The Connecticut Huskies are in an unfamiliar position as they head into Friday night's 2022 Final Four matchup with the Stanford Cardinal in the 2022 Women's NCAA Tournament. UConn (29-5) has battled injuries and illnesses all season but is mostly healthy now and will try to knock off the defending-champion Cardinal (32-3). The teams have met five times in the Final Four, and the 11-time national champion Huskies won four of those. But they come in as an underdog and faced a fierce battle in the Elite Eight to advance, needing two overtimes to beat NC State 91-87 on Monday. Stanford beat Texas 59-50 on Sunday night and has won 23 consecutive games. Its last loss was to fellow Final Four participant South Carolina in December.
Tipoff is set for 9:30 p.m. ET at the Target Center in Minneapolis. Caesars Sportsbook lists the Cardinal as the 1.5-point favorites in its latest UConn vs. Stanford odds, while the over-under for total points is 130.5. Before making any Stanford vs. UConn picks or 2022 Women's NCAA Tournament bets, you need to see what women's college basketball experts Calvin Wetzel and Aaron Barzilai are saying.
Barzilai is a Ph.D. from Stanford who served as Director of Basketball Analytics for the Philadelphia 76ers. Five years ago, he founded HerHoopStats.com -- a groundbreaking website that unlocks insights about the women's game. Wetzel, the site's lead betting writer, incorporates his mathematical background and strong knowledge of women's NCAA hoops to turn the site's prediction model into picks.
Barzilai and Wetzel got off to a fast start with SportsLine, as they went 13-7 on their first 20 picks. They are 590-430 overall (+127.40 units, +13.6 percent) in the 2021-22 women's college basketball regular season.
Now, Barzilai and Wetzel have broken down the UConn vs. Stanford matchup, and just revealed their top picks and predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the betting lines and trends for Stanford vs. UConn:
- UConn vs. Stanford spread: Cardinal -1.5
- UConn vs. Stanford over-under: 130.5 points
- UConn vs. Stanford money line: Cardinal -125, Huskies +105
- UCONN: Christyn Williams is averaging 15.2 points in the tournament
- STAN: Cameron Brink has 17 blocked shots in the four NCAA game
Why Stanford can cover
Stanford has an excellent trio in sophomore center Cameron Brink, junior guard Haley Jones and senior guard Lexie Hull. Brink leads the team in scoring (13.4) and rebounding (8.1) and is a big part of the team's defense. She had six blocked shots against the Longhorns and averages 2.6. The Cardinal rank fourth in the nation with 6.4 blocks per game. They are eighth in scoring margin (17.3 points per game) and seventh in field-goal percentage defense (34.9).
Jones, the 2021 Final Four Most Outstanding Player, had 18 points and 12 rebounds Sunday and averages 12.9 points and 7.9 boards. Hull had a game-high 20, and she and Hannah Jump (9.3 points) are both huge threats from 3-point range. Both make 40 percent of their tries, and they have combined to make 141 threes this season. Hull also grabs 5.2 rebounds and gets 2.2 steals per game. The Cardinal average three more rebounds per game than UConn.
Why UConn can cover
UConn should have confidence against the Cardinal, as the Huskies have lost just once to them in the Final Four. They beat Stanford for the 2010 national title, and Geno Auriemma will assure that the team attacks Brink to get her into foul trouble. That has been a major issue for the Stanford sophomore, and UConn will try to exploit it. The Huskies rank second in the nation in scoring margin at 20.3 points and allow just 54.6. They also are second in shooting percentage (48.2).
Four Huskies score in double figures, with 2021 National Player of the Year Paige Bueckers and Christyn Williams both averaging 14.7. They also combine for 7.4 rebounds, 6.3 assists and three steals. Bueckers scored 27 points Monday and Williams had 21. Freshman Azzi Fudd's 3-point shooting has been a big addition, as she is hitting 43.5 percent of her attempts and scored 19 on Monday. Olivia Nelson-Ododa is the team's top rebounder at 7.5 per game.
How to make UConn vs. Stanford picks
Barzilai and Wetzel have taken an in-depth look at the UConn vs. Stanford matchup from all sides and made their top selections. They are leaning under on the total and they've isolated a critical x-factor they believe makes one side hit hard. You can only get their picks at SportsLine.
So who wins Stanford vs. UConn in Friday's Women's NCAA Tournament Final Four matchup? And which side of the spread is a must back? Visit SportsLine right now to see which side of UConn vs. Stanford you should be backing Friday, all from the women's college basketball experts who are 590-430 on their picks this season, and find out.