College Basketball
Can Purdue upset UConn in title game? Experts' picks, predictions
College Basketball

Can Purdue upset UConn in title game? Experts' picks, predictions

Updated Apr. 8, 2024 9:13 p.m. ET

Monday night, a new national champion will be crowned — or maybe, last year's will be crowned again.

The defending champion UConn Huskies will look to repeat, as they take on the Purdue Boilermakers in the national title game. 

The Huskies are favored at sportsbooks across the nation, but Purdue and Zach Edey — recently named the Naismith Men's College Player of the Year for a second consecutive year — will look to play spoiler. 

FOX Sports betting analysts Jason McIntyre and Patrick Everson, along with FOX Sports betting contributor Will Hill, have been as invested in the tournament as much as … well, anyone. 


With that, McIntyre, Everson and Hill deliver their picks for Monday night's season finale:


I have small futures on each — Purdue +765 from early February and UConn +348 right before the tournament — but I will still have action on the game because to me, it's clear UConn is the side. 

I took a juiced -5 (-121) as soon as the line came out. I don't mind it at six. Yes, I saw that KenPom only has the game 75-72 UConn, but the numbers have not totally accounted for just how dominant the Huskies are. 

This is the most dominant college hoops team since UNLV in the early 1990s. 

Consider this: Alabama, the No. 2 offensive team in the country, shot 47% from 3 in the Final Four ... and still couldn't cover the number against UConn. 

Alabama played an A game and still lost by 14, unable to cover a double-digit spread. 

Purdue is an elite 3-point shooting team (second in the country), but is that because it has great shooters or because it is sixth in offensive rebounds — thanks to the 7-foot-4 Edey — and the Boilers are cashing in on second and third chances? Or because teams have to double Edey and pick their poison from the perimeter? 

UConn has Donovan Clingan, who, at 7-foot-2, should be able to battle Edey inside. So now the shooters are hugged up, and Purdue is also at a height disadvantage at every position except Edey vs. Clingan. And we saw what happened in that scenario last weekend: a coin toss against Tennessee

Purdue shot 3-of-15 on 3s in that win, and needed Edey to play 39 minutes and post 40 points, collect 16 rebounds and sink 14 free throws to advance. 

It was a 1-point game with 3:30 left.

The Huskies just have too many weapons on offense and, defensively, as long as Clingan isn't in major foul trouble, UConn should go back-to-back. 

I give a slight lean to the Under, too. If Purdue turns the ball over 16 times like it did against NC State's pesky defense, it could be a long night for the Boilers.

PICK: UConn (-5) to win by more than 5 points


Stepping in front of the UConn bus is likely a losing proposition, just as it has been in the Huskies’ last 11 NCAA Tournament games — all 11 games were won by double digits, and they covered the spread every time.

But at BetMGM, the line is now up to UConn -7.5 (even) for tonight’s title game. So WTH, give me Purdue +7.5 (-120) for some #ChilisMoney.

I might even hit Circa Sports, which has the best moneyline odds for tonight’s game, and sprinkle a little on Purdue +260 to lift the trophy. It pays to shop for the best price.

PICK: Purdue (+7.5) to lose by fewer than 7.5 points (or win outright)


UConn is finally in for a game.

There is clearly a tax being placed on betting UConn, as the analytics sites like KenPom and Haslam Metrics have this a 2.5-3-point game. Edey vs. Clingan is obviously the headlining matchup, but Edey is capable of playing all 40 minutes, while Clingan usually lands around 25-28 minutes, which favors Purdue.

UConn wins a close game, but (finally) does not cover.

PICK: Purdue (+7) to lose by fewer than 7 points (or win outright)

Jason McIntyre is a FOX Sports betting analyst who also writes about the NFL and NBA Draft. Before arriving at FOX, he created the website The Big Lead. Follow him on Twitter @JasonRMcIntyre.

Will Hill, a contributor on the Bears Bets Podcast, has been betting on sports for over a decade. He is a betting analyst who has been a host on VSiN, as well as the Goldboys Network.


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