Wednesday’s College Basketball Betting Previews: Villanova-DePaul, Creighton-St. John’s
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Phil Booth and Collin Gillespie
After a jam-packed evening of college hoops on Tuesday, which saw No. 3 Virginia squeak out a one-point win at NC State, six ranked teams are in action on Wednesday.
Zoning in on the Big East, No. 14 Villanova travels to DePaul before a battle of unranked teams in Creighton and St. John’s. Which sides present the most value? Let’s break them down.
>> All odds as of Wednesday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NCAAB odds and track your bets.
Betting Odds: Villanova Wildcats at DePaul Blue Demons
- Spread: Villanova -7
- Over/Under: 147
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
- TV: CBS Sports Network
The Wildcats (13-7 against the spread) have covered in each of their past four contests with the Blue Demons (10-9 ATS) doing so in five of their past seven affairs.
Although DePaul covered on the road in their last meeting on Jan. 2, Villanova is much improved since. Jay Wright has turned the Wildcats into a machine from 3-point land once again, as they boast the sixth-highest scoring rate from the perimeter (42.7%) in the country.
The Blue Demons’ 3-point defense has suffered aplenty, yielding the 32nd-highest scoring rate (37.4%) from that vicinity. Expect Phil Booth (18.7 points per game) to have a monster showing from deep vs. a lackluster defender in Devin Gage.
At the other end, DePaul owns the Big East’s ninth-highest turnover rate (19.4%) in league play, including 18 of them at Villanova. The Wildcats are forcing conference’s fourth-highest turnover rate (18.2%) overall, and their ball-hawking style should translate in their rematch while leading to transition looks from deep.
According to our Bet Labs data, Villanova is 6-3 (66.7%) ATS as a single-digit favorite this season. They’ll continue that trend in Chicago.
THE PICK: Villanova -7
Betting Odds: St. John’s Red Storm at Creighton Bluejays
- Spread: Creighton -4.5
- Over/Under: 163.5
- Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
- TV: Fox Sports 1
The Red Storm (8-11-1 ATS) are reeling, lacking a cover in three of their past four matchups and an outright win in four of their past five. On the flip side, the Bluejays (9-10 ATS) have notched two straight covers after going on a four-game skid without one.
Ironically, St. John’s lone victory during that stretch was against Creighton, with the road team struggling to generate offense from deep (31.4%).
Greg McDermott’s bunch has manufactured a 46.6% 3-point clip in Omaha, though. With the Red Storm amassing the conference’s worst 3-point defense (40.6%) in Big East play, the Bluejays should deliver a bounce-back performance.
Ty-Shon Alexander, Creighton’s leading scorer (17.6 ppg), went 2 of 10 from deep in their latest matchup — overly reliant on his 3-point shot. He’ll be the one to spark their refined efficiency, as the Red Storm lack a defender to matchup with his athleticism on the dribble drive while also spacing the floor.
On top of that, St. John’s has struggled mightily on the glass at both ends, and Creighton should be able to take advantage via the second-highest defensive rebounding rate (25.5%) in conference play. That will initiate its quick-paced attack, ranking No. 80 in Adjusted Tempo (70.6 possessions per 40 minutes) across college basketball.
Per Bet Labs, the Bluejays are 4-2 (66.7%) ATS as a single-digit favorite this season. The favorite is 7-1 ATS in their past eight meetings, too.
Side with McDermott’s crew at home in a must-win game for its NCAA Tournament hopes.
THE PICK: Creighton -4.5