Free College Basketball Picks: Creighton at Villanova Odds
by George Monroy - 1/20/2014
The No. 6 Villanova Wildcats are about to hit a rough patch in their schedule when they face Creighton, Marquette and Georgetown over the next seven days. The Wildcats’ lone loss of the season came at the hands of the No. 2 Syracuse Orange last month. The team has since been on a roll, winning five straight Big East games—three of them by double-digits—and moving up in the Associated Press Top 25 as the sixth-ranked squad in the nation. However, Villanova will be in for a challenge when it faces its first ranked team in nearly two months.
The No. 20 Creighton Bluejays started out Big East Conference play impressively with five straight victories—four of them by more than 13 points—but lost a disappointing game to Providence on Saturday. The squad, however, is still one of the best in the nation and runs a high-octane offense based on ball movement and excellent perimeter shooting. Creighton will have a chance to prove itself against Villanova tonight when the two teams face off with first place in the Big East on the line.
Creighton at Villanova Betting Story Lines
Villanova is coming off a huge 26-point blowout win over DePaul on Saturday. The team shot 55.4 percent from the field, made 17-of-23 free throws and out-rebounded its opponent by 11 boards. It was simply one of those nights where the Wildcats could do no wrong. Senior guard James Bell led the team with an outstanding 17-point, eight-rebound performance. Forward Daniel Ochefu also added 14 points, six rebounds and four assists to the victory.
The Wildcats have done much more than just start the season with a 16-1 record; they have covered 12 of 15 spreads and are on a four-game ATS winning streak. The team has also covered eight of its last 10 games. Statistically, Villanova is one of the top teams in the nation, scoring 81.3 points per game (26th), grabbing 39.1 rebounds (36th) and dishing out 16.2 assists (22nd).
Creighton is coming off a loss to the Providence Friars where leading scorer, Doug McDermott was forced to carry most of the offensive load in a matchup that slipped through the Bluejays’ hands. McDermott is leading the team with 24.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per game and managed to put up 21 points and seven rebounds in 30 minutes of action on Saturday. The trouble for the team was that no other player was able to score more than 10 points during the loss.
The Bluejays are another excellent team statistically and are first in the nation in assists (18.5), 21st in points per game (81.8) and 15th in field goal percentage (.491). The squad has two double-digit scorers in McDermott and forward Ethan Wragge and receive at least one point (on average) from 12 of the 14 players currently on the roster.
Creighton at Villanova NCAA Betting Odds and Key Trends
Villanova opened as a six-point favorite over the underdog Bluejays at BetOnline. Villanova is 4-0 ATS in its most recent matchups against the Big East and 9-1 ATS over its last 10 games following an ATS win. The squad is 5-1 ATS during its last six games against teams with winning road records and 4-1 ATS over its last five following a SU win of 20 points or more. However, Villanova has failed to cover four of its last five Monday games.
Creighton is 9-2 ATS over its last 11 overall games and 4-1 ATS during its last five Monday games. The team is also 4-1 ATS over its last five road games and last five matchups following an ATS loss. Creighton has won six of its last eight games against the Big East.
Free College Basketball Picks: Creighton at Villanova Predictions
Creighton is coming off an almost unexplainable loss to Province over the weekend, and while the performance can be chalked up as one bad night, it may be a sign of bigger problems. The Bluejays have only one scoring threat on the team and rely on spreading the ball around to create easy offensive opportunities for the rest of group. However, when Creighton’s role players are not contributing quality minutes, the team’s offense becomes stagnant. The blueprint on beating the Bluejays is for opposing team’s to let McDermott get his points but contain the rest of the squad. Expect Villanova to harass Creighton’s role players and not let them get off any easy perimeter shots. Take the Wildcats minus the points.
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Read more articles by George Monroy
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