2023 Big East Tournament Odds, Picks: 4 Bets for Creighton vs. Villanova, More

2023 Big East Tournament Odds, Picks: 4 Bets for Creighton vs. Villanova, More article feature image
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Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images. Pictured: Justin Moore (Villanova)

The Big East Tournament tipped off in Madison Square Garden on Thursday with two chalky favorites — Villanova and St. John's — winning comfortably and one stunning, final-second upset as DePaul beat Seton Hall by one.

The tournament's five best seeds will begin their quest for a Big East title Thursday in the quarterfinals.

The quadruple-header begins with Marquette vs. St. John's in what's expected to be an up-tempo thriller. The day concludes with a high-profile rubber match between Creighton and Villanova.

Here are my thoughts on all four matchups:



St. John's vs. Marquette Odds

Thursday, March 9
12 p.m. ET
FS1
St. John's Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
+6.5
-102
161.5
-110o / -110u
+230
Marquette Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
-6.5
-120
161.5
-110o / -110u
-285
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

These teams just played Saturday in the regular season finale. St. John's took Marquette to the wire in Milwaukee and had an opportunity to win the game in the final minutes.

The Red Storm came from 19 down in the first half and ultimately lost by just two, 96-94.

The Golden Eagles were flat just days after clinching the Big East regular season crown, but this matchup is better for St. John's than some of the other favorites in the conference.

Marquette wants to play fast, get out in transition and make teams uncomfortable. The Red Storm are extremely comfortable in frenetic games because they also play at one of the fastest paces in the nation.

Given that this is a noon tip-off and a quick turnaround for the Red Storm, there is a potential for fatigue to hurt them. Marquette hasn't historically had much success in Madison Square Garden, and the Red Storm will be comfortable on their second home court.

St. John's does have an excellent transition defense, per Synergy. The Red Storm are in the 93rd percentile defensively and also rank in the 61st percentile at the rim defensively.

Marquette should get a ton of wide-open looks from the perimeter in this matchup, though. St. John's perimeter defense is one of the worst in the nation.

The Red Storm turn the ball over a ton, but they should also be able to dominate the glass against an undersized Marquette side.

The market is baking in some home-court advantage for the Red Storm with the line at Marquette -6.5. The line was just Marquette -11.5 on Saturday in Milwaukee, so this is a modest home-court price for the Red Storm.

Unless this line gets to 7.5-8, I won't be playing the first game in the Big East Tournament on Thursday.

Pick: Lean St. John's if at +7.5/+8

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Providence vs. UConn Odds

Thursday, March 9
2:30 p.m. ET
FS1
Providence Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
+6.5
-102
143.5
-110o / -110u
+235
UConn Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
-6.5
-120
143.5
-110o / -110u
-295
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Providence has been embarrassed in three of its past four games. That's extremely uncharacteristic of an Ed Cooley team, and the Friars should have a better defensive effort against rival UConn.

These teams are the two best offensive rebounding units in the conference and the country. UConn pulled in 15 offensive rebounds in the last meeting in Providence, but both of these teams are big, physical and good on the glass.

I don't expect to UConn to shoot 45% from 3 or get that many second-chance looks again.

Providence should be able to get some points at the line because UConn can get foul happy, but the Friars also rely heavily on scoring at the rim to generate offense.

That's why UConn has the edge here defensively. The Huskies are in the 90th percentile nationally in defense at the rim, per Synergy.

The market is down on Providence following the blowout losses, and there's no real value in betting against it from a side perspective. The Friars do struggle to guard the perimeter, but they rebound well and are above average at the rim.

That's enough for me to bet the under in this rivalry matchup at 143 or better.


DePaul vs. Xavier Odds

Thursday, March 9
7 p.m. ET
FS1
DePaul Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
+11.5
-102
153.5
-110o / -110u
+570
Xavier Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
-11.5
-120
153.5
-110o / -110u
-850
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

DePaul upset a short-handed Seton Hall on the opening day of the tournament and now plays a Xavier team that just learned it won't have Zach Freemantle for the remainder of the season.

The Musketeers are an elite offense that should have their way with the Blue Demons defense in this matchup. The question is whether the Musketeers can get enough stops to cover a large spread in a neutral-court tournament setting.

The Blue Demons did get healthier down the stretch and covered some inflated spreads as a big underdog, but Wednesday was their first win since Jan. 18 (against Xavier).

DePaul had lost 12 consecutive league games prior to that.

DePaul is also one of the oldest teams in the country and has some depth, so I'm not too worried about its legs.

Xavier wants to run a ton of ball-screen pick-and-rolls and use the post-up to Jack Nunge. DePaul is below average at stopping both of those. The Musketeers move the ball offensively better than almost any team in the country.

Xavier's offense also has advantages on the offensive glass.

Xavier is overvalued in the market, and you could sell me on betting DePaul on that alone. But the matchup isn't great for DePaul, so I'll be staying away from this game unless it reaches DePaul +13.

Verdict: Pass


Villanova vs. Creighton Odds

Thursday, March 9
9:30 p.m. ET
FS1
Villanova Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
+5.5
-102
134.5
-106o / -114u
+172
Creighton Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
-5.5
-120
134.5
-106o / -114u
-210
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Villanova is the trendy pick to win this tournament and return to the NCAA tournament. The Wildcats lost their season finale to UConn at home, but have otherwise closed playing their best basketball.

Justin Moore is their best perimeter defender and has been excellent now that he's shaken off the rust.

The Wildcats beat Creighton and Xavier at the end of the regular season.

Creighton is actually a good matchup on paper for the Wildcats. The Bluejays are an elite rim defense because of Ryan Kalkbrenner, but that's not how Villanova wants to attack defenses. Villanova shoots 3s at one of the highest attempt rates in the entire country

At the other end, the biggest weakness for Villanova is its post-up defense, but Kalkbrenner isn't much of a post-up forward.

If there's a weakness for the Bluejays, it's that they don't apply a ton of ball pressure and allow open looks from the perimeter. Villanova hasn't shot well from the perimeter all season and is one of the worst 3-point teams in the league.

They have improved considerably since Moore returned from injury, though. He's a good driver and distributor and can also shoot himself, opening up better looks for his teammates.

You won't find many people who have been higher on Creighton than me, but I'm fading the Bluejays in this quarterfinal. Villanova matches up well and because the Wildcats blew out Georgetown, fatigue won't be an issue yet in this tournament.

Pick: Villanova +5.5 (Play to +3)


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