National Championship Betting Picks: Will UConn Cover Against Purdue?

Riley Thomas
Riley Thomas_riley8
National Championship Betting Picks: Will UConn Cover Against Purdue?

Very few things on the sports calendar can match the excitement and unpredictability of the NCAA Tournament. So why not add betting to the mix via the college basketball odds at FanDuel Sportsbook?

The 2024 edition of the big dance has arrived, and here at FanDuel Research, we'll have you covered with a betting guide for each game.

The big game is finally here, as the Purdue Boilermakers collide with the Connecticut Huskies in the national championship, capping the 2023-24 college basketball season.

UConn has won their five tournament games by an average margin of 25.0 points and is looking to win back-to-back national titles. Florida was the last team to pull off the feat in 2006 and 2007.

Purdue has enjoyed one of their best seasons in program history, appearing in their first Final Four since 1980. The Boilermakers are hoping to add their first national championship to their trophy case with a win tonight. Purdue has also been dominant, winning their five postseason contests by an average margin of 19.6 points.

This has the chance to be one of the best national championship games in recent memory. Will it live up to the hype? Let's dig into the matchup and check out the best college basketball odds on FanDuel Sportsbook.

All college basketball odds come from FanDuel Sportsbook, and lines may change after this article is published.

NCAA Tournament Betting Picks

Purdue vs. UConn Betting Odds

Date and Time: Monday, April 8th at 9:20 p.m. ET

Spread: UConn -6.5 (-112)

Total: 144.5


  • Purdue: +235
  • UConn: -295

Purdue vs. UConn Statistical Breakdown

Advanced stats from KenPom, Bart Torvik and numberFire.


  • numberFire Ranking: 2nd
  • Bart Torvik Ranking: 3rd
  • KenPom Ranking: 2nd
    • Adjusted Defensive Efficiency Ranking: 12th
    • Adjusted Offensive Efficiency Ranking: 3rd
    • Adjusted Tempo Ranking: 211th


  • numberFire Ranking: 1st
  • Bart Torvik Ranking: 1st
  • KenPom Ranking: 1st
    • Adjusted Defensive Efficiency Ranking: 4th
    • Adjusted Offensive Efficiency Ranking: 1st
    • Adjusted Tempo Ranking: 328th

Purdue vs. UConn Best Bets

UConn -6.5 (-112)

After winning tournament games by an average margin of 20.0 points while going 6-0 against the spread (ATS) on their way to the national championship in 2023, UConn has shown no signs of slowing down in 2024's edition of the big dance. The Huskies are 5-0 ATS in the NCAA Tournament, but the Boilermakers are also 4-1 ATS thus far.

This is about as good as it gets for a national championship game. Each squad has been among the top teams in the nation from start to finish. According to KenPom, UConn ranks first overall while Purdue is second. We are also getting the best teams in the tournament as the Huskies rank first and the Boilers are second in Bart Torvik's NCAA Tournament rankings.

According to various models, this game could be tighter than the spread suggests. numberFire's game projections have the Huskies winning by about two points, and Bart Torvik's projections are in the same boat with Connecticut winning, 73-71.

However, I still like UConn's chances of repeating as national champs while covering the spread. The paint battle will be very intriguing as each frontcourt features some of the nation's best players.

Purdue's Zach Edey is the most valuable player in the country, per EvanMiya, and he became the first player in NCAA history to record at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in six consecutive tournament games.

Connecticut's Donovan Clingan has also posted some absurd stats. He leads the nation in EvanMiya's Defensive Bayesian Performance Rating (DBPR), and Clingan has the second-best box score plus/minus (BPM) at +14.3 among all players in the tournament.

Ultimately, I believe the Huskies' paint attack could have the upper hand. UConn has won the paint battle by 26.0 points per game (PPG) in the tournament while the Boilermakers have won the category by 15.2 PPG in the paint. Purdue is also outside the top 200 in two-point makes and attempts allowed per game. Connecticut's interior defense has been better, ranking in the 86th percentile in two-point makes allowed each contest.

In the Elite Eight against Illinois, the Fighting Illini scored only 14 points when Clingan was on the court and shot 0 of 19 on shots contested by Clingan. His defense could be a problem for Edey, whose points prop is set at 22.5.

I'm also concerned about the Huskies' size advantage in the backcourt. Tristen Newton (6'5") and Cam Spencer (6'4") will likely be guarded by the Boilermakers' Braden Smith (6'0") and Lance Jones (6'1").

With a potential advantage in the paint and a good matchup for UConn's backcourt, give me the Huskies to cover the spread.

Under 144.5 (-110)

Along with the Huskies covering, I like the under. This has been a trend for both teams in the tournament. The under is 5-0 for UConn and 4-1 for Purdue. Additionally, the under has hit in three straight games for the Boilers.

A low-scoring game will likely favor Connecticut. The Huskies have the best defense in this matchup; they have the 4th-best mark in adjusted defensive efficiency at Bart Torvik while the Boilermakers rank 14th in the category.

UConn also plays at a slower pace than Purdue. The under simply feels like it correlates well alongside a Huskies cover. A low-scoring, defensive game favors Connecticut, making the cover more likely.

I believe the Huskies have the tools to slow the Boilermakers' offense. Clingan is as good as it gets on the defensive end. For the first time in Edey's career, he could face a player who stands a chance in one-on-one matchups against him as Clingan is 7-foot-2.

Stephon Castle is also playing his best ball and features the second-best DBPR for Connecticut. He could be a key in stopping Purdue's Fletcher Loyer (10.6 PPG). The Huskies' size advantage in the backcourt could also lead to underwhelming outings from the Boilers' Smith and Jones.

Controlling the paint battle and winning the backcourt matchup could reign supreme for UConn, leading to a cover, the under, and another national championship going to Storrs, Connecticut.

If you’re betting on the men’s college basketball championship on April 8th, you can take advantage of FanDuel Sportsbook’s 25% Profit Boost! See the promotions page for more information.

Looking for more NCAA basketball betting opportunities? Head over to FanDuel Sportsbook to check out all of the upcoming college basketball odds.

Sign up for FanDuel Sportsbook and FanDuel Daily Fantasy today!

The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.