most WAC foes. The Huskies have three players with double-digit averages in scoring and when the playbook goes down, they can generate buckets in isolation.
A heavy NMSU formation struggles to defend one-on-one sets and that could also keep the referees busy, sending their opponents to the boards. Connecticut attempts just under 19 free throws in a contest and makes the most of those giveaways with a 75% success rate from the charity line.
It’s one of the lowest totals in the opening round, but all that scoring with the clock stopped will push the final over the count on Thursday night.
Prediction: More than 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 Seton Hall, Xavier and Creighton – the three biggest teams in the Big East.
New Mexico State is no less than 6-foot-4 in the starting lineup, led by dynamo Teddy Allen who averages more than 19 points and nearly seven rebounds per game.
In the WAC Tournament, Allen went for 25 points against a Grand Canyon defense that ranks in the top 5 nationally in many defensive categories.
But what was most impressive was how the Aggies held off Abilene Christian in the tournament final, with Allen limited to just 10 points in 23 minutes due to foul issues. Guards Clayton Henry and Mario McKinney Jr. took over — scoring a combined 26 points — to secure NMSU’s bid for the March Madness tournament.
New Mexico State will fight to the bitter 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 up the runs, including a 1-3-1 ATS in its last five as favorites.
Take: State of New Mexico +7 (-110)