I went to UConn, but I am also a very pessimistic sports fan. Last year, I thought we'd lose every single game (I was almost right). This year, I'm jumping on the Bob Diaco bandwagon. If you don't know who he is, guys want to be him and girls want to be with him. Oh, and he was Notre Dame's defense of coordinator last year.
This game seems vaguely familiar to last year for BYU, as they travel to the east coast to face a seemingly inferior opponent. Last year, they lost to Virginia 19-16. This was one of two wins for Virginia (destroying VMI a couple games later). The way that most teams win handily is by throwing the ball; BYU is a running team. Last year, as sophomores, Taysom Hill had 246 carries and Jamaal Williams had 217 attempts. Hill is BYU's starting QB. Williams is suspended for this game, along with a wide receiver and two cornerbacks. In BYU's 8 wins last year, they won by more than 19 twice (beat Middle Tennessee and Idaho State at home).
If you remember UConn last year (I like to pretend I don't either), then you'll remember that they ended on a three game winning streak, defeating Rutgers (won at Washington State last night), Temple (won at Vanderbilt last night) and Memphis. While BYU ended their final five games by losing to Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Washington and defeating only a four-win Nevada team by five and a Division I-AA team.
Now to the numbers: In five away games and a neutral site game (taking out the game against Houston where there was a huge discrepancy with 93 total points scored), BYU went 2-4, with an average of 43 total points scored between the two teams. On the season, BYU played in games (against Division I opponents) that averaged 46.7 ppg (without the Houston game) and 50.6 ppg (including Houston). BYU scored 13 points on the road against a Bob Diaco Notre Dame defense. The Huskies averaged 44.7 total points in seven home games. While on the season, an average of 48.3 total points were scored in each game (without a 79 point game at UCF). If you include the UCF game, then games averaged 50.8 ppg.
Vegas: UConn opened as a 17-point underdog, with the over/under at 51. BYU is 0-5 against the spread (ATS) the last five road games and UConn is 4-1 the last five home games. The under is 4-1 the last five home games that UConn has played and the under is 4-0 in BYU's last four road games. Let's add in the fact that UConn is 19-4 ATS as a home underdog in their last 23. Although, under 27.5 in the first half is also a good play as both teams have new players/offenses to adjust to, let's stick with...
ATS Pick: UConn +15
Over/Under Pick: Under 54