Thursday College Basketball Betting: Providence-Villanova, Indiana-Ohio State
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Indiana Hoosiers guard Romeo Langford (0).
Coming off a win over Butler on Wednesday, No. 8 seed Providence (18-14, 7-11) faces No. 1 Villanova (22-9, 13-5) in the Big East quarterfinals. Meanwhile, No. 8 Ohio State (18-13, 8-12) squares off against No. 9 Indiana (17-14, 8-12) in Chicago — likely with an at-large bid on the line.
Where’s the value in these two games? Let’s break them down.
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Betting Odds: Villanova Wildcats vs. Providence Friars
- Spread: Villanova -6
- Over/Under: 134.5
- Time: Noon ET
- TV: Fox Sports 1
The Friars (15-17 against the spread) have covered three of their past four contests, including a trio vs. the Bulldogs. Butler produced just 0.92 points per possession at Madison Square Garden, shooting a mere 7-of-21 (33.3%) from behind the arc.
Ed Cooley’s troops have allowed both the lowest 3-point clip (33.9%) and scoring rate (29.5%) in Big East play. Villanova (19-12 ATS) owns the highest perimeter scoring rate (44.9%), and it shot a combined 37.8% in its two duels against Providence.
Nevertheless, the Wildcats generated a 28.7% 3-point clip over their past seven contests, and I’m expecting their late-season regression to catch up to them vs. the Friars’ stingy perimeter defense. Look for Providence’s Alpha Diallo to stymie ‘Nova point guard Phil Booth, too, especially on the dribble drive.
At the other end, Cooley’s unit will be able to take advantage of the Wildcats on the glass via the third-highest offensive rebounding rate (31.8%) in league play. Jay Wright’s bunch has tallied the fourth-lowest defensive rebounding percentage (28.4%), along with yielding an average of 16.5 offensive boards in their two matchups.
The 6-foot-10 Nate Watson wasn’t a massive factor vs. the Bulldogs, but his prowess for pounding the glass will be critical in keeping this one close.
THE PICK: Providence +6
Betting Odds: Indiana Hoosiers vs. Ohio State Buckeyes
- Spread: Indiana -1.5
- Over/Under: 129.5
- Time: 12:30 p.m. ET
- TV: Big Ten Network
The Hoosiers (15-16 ATS) have covered in six consecutive games despite falling to the Buckeyes (12-19 ATS) at Assembly Hall on Feb. 10. Archie Miller’s was amidst 12 outright losses over 13 contests before righting the ship, too.
Although Indiana possesses the fourth-lowest Adjusted Offensive Efficiency (98.7 points per 100 possessions) in Big Ten play, it has notched 1.17 PPP during its four-game straight-up winning streak.
Much of its recent success stems from getting to the line, tallying the fourth-highest free-throw rate (34.3%) amid its league slate. On the flip side, Ohio State has yielded the second-highest rate (34.8%) in that department. Expect 6-foot-6 freshman Romeo Langford (16.7 ppg) to have his way while attacking the rim, and those open lanes in transition and on secondary breaks will be a credit to the Hoosiers’ much-improved defense.
Indiana outrebounded three of its four opponents amid its run, providing it with a chance to push the tempo on occasion. The Buckeyes controlled the glass (35-29) in their lone duel with Miller’s squad, keeping the pace at its sluggish tempo.
With Kaleb Wesson (suspension) returning to the lineup, Hoosiers bigs Juwan Morgan and Justin Smith can’t let him sneak in to keep the possession alive.
Still, Indiana point guard Rob Phinisee shouldn’t have an issue disrupting the Ohio State’s attack because his sound on-ball defense, totaling a 2.4% steal rate. The Buckeyes have accrued the second-highest turnover rate in league play as well.
THE PICK: Indiana -1.5