College Basketball Betting: Weekly Big East Handicapping Report
by Dave Schwab - 1/21/2015
The Villanova Wildcats climbed all the way to No. 4 in the latest AP Top 25, but their stay near the top is likely to be brief after Monday night's loss to Georgetown. The Wildcats came up on the wrong end of a 78-58 beatdown as four-point road favorites, and they are now just 3-6 against the spread in their last nine games. The only other Big East team in the national rankings is Seton Hall at No. 24 with a straight up record of 13-4 that includes a highly-profitable 13-3 record ATS.
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
While teams such as Villanova and Seton Hall continue to capture the betting public's attention atop the standings in this conference, the best bet by far in the Big East over the past few weeks has been the DePaul Blue Demons. They opened conference play with a stunning 61-58 victory against Marquette as 5.5-point home underdogs on New Year's Eve, and they have remained hot ever since.
With this past Sunday's 71-67 win over St. John's as six-point underdogs at home, the Blue Demons are now 4-2 SU in the Big East with a perfect 6-0 mark against the spread. This compares with an overall record of just 10-9 SU and 10-8 ATS. The total has gone "over" in 11 of 17 games with posted betting odds.
Another Big East team that is starting to line bettors' pockets lately is the Butler Bulldogs. They are off to an even 3-3 SU start in conference play, but the Bulldogs have now covered in four of their last five outings, including a tight 61-59 loss to Georgetown this past Saturday as four-point underdogs on the road. Butler is a healthy 12-6 ATS this season with a 5-2 record ATS when closing as an underdog.
Big East Bankroll Busters
The Hoyas may be making some noise on the court lately, but before Monday's impressive romp over Villanova they had failed to cover in their last four outings. They will head into this Saturday's road game against Marquette with a SU record of 13-5, but when it comes to betting on this team it's just 7-9-2 ATS. This includes a 0-3 record ATS in three previous games on the road.
Another team that you might want go against right now is Xavier. The Musketeers are off to a 3-3 SU start in the Big East that includes victories over Georgetown, Seton Hall and Marquette, but when it comes to betting on this team it has now failed to cover in four of its last five games. Overall, Xavier is 12-6 SU with a 9-9 record ATS. The "under" play on the total line has been a solid bet lately with the total staying under in five of its last seven games.
Big East Play of the Week
Despite its recent slide ATS, Villanova remains a fairly decent team to bet on this season at certain times with an 11-8 record ATS. It will be back in action this upcoming Sunday at home against Creighton, and you can't help but get the feeling that the Wildcats will be looking to take out some frustration from Monday's romp on the next opponent they face. This is still a solid team across the board with an average of 75.9 points a game and a 46.8 shooting percentage from the field. Villanova has some excellent balance and scoring depth throughout the starting lineup onto the bench with six different players averaging at least nine points a game.
Creighton will first head into Wednesday night's contest against Butler riding a SU seven-game losing streak in which it has covered just one time.BetOnline has opened the Blue Jays as 11-point road underdogs against the Bulldogs, so I would guess that they will be coming into The Pavilion at Villanova on Sunday as 20-point plus underdogs for that matchup. Normally I would stay away from such a large spread, but given Creighton's current form and the Wildcats' current state of mind, this game has major blowout written all over it.
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