UConn vs. USC expert picks and predictions: Spread, odds and start-time of Elite Eight game

UConn vs. USC expert picks and predictions: Spread, odds and start-time of Elite Eight game
UConn vs. USC expert picks and predictions: Spread, odds and start-time of Elite Eight game
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The final women’s Elite Eight game features a tournament veteran in Paige Bueckers vs. a dynamic new talent in JuJu Watkins on Monday night. The odds for UConn vs. USC project a close matchup, supported by our experts being split on their picks to win. Our women’s college basketball writers are picking USC, thanks to its depth and explosiveness. On the other hand, our statistical model projects UConn, with its depth of experience, to have the advantage.

As we head into the final two games to decide the women’s Final Four, we have lots of coverage of the women’s tournament. If you’re looking for the betting angle, though, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got the odds for UConn vs. USC, our team’s picks, projected scores, players to watch and details on how to watch the game. But let’s start with a quick rundown of the matchup, excerpted from our larger Elite Eight preview.

From our Elite Eight preview:

It’s Paige Bueckers versus JuJu Watkins, but the USC freshman is bringing a few more friends to the party. While UConn labored to get past Duke with its six-player rotation, USC closed out Baylor by bringing in fresh role players in Kayla Williams and Clarice Akunwafo, a depth advantage that will be an asset to the Trojans on one day of rest.

The Huskies have experience on this stage, with three of their starters (Bueckers, Aaliyah Edwards and Nika Mühl) featured on UConn’s 2021 and 2022 Final Four teams. But newness hasn’t been a challenge for USC, which has figured out how to adapt on the fly with a rotation featuring seven upperclassmen and Watkins, as well as a coach who has been here before. The Trojans have executed in close games all season long and have beaten a number of top teams, including Oregon State, UCLA and Stanford twice. On the other side, UConn didn’t beat any team that advanced to the Sweet 16 during the regular season despite having five chances. The Huskies didn’t exactly cover themselves in glory in their win over the Blue Devils, who were the lowest-seeded team remaining in the field.

Bueckers might be the best player on the court — mostly because her efficiency trumps that of Watkins — but USC has a track record of success against high-level competition. And even if Watkins isn’t quite at Bueckers’ level yet, the margin is essentially negligible. USC’s size, depth and unbridled confidence should be enough to carry them to the Final Four.

—Sabreena Merchant and Grace Raynor


How to watch UConn vs. USC

What: Portland 3 Region, Elite Eight

Tip off time: 9:15 p.m. ET Monday

TV: ESPN

Location: Portland, OR

You can buy tickets to any tournament game here.

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UConn vs. USC odds

Odds are from BetMGM and update live.

Expert picks and projections

Sabreena’s and Grace’s pick: USC to win

Austin Mock’s projection: Our “numbers guy,” Austin Mock, uses advanced statistical models and simulations to project the chances for each team to make it through each round of the tournament. Based on 1 million simulations of the women’s 2024 NCAA Tournament, here is our projected score:

  • Projected point spread: UConn -4.5
  • Projected total: 137
  • Projected scores: UConn 70.8, USC 66.3

Players to watch

UConn

  • Paige Bueckers, junior guard, Big East Player of the Year, first-team All-Big East
  • Ashlynn Shade, freshman guard, Big East Freshman of the Year
  • Aaliyah Edwards, senior forward, first-team All-Big East
  • Nika Mühl, senior guard, second-team All-Big East

USC

  • JuJu Watkins, freshman guard, Pac-12 Freshman of the Year
  • McKenzie Forbes, senior guard, All-Pac-12

More NCAA basketball tournament coverage

(Photo of JuJu Watkins: Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images)


The article is in Czech

Tags: UConn USC expert picks predictions Spread odds starttime Elite game

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