College Basketball Betting: Weekly Big East Handicapping Report
by Dave Schwab - 12/17/2014
The Big East has made its mark in the national rankings through the nonconference portion of the college basketball season with three teams in the latest AP Top 25. The 10-0 Villanova Wildcats continue to lead the way at No. 7, followed by 8-1 St. Johns at No. 20 and 8-2 Butler at No. 23.
When it comes to wagering on the Big East, the biggest money-maker through this past Tuesday's games have been the Seton Hall Pirates with a perfect 8-0 start against the spread. If you are looking to bet on the total line, then the DePaul Blue Demons have been the best bet with six of their first seven games going "over" the closing betting odds.
Big East Best Bets
Turning to this week's action in the conference, it could be a good time to keep riding the Pirates in this Thursday's road game against the AAC's South Florida Bulls. Seton Hall comes into this game with a SU record of 8-1, and the only blemish on the year was a hard-fought 77-68 loss to No. 11 Wichita State. The Pirates covered as 12.5-point road underdogs in that loss while showing some great resolve when you consider that they trailed by 15 points at the half. South Florida is off to a 5-4 SU start with a 3-4-1 record ATS. The Bulls have been a tough bet on their home court this season after failing to cover in three of their first four home games.
If you are looking to ride the Blue Demons on the total line, they will also be back in action this Thursday night in a road game against the Pac-12's Oregon State Beavers. DePaul comes into this game ranked 31st in the nation in scoring with an average of 77.6 points a game, and it has allowed a combined total of 159 points in back-to-back losses to George Washington and Illinois State its last two times out. It could be a solid bet that the total once again goes over on Thursday against a Beavers team that is riding a four-game winning streak both SU and ATS while averaging over 67 points a game.
Big East Bankroll Buster
If you are looking for a Big East team to go against this week, then you might want to take a closer look at Butler on the road against the Big Ten's Indiana Hoosiers this Saturday afternoon in the 2014 Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The Bulldogs are coming off a stunning 67-55 road loss to Tennessee this past Sunday as 1.5-point road favorites to fall to 1-2 ATS in their last three games. Indiana, on the other hand, has strung together four SU victories in its last five games while going 3-1 ATS in its last four outings.
Big East Play of the Week
Villanova will try and extend its current SU winning streak to 11 games while renewing an old Big East rivalry against the ACC's Syracuse Orange this Saturday afternoon at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The Wildcats are coming off an 85-62 romp against fellow Philly foe Temple this past Sunday as 17-point favorites. This extended their current winning streak ATS to seven games, and they are a highly-profitable 8-2 ATS on the year.
The Orange fell out of the national rankings a few weeks back with a bad 73-59 loss to California as 5.5-point road favorites, and things have gone from bad to worse with SU losses to Michigan and St. John's in two of their last three games. In the 69-57 loss to the Red Storm on Dec. 6, Syracuse closed as a 6.5-point home favorite. It is now just 2-4 ATS in six games this season with posted betting odds.
Old rivalries die hard in the college ranks, especially in light of the fact that Villanova will be looking to avenge its fair share of defeats at the hands of the once-superior Orange. Expect the Wildcats to be solid favorites at home this time around in a game they should win and cover with relative ease.
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