Saturday’s College Basketball Odds & Picks for Providence vs. DePaul
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images. Pictured: Noah Horchler (Providence)
- Providence travels to DePaul for its second Big East road game of the season.
- The Friars have overachieved relative to expectations this season, as they have five Quad 1 wins.
- Kyle Remillard breaks down this clash and offers up his top selection.
Providence vs. DePaul Odds
-105o / -115u
-105o / -115u
DePaul and Providence both have exceeded expectations through the first two months of the season.
Last year, DePaul finished 5-14 while being outscored by an average of 14 points per game. The group is 9-2 this year, playing behind a lightning quick tempo that has led the Blue Demons to a top-25 scoring offense.
DePaul averaged over 80 points per game in non-conference play, but the offense was shutdown in its first Big East game, scoring only 59 against Butler on the road.
There is a resurgence in the Providence basketball community, as the Friars have started out the season 12-1. Ed Cooley’s group has won all five of its matchups against Quad-1 opponents and is ranked 21st in the AP Poll for the first time since 2016.
The Friars will bring their seven-game win streak to the test and will look to start out 3-0 in conference play.
Whichever team can dictate the tempo will have a significant advantage in terms of coming away victorious.
The morale behind Providence basketball is at an all-time high right now, with the program starting out 12-1 for just the second time in Cooley’s 11-year tenure.
Providence owns one of the most experienced groups in the country, with its top-nine scorers having an average age of 22.1 years. That experience will benefit the program in its second Big East road matchup of the season.
6-foot-10 center Nate Watson is the glue to the program, as he has averaged 15-points and 5.7 rebounds per contest. He was banged up with a knee injury last time out against Seton Hall, but all signs indicate that he will be good to go in this game.
Noah Horchler compliments him at the forward position and notched his fifth double-double of the season against Seton Hall. Horchler went 5-of-6 from downtown in that game and has hit 44% of his attempts from behind the arc this season.
Providence plays at a slower, more methodical pace, which forces opponents to grind out offensive possessions. The Friars own a top-50 defensive efficiency ranking and a top-40 scoring defense this season.
They will follow a similar blueprint as Butler did — allow DePaul to force unnecessary transition looks, ultimately leading to turnovers.
DePaul ranks 31st in adjusted tempo, which has led the group to over 80 points per game.
The high-flying offense came to a halt against Butler after only scoring 59 points and hitting 38% from the field. The Blue Demons were sloppy committing 21 turnovers in the game, and that may be an indicator of lies ahead in Big East play.
DePaul has five players who are averaging double digits in scoring this season, but they are led by Javon Freeman-Liberty, who is putting up over 20 points per game.
He has shown some struggles recently, though, hitting 14-of-54 (26%) from the field over the last three games.
David Jones — the complimentary scorer for the Blue Demons — has averaged 17 points per contest. But Jones missed the game against Butler due to health and safety protocols, and his status remains unknown for this game.
DePaul’s shooting woes from behind the arc have continued to be a pain point for the program. The group is hitting just 32% of its attempts, which ranks 220th in the nation.
Those struggles have only gotten worse over the last three games, as the group has hit 24% of its 66 attempts from 3-point range.
Scoring in the paint won’t be easy against Providence, which has held opponents to 44% on 2-point attempts. Watson is a monster in the paint who will make scoring difficult for DePaul in this matchup.
Providence vs. DePaul Betting Pick
Though both programs have started out the season hot, they have faced different paths to get here.
Providence has gone through some of the toughest programs in the country and continues to impress.
DePaul has been the beneficiary of an easy non-conference slate that ranks 123rd in terms of strength of schedule. The Blue Demons have only faced two opponents that rank inside the KenPom top-100 and are 1-1 against them.
Providence is an experienced group that returned most of its production from last season. That chemistry has led to the Friars assisting on nearly 60% of their made field goals this season, which ranks 44th nationally.
DePaul plays with much more isolation and has assisted on only 41% of its buckets, which ranks 337th in the country. That style won’t work against a stifling Providence defense.
Between these two teams — who have exceeded expectations to this point — it is Providence that looks like a contender while DePaul looks like a pretender.
Providence will dictate the tempo in this game and use its experience to be the more efficient group, leading it to start Big East play 3-0.