Providence @ Villanova
Villanova -4½ -110 over Providence

Posted at 10:30 AM EST. Odds subject to change.

Pinnacle -4½ -113 BET365  -4½ -110 Sportsinteraction  -4½ -110  888Sport  -4½ -110

Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

Villanova -4½ over Providence

Streaming: Fox Sports 1 (FS1) 

6:00 PM EST. Providence enters this Big East showdown with a 14-7 record, which on the surface looks decent enough, but once we dig a little deeper, we can see that the Friars are just 5-5 in conference play. That means they posted a 9-2 non-conference record, and when we look at that roster of cupcakes, it's not hard to figure out why the Friars are struggling now that the heat is on, and the quality of the competition has increased greatly. During non-conference play, the Friars played a weak schedule that ranked just 271 of 362 ranked schools in Division I hoops. Providence feasted on the likes of Columbia (219), Milwaukee (259), Lehigh (282), Wagner (297), Rhode Island (208), Brown (258), and Sacred Heart (304) to pad their win total.

Villanova has lost five games in a row, which has the Wildcats’ stock in the tank, but those losses all came to quality Big East competition in Marquette (11) twice, Butler (48), St. John’s (41), and #1 UConn. That loss to the Huskies came by the slimmest of margins, as ‘Nova dropped a 66-65 decision at home to UConn. By the way, three of those losses came on the road (Butler, Johnnies, Marquette).

The Wildcats are 11-10, and they have not won a game in three weeks, yet the oddsmaker made them a significant favorite here over a team with a superior record. Why? The Wildcats have played a meat grinder of a schedule that, when Big East play is factored in, it ranks 13th in the nation. Villanova’s non-conference schedule was tough, too, ranking 48th. The Wildcats have good non-conference wins over Maryland (53), Texas Tech (32), North Carolina (8), and Memphis (77). The Wildcats dropped close games to Kansas State (72-71), Drexel (57-55), and Penn (76-72) as well.

‘Nova has been on the wrong side of a number of close games this season and sports one of the worst “luck” rankings in college hoops (347 of 362 graded schools). Luck measures the deviation in winning percentage between a team’s actual record and their expected record using the correlated Gaussian method, which you can Google if you are so inclined. All you need to know right now is that the Wildcats have been very unlucky, and they are much better than their record shows. The oddsmakers made them the chalk for a reason, and we’d argue they would be spotting a more significant pile of points if not for recent results. ‘Nova is undervalued and underpriced, that’s a bet, Friends.



Our Pick

Villanova -4½ -110 (Risking 2.20 units - To Win: 2.00)



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