#4 UConn vs. #13 Iona basketball picks, best bets & odds for today, 3/17

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The first full day of March Madness action couldn’t have gotten off to a more exciting start with each of the first two games of the day being decided by two points or less. We’re ready for another great day, which includes the #4 UConn Huskies taking on the #13 Iona Gaels. The winner of this game will go on to face either #5 St. Mary’s or #12 VCU.

The West region looks wide open for any team, so our experts have provided their UConn vs. Iona picks with odds provided by Caesars Sportsbook.

UCONN VS. IONA PREDICTION: Huskies -9 (-110 at Caesars Sportsbook)

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Iona Gaels vs. UConn Huskies basketball picks for today’s March Madness game

It’s no surprise that the Huskies are significant favorites in this first round matchup. Not only are they clearly the higher seed, but many college basketball analysts felt as though they were under-seeded and have even gone on to say that UConn is one of the best teams they’ve watched all season.

It feels as though the West region is the most wide open of any of the four, especially with Kansas having to fight through the health issues with head coach Bill Self. Before UConn gets that far, they still have to get through Iona this afternoon. Our experts best bet from their UConn vs. Iona picks predict they’ll do just that, so let’s dive further in.

Iona vs. UConn best bets for today’s game including UConn -9

The UConn Huskies currently have +1800 odds to win the entire NCAA Tournament at Caesars Sportsbook. We mention that because that’s the shortest odds of any #4 seed and makes them favorites over even #2 Marquette.

The -9 spread for today’s game is a significant one, but we still think UConn is complete enough of a team to win by double digits. Looking purely at rankings in terms of points per game, points allowed per game and the like, it would appear as though these teams are evenly matched. However, we have to factor in the level of competition.

Heading into their respective conference tournaments, the Huskies had 13 Quad One matchups, while Iona had just one. That’s no surprise given that UConn plays in the Big East, while the Gaels play in the MAAC. For perspective, there isn’t a single other MAAC team in the tournament, while the Big East has juggernauts like #2 Marquette, #3 Xavier, #6 Creighton and #11 Providence.

The Huskies truly are a balanced team that doesn’t rely on any one way to win games. They score 78.5 points per game (21st in the nation), shoot 46% from the field (69th) and allow just 65 points per game (36th). Iona had a great season, but now facing a true college basketball powerhouse, the best bet from our UConn vs. Iona picks is on the Huskies -9.

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Betting odds, lines and spreads for Iona vs. UConn in the NCAA tournament provided by Caesars

The Huskies are currently a nine-point favorite at Caesars Sportsbook with -110 odds, making the Gaels a +9 underdog with the same -110 odds. So, an $11 wager on UConn profits $10 if they win by at least 10 points, while an $11 bet on Iona profits $10 if they lose by eight points or fewer or win the game outright. If the Huskies win by exactly nine points, wagers on both sides of the spread are graded as a push and bets are refunded.

The total (over/under) is listed at 141.5 points with -110 odds on either side. You can wager on any market you like with first-bet insurance worth up to $1,250 when you create a new Caesars account using the promo code FULLSYR.

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