Tuesday’s NCAAB Betting Previews: Villanova-Penn, Georgia Southern-UCF
Jasen Vinlove, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Tacko Fall
After the slowest night of the college basketball season, we’re back up and running with an intriguing Tuesday evening slate.
Not only does No. 17/16 Villanova carry a 25-game Big 5 winning streak into its duel with Penn, but Georgia Southern and UCF also go head-to-head in a matchup of opposite tempos.
Which sides showcase more value? Let’s break down both games.
>> All odds as of Monday night. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NCAAB odds and track your bets.
Georgia Southern Eagles at UCF Knights
- Spread: UCF -12
- Over/under: 146
- Tip: 7 p.m. ET
- TV channel: ESPN3
The Eagles (5-2 against the spread) shot 38.5% on 3s in their latest win over Mercer, but they’re much more likely to regress to their usual standard against the Knights (7-2 ATS).
UCF owns the 17th-lowest Adjusted Tempo (65.5 possessions per 40 minutes) in the nation and matchup well against Georgia Southern’s eighth-highest pace (76.5 PP40) via an elite defense.
The Knights have manufactured the 21st-rated Adjusted Defensive Efficiency (93.2 opponents’ points per 100 possessions), led by the 13th-lowest effective field goal percentage (42.6%).
Johnny Dawkins’ crew has yet another major size edge against the Eagles, notching the 23rd-highest block rate (14.6%) in the process. That’ll force the opposition to rely on its 26.7% 3-point shooting — the 20th-lowest in the country.
At the other end, the 7-foot-6 Tacko Fall (10.3 points per game) is set to lead the Knights’ offense with Georgia Southern lacking an impact player taller than 6-foot-8. Expect UCF to work its offense inside-out, as it can fluster teams with its 36.0% perimeter shooting, too.
According to our Bet Labs data, the Knights are 2-3 (40%) ATS when laying at least 12 points under Dawkins. Expect them to begin to reverse that trend against the Eagles.
THE PICK: UCF -12
Villanova Wildcats at Penn Quakers
- Spread: Villanova -7
- Over/under: 138
- Tip: 7 p.m. ET
- TV channel: ESPN2
This matchup should be the most fascinating of the night, as the Wildcats (6-4 ATS) will enter The Palestra riding two straight covers. But Villanova’s offense has still been inconsistent, averaging 0.97 points per possession against a mediocre St. Joe’s defense on Saturday.
Jay Wright’s unit is also relying heavily on 3-point shooting, with 52.1% of its field goal attempts coming from behind the arc — the third-most in college basketball. The Quakers (7-2 ATS) have yielded the 60th-lowest percentage from deep (30.2%), so look for the Wildcats’ attack to struggle with efficiency once again.
Moreover, Penn has generated a 10.3% steal rate, guided by its leading scorer Devin Goodman (15.1 PPG). Villanova has labored in that department, allowing a 9.1% steal rate. Last week, Temple flustered Wildcats guard Collin Gillespie into three turnovers while hanging around for much of the matchup, but its outside shooting (28.6%) held the Owls back in a 10-point loss.
Nevertheless, the Quakers own the 12th-highest eFG% (57.0%) in the nation, including a 39.1 3-point percentage. The 6-foot-8 Goodman (40.9%) and his teammates should keep the score tight as a result.
Penn is 4-4 (50%) ATS when getting at least seven points over the past three campaigns, per Bet Labs. Steve Donahue’s squad will jump above .500 after this rivalry game.
THE PICK: Penn +7