College Basketball Betting: Weekly Big East Handicapping Report
by Dave Schwab - 1/28/2015
Villanova has set the pace in the Big East all season long, and at 18-2 straight up it's easy to see why the Wildcats are ranked No. 7 in the latest AP Top 25. A few other teams that have made their way into the national rankings are Georgetown at No. 21 and Butler at No. 25. Seton Hall and St. John's spent some time in the polls earlier this season, but both teams are suffering through a rather rocky start in conference play.
The following is this week's Big East betting report with a closer look at a few teams to go with as well as go against right now along with my free pick of the week.
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Big East Best Bets
I have been touting the DePaul Blue Demons as the Big East's best bet since the start of conference play, and they have yet to let bettors down with a perfect 8-0 run against the spread while going a solid 5-3 straight up. This past Saturday they fell to Xavier 89-76, but the Demons still covered as heavy 14.5-point road underdogs. They will be back in action this Thursday night against Providence on the road before facing a huge test this Saturday at home against Villanova. DePaul is 9-3 ATS in 12 previous games this season as underdogs, and it's safe to say that it will be getting quite a few points in each of these two contests.
Butler has made a move into the rankings with a 4-1 run in its last five games both SU and ATS. The Bulldogs lost to Georgetown 61-59 on Jan. 17 but covered as four-point road underdogs. They followed that up with a tight 64-61 victory against Creighton but failed to cover as nine-point favorites at home. This past Sunday Butler put it all together in a 77-57 rout of Seton Hall as a 7.5-point home favorite. Overall, the Bulldogs are 15-6 SU with a profitable 13-7 record ATS. They will be back in action this Saturday on the road against Marquette.
Big East Bankroll Busters
Not only have St. Johns and Seton Hall combined for a SU 5-8 record in conference play this season, but they have taken bettors down with them lately by each failing to cover in their last three games. The Red Storm have been the worse of the two with a dismal 2-5 SU record in their last seven games that includes a 77-68 nonconference loss to Duke this past Sunday as seven-point home underdogs. They have gone a costly 1-6 ATS during this slide.
The Pirates have been slightly better with a 3-4 record SU and ATS in conference play. Despite this recent slide, Seton Hall is still profitable on the year with a SU record of 13-6 and a 13-5 record ATS. It has been listed by 5Dimes as a 3.5-point road underdog for Wednesday night's Big East tilt against Marquette. The Golden Eagles are just 2-4 SU in their last six games, but they have managed to cover in four of those contests.
Big East Play of the Week
I cashed in on last week's top Big East play with Villanova covering as a 15-point home favorite in a 21-point victory against Creighton this past Saturday. For this week's top pick, I have focused in on this Saturday's Georgetown vs. Creighton game.
The Hoyas' stay in the Top 25 could come to an end following this past Tuesday's stunning 66-53 loss to Xavier as four-point favorites at home. They opened play in the Big East with a 70-53 loss to the Musketeers as five-point road underdogs, so I am just going to chalk things up to one team having the other's number in that matchup. Outside of those two losses, Georgetown remains one of the better teams in the conference at 14-6 SU overall and 6-3 in Big East play. It has not always been the best bet this season with an 8-10-2 record ATS, but this week's pick is all about going with the lesser of two evils.
Creighton has been just plain awful this season both on the court and at the betting window. The Bluejays head into Wednesday's matchup against St. John's with nine straight losses dating back to Dec. 21, and during this extended slide they have failed to cover in seven of those games. On the year, Creighton is 9-12 SU with an 8-13 record ATS that includes a 4-7 ATS mark at home.
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