College Basketball Betting: Weekly Big East Handicapping Report
by Dave Schwab - 2/11/2015
Villanova remains the class of the Big East this season after pasting Georgetown 69-53 this past Saturday as a 9.5-point home favorite on 5Dimes' closing betting odds for that game. The Wildcats are ranked No. 6 in the AP's latest Top 25 and still in the running for a possible No. 1 seed in this year's NCAA Tournament with a straight up record of 21-2. The only other nationally-ranked team in the Big East right now is No. 18 Butler, which is riding a SU five-game winning streak into this Saturday's huge showdown at home against the first-place Wildcats.
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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.
Big East Best Bets
Villanova is not only the hottest team on the court in the Big East; but it has also been a solid play for bettors lately with four straight covers against the spread as a heavy favorite. It heads into Wednesday night matchup against Providence as a 4.5-point road favorite to try and improve upon an even 3-3 record ATS in six previous road games this year. Overall, the Wildcats are 15-8 ATS, and they have closed as favorites in each of those 23 games.
If you are looking for a team that has been a solid "best bet" in the Big East for most of the season, then the DePaul Blue Demons would fit the bill. They became a shining star following a perfect 8-0 start ATS in conference play. After suffering a mini two-game slide both SU and ATS in late January, DePaul is back in the money after covering in both a 75-62 victory against Seton Hall as a 2.5-point home underdog and an 83-73 loss to Butler this past Saturday as a 13-point underdog on the road. This leaves the Blue Demons at an even 6-6 SU in the Big East with a highly-profitable 10-2 record ATS.
Big East Bankroll Busters
I took a chance on Seton Hall last week as my "play of the week" in Saturday's matchup against Marquette and paid the price in the Pirates' 57-54 loss as six-point home favorites. They are now just 2-6 both SU and ATS in their last eight games. Seton Hall followed up that loss by getting hammered by Georgetown 86-67 as a three-point home underdog this past Tuesday to firmly establish itself as this week's top bankroll buster in the Big East. Next up for the Pirates is Saturday's road game against Providence.
One team that still belongs on this list given its entire body of work in the Big East this season is Creighton. The Bluejays have been awful both on the court and at the betting window this season with a SU record of 11-14 and a 10-15 record ATS. They have shown some signs of life lately with a 3-3 record ATS in their last six contests while going 2-4 SU, but overall they have just two SU wins in 12 conference games and a 4-8 mark ATS.
Big East Play of the Week
Looking to get back on track after last week's setback, I have zeroed in on this Saturday's St. Johns at Xavier game. The Red Storm worked their way into the national rankings earlier this season, but it has been a tough crawl through the Big East with a 4-6 SU record heading into this Wednesday night's matchup against DePaul. They have been able to cover in two of their last three games, but their overall record ATS in conference play this season is just 3-7.
The Musketeers are starting to turn things around with four SU victories in their last six games. They covered as 6.5-point home favorites in a 78-69 win against Providence last Saturday, and this past Tuesday they rolled over Marquette 64-44 as 3.5-point favorites on the road. Trevon Bluiett scored a game-high 14 points to help pace Tuesday's win, and Xavier's defense played one of its best games of the year.
I would look for the Musketeers to open as two- to three-point home favorites in this matchup. However, given the team's current form, they are poised for a much bigger margin of victory than that this Saturday night.
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Read more articles by Dave Schwab
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