How Did We do Last Week?
In last week’s installment I had recommended four bets for your consideration and they went a combined 2-2 ATS.
St. John’s lost to Xavier 67-59 as a 1-point home favorite and Villanova lost in the big showdown at home to Seton Hall 70-64 and failed to cover as 4-point chalk. Creighton overwhelmed St. John’s 94-82 and covered the spread as 9-point favorites Saturday and Seton Hall defeated a pesky Georgetown team 78-71 and covered as 4-point road favorites.
So, for the four weeks the recommended Big East Best Bets produced an 8-2-1 against-the-spread (ATS) record.
What is on Tap This Week in the Big East Conference?
Big East Conference action starts Wednesday with four games on tap. The Butler Bulldogs host the Xavier Musketeers and will be looking to bounce back from their poorest game of the year losing to Marquette 76-57 and failed to cover the spread by 15.5 points. Xavier is on a three-game win streak and peaking at the right of the season. Since defeating conference-leader Seton Hall they have ripped off two more wins and covered in both. I expect to see this game lined at ‘pick-em’.
Will Seton Hall be prone to the letdown playing at home to an inferior opponent? After coming off their brilliant win at Villanova, which was the first time the Hall won on the road at Villanova since 1994. Head Coach Kevin Willard will have a tough task at hand to make certain his troops are fully focused on the current opponent, who will be the second place in conference Creighton Blue Jays.
You can bet that Creighton is going to bring the house in an all-out effort to break the 3-way logjam for second place in the standings and earn the No. 2-seed for the Conference Tournament. I expect Seton Hall to be a 9-point home favorite over Creighton. I like Creighton in this spot as a Best Bet.
The third game Wednesday night features the angry host Villanova Wildcats taking on the Marquette Golden Eagles. With their unexpected home loss to the Hall, the Wildcats now find themselves as one of the three teams tied for second place with identical 7-4 conference records. It is extremely tempting (like putting a Porterhouse Steak in front of me to bet large on the Wildcats knowing they will bounce back with a big effort. However, the Hall exposed the Wildcats defense and it could be a blueprint for Marquette to execute too. I will pass on this game but will provide updated material on Twitter Wednesday before the tip.
The fourth game Wednesday features a pair of solid teams that just did not get the breaks they needed to win conference games this season when the St. John’s Red Storm hosts the Providence Friars. I expect that Providence will be a modest road favorite of no more than a point or two. Given that St. Johns is 5-5-1 ATS and Providence is 6-5 ATS on the season there is nothing that sticks out in this matchup for me. Recommend passing on this matchup.
On to the Hot Saturday Matchups
Georgetown will be a formidable foe coming off 6-days of rest when they take to the road to face Butler, who is expected to be a 7.5-point home favorite. However, a quick power query of the database tells us that Big East Conference road dogs of 7.5 or more points and having at least two more days of rest are a money-losing 16-30-1 ATS. The record goes to 25-41-1 ATS for 38% when our road warrior is a 3.5 to 9.5-point underdog in games played since 2006. I recommended a Best bet on the Butler Bulldogs over the Georgetown Hoyas.
Next on tap Saturday Creighton will host last place DePaul in a game they should easily win, but this is the Big East and no game is automatic ‘give me’ added to the win column. Still, Creighton will be favored by 10 points and in this role are 49-1 SU winning the games by an average of 21 points and 30-20 ATS since 2006. Again, Creighton is fighting hard for the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament and will not get caught looking ahead. I like Creighton over DePaul as a Best Bet.
Then we have the Game of the Week in the Big East when the Providence Friars will host the Seton Hall Pirates. It will be interesting to see where this game’s betting line opens as it could be as high as 10-points. The Hall was a nine-point favorite in their 73-64 home win back on January 22, but the gap between these two teams has widened since then. The betting public is going to be all over the Hall in the aftermath of their win over Villanova that will inflate the line to our advantage to bet on Providence.