College Basketball Odds & Picks for DePaul vs. Providence: Can Friars Continue Success?
John Fisher/Getty Images. Pictured: Nate Watson.
- DePaul travels to The Dunk to take on Providence.
- Can the Friars continue their Big East success and run away with this game?
- Keg breaks down the game and offers up his pick.
DePaul vs. Providence Odds
-105o / -115u
-105o / -115u
DePaul will once again square off against Providence on Saturday evening. In the first meeting, the Blue Demons had an embarrassing showing, getting blown out by the Friars, 70-53. But they will enter this game finally having earned some momentum after an awful stretch.
DePaul and Providence began the season on the same path; after 10 nonconference games, both teams sat at 9-1 on the season. They both seemed to be in position to be threats in the Big East this year.
Providence, in fact, is a threat. Since that 9-1 start, it has improved to 20-2 on the season and 10-1 in conference play.
However, the Blue Demons have run into just about every issue imaginable. With everything from injuries, to COVID-19 delays and cancelations, the Blue Demons took a left when Providence went right. DePaul sits at just 12-10 on the season and 3-9 in the conference, having lost nine out of 10 after that 9-1 start to the season.
The Friars are on a seven-game win streak, their third of five or more wins in a row this year. But DePaul Is enjoying its first positive streak in quite some time. After beating Georgetown in their last game, 82-74, the Blue Demons have strung together two wins in a row for the first time since Dec. 14.
Unfortunately for the Blue Demons, DePaul is expected to still be without Javon Freeman-Liberty against Providence.
The Friars lead the series 19-8, dating back to 2006 and are 9-3 at home. DePaul is catching 10 points on the road, however, but will that be enough for the Blue Demons, who lost to Providence at home by 17?
In the absence of Freeman-Liberty, someone needed to step up for the Blue Demons. In their last game against Georgetown, David Jones made that step. Jones went off for 22 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists, recording the first 20-point triple-double in Division I this season.
It has been a team effort, but very few can step in and fill the 21 points per game that Freeman-Liberty gave the team. Against Xavier, it was Courvoisier McCauley, who went for 21. He added 14 against Georgetown as well.
In their last three games (all of which were without Freeman-Liberty), the Blue Demons have averaged 67 points per game and allowed teams to score just 65.3 points per game. They still haven’t been great from the free-throw line, hitting just 69.8% but have slightly improved their 2-point shooting.
And improving its shooting is exactly what DePaul needs to do if it wants to challenge the Friars. The Blue Demons have not lost a game all season when they shoot 45% or better from the field, currently sitting at 10-0. But when they finish below 45%, they are just 2-10.
Meanwhile, just six opposing teams have shot better than 45% against the Friars, and four of those came on the road for Providence.
The Friars have defended Dunkin’ Donuts Center as if it were Holy Land so far this season. Providence is a perfect 13-0 at home so far and has been even more dominant there than it’s been on the road.
On the season, Providence is averaging 73 points per game, led by Nate Watson, who is putting up 13.5 per game. Aljami Durham isn’t far off the lead, contributing 13.3 per contest while also leading the team in assists with 4.1 per game.
However, the Friars have had issues when it comes to turnovers. They rank 10th in the Big East with a turnover margin of -1.90.
Providence has been the third-best defense in the conference, holding opponents to just 62.3 points per game. It’s also third when it comes to opponent field goal percentage, holding teams to just 39.1%.
The Friars should be able to limit the Blue Demons, but the keyword is should. DePaul is a streaky offense that can get hot at any time, just as it did against Seton Hall and most recently Georgetown.
DePaul vs. Providence Betting Pick
The Blue Demons have finally reached a point where they are making things work without Freeman-Liberty. But both of these teams will still rely heavily on their defense in this matchup.
I also expect Providence to control the pace of the game and slow it down with their 282nd-ranked adjusted tempo. However, I think that only opens the door for DePaul, which is working better as a team right now and finally has some momentum following its two wins over Xavier and Georgetown.
Because of that, I’m going to be backing the Blue Demons. I think this is a low-scoring game, but DePaul surprises the Friars with its newfound team chemistry. Back the Blue Demons at +8,5 or better.