College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions: Providence vs. Creighton (Tuesday, Jan. 11)
Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Jared Bynum (Providence)
- Ed Cooley and the Providence Friars take on Greg McDermott and the Creighton Bluejays in Tuesday night Big East action.
- The Bluejays have not been solid against the spread as favorites this season, so does that open the door on some value with Cooley and Co.?
- DJ James shares his top bet for the matchup below.
Providence vs. Creighton Odds
-115o / -105u
-115o / -105u
After losing to Villanova by a landslide last Wednesday, the Creighton Bluejays will host the Providence Friars.
These teams are two of the slowest in the Big East. In addition, neither team shoots particularly well from deep, and they both have strong defenses.
All of these variables infer an inter-conference slugfest, where points should be at a premium.
Providence beat St. John’s on Saturday after trailing early on. This was one of the Friars’ highest-scoring games of the season, which is mostly attributable to St. John’s rapid pace.
The Friars are 9-7 to the under this season, and they currently rank 281st in Adjusted Tempo, per KenPom. They average 18.5 seconds per possession and force opponents to utilize 17.4 seconds on their shot clock on average.
The Friars do not shoot many 3s. They shoot 32.4% from downtown, and this is partly why they don’t take many.
Also, they like to get to the free throw line. They rank eighth in the NCAA in FTA/FGA (free throw attempts per field goal attempts), which would usually play to an over. However, since this is one of their main sources of offense and they only shoot 72.4% from the line, this should not be much of a concern against Creighton.
In addition, Creighton rarely fouls. On defense, the Bluejays rank fourth in FTA/FGA, so this will force Providence to find another option for scoring opportunities.
Providence has the bigs to match up with Creighton’s productive inside game. Nate Watson and Noah Horchler are two of the strongest rebounders in the Big East. They match up well with Ryan Hawkins and Ryan Kalkbrenner, who combine for 14.3 rebounds each night on average.
Providence limits opponents to 44.9% from 2-point range, which ranks 34th in college basketball. This is the main source of Bluejays’ offense, so if the Friars can cut into this margin, Creighton will not be very effective.
Yes, the Bluejays mainly get buckets inside. Hawkins, Ryan Nembhard and Alex O’Connell are deep threats, though. Although they only shoot around 30% as a team, all three of these guys can stroke it.
Providence does prevent success from beyond the arc, but these three Bluejays will need to be secured. That will give Creighton no alternative if the inside does not open up.
The Bluejays do greatly struggle when it comes to taking care of the basketball, however. Providence is not the best at turning opponents over, but Creighton can shoot itself in the foot on occasion, turning the ball over on 20.9% of possessions.
In the Bluejays’ four losses, they averaged 16 turnovers per game.
This could likely be the case against Providence if they get sloppy. Nembhard has the ball in his hands often, but he does rack up giveaways (3.6 per game).
Jared Bynum is a mismatch who averages 1.1 steals per game, so he could force Nembhard to get a bit sloppy. As long as these turnovers do not turn into fast breaks, the under is in strong shape.
Finally, Creighton ranks 244th in Adjusted Tempo and utilizes 17.6 seconds on average on offense. The Bluejays average 18.0 seconds per possession on defense, which will cause long possessions for the Friars, who are even slower.
Providence vs. Creighton Betting Pick
This game will be one of the slowest-paced games in Big East play this conference season. Neither team shoots well enough from deep to have an alternative to their primary scoring source.
Creighton will not foul Providence and provide the Friars with free points, and Providence will not allow the ball inside without a fight.
As long as turnovers do not lead to fast breaks, this game will go under. Take the under at 132.5 and play it to 131.