College Basketball Betting: Weekly Big East Handicapping Report
by Dave Schwab - 1/7/2015
Conference play in the Big East opened for the season just as 2014 came to an end with five matchups on New Year's Eve. Since that point we have seen No. 8 Villanova get tagged with its first straight up loss of the year and No. 24 St. John's completely stumble out of the gate with three conference losses both SU and against the spread.
The following is this week's Big East betting report with a few teams to go with as well as go against along with my free pick of the week.
Big East Best Bets
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The beast in the Big East in the early going has been the Seton Hall Pirates, who have climbed to No. 19 in the latest AP Top 25 with an 11-2 start SU and an incredibly-profitable 12-1 mark ATS. They started play in the Big East in an impressive fashion with a 78-67 victory against St. John's on Dec.31 as 1.5-point home underdogs, but they really caught everyone's eyes with this past Saturday's 66-61 upset over Villanova as 7.5-point underdogs at home.
Villanova remains the top team in the conference despite that loss to the Pirates, and it also happens to be one of the Big East's "best bets" when it comes to wagering on the games. Following this past Tuesday night's 90-72 pasting of St. John's as five-point road favorites, the Wildcats are now 14-1 SU on the year with a healthy 10-5 record ATS. The total has stayed "under" in nine of their first 15 games. Next up on the slate is Saturday's matchup against 8-7 DePaul.
Big East Bankroll Buster
It is pretty obvious that you might want to go against the Red Storm in their next game against Providence on Jan.14 after a dismal 0-3 start both SU and ATS, but another Big East team that has been tough on the bankroll lately has been Creighton. After posting a respectable 9-3 SU record in their first 12 games, the Bluejays have gone into a sudden nosedive with just one SU win in their last five outings while going 0-4 ATS.
They opened play in the Big East with a 65-53 loss to Providence as 6.5-point road underdogs, and they failed to cover as eight-point underdogs on the road in this past Saturday's 76-61 loss to Georgetown. Creighton has actually been a hard team to bet on all season long with a 6-9 record ATS. It will be back in action this Wednesday night as a nine-point home favorite against DePaul on 5Dimes' current betting odds for this game. The Bluejays have won the last five meetings SU, and they are 4-1 ATS, but this could be a good spot to go against them given their current form.
Big East Play of the Week
This week's Big East top play takes us to Saturday's matchup between Georgetown and Providence. The Hoyas are off to a 10-4 SU start with an even 6-6-2 record ATS. They have been a real shaky bet as of late with a 1-3-1 run ATS in their last five games. They will be on the road for Saturday's game where they have failed to cover in seven of their last 11 road games.
The Friars come into this game with an overall record of 12-4 SU while going a profitable 8-4-3 ATS. They are coming off an impressive 66-62 upset against Butler this past Tuesday night as six-point road underdogs to improve to 4-1-1 ATS this season when closing as an underdog. Providence has also been a good bet at home with a 4-2-2 record ATS in eight games at the Dunkin Donuts Center.
I would look for Providence to open as two- to three-point home favorites in this matchup, which is not enough to keep me from going with the Friars to keep things rolling with a SU win at home that covers the spread.
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