Things are getting interesting in the Big East Conference, and they could get even more intriguing depending on what Villanova (21-2, 8-2) does in its next two games. Next up on the schedule are the Providence Friars, who sit a game and a half off the conference leading Wildcats, and that is followed by a game against the Butler Bulldogs who are just a half game back.
Date: February 11th, 2015 8:00PM
Venue: Dunkin’ Donuts Center, Providence, Rhode Island
NCAA basketball odds: Villanova -4.5
Game Preview and Betting Analysis
A win in both of those outings would put Villanova in a pretty sweet spot atop the Big East standings, but the fact that they have to play both of those games on the road means that doing so is not going to be an easy task. The Wildcats season took a real body blow when they lost to the Georgetown Hoyas on January 19th. Shadows of doubt started to be cast on this team, but they have responded like a champion, reeling off 4 straight wins, with the winning margins of each in the double digits. If they can win these next two, the loss to the Hoyas will likely be viewed as nothing more than a minor bump in the road. Anything other than a pair of wins will likely once again have people speculating that this is not a team that is quite ready for prime time.
The Providence Friars (17-7, 7-4) are a team in desperate need of a signature win in order to right their ship. They ended January with a defeat at the hands of the St. John’s Red Storm (they have lost both match-ups versus this squad), which they followed up with a win over Georgetown, only to lose again in their next game versus Xavier. All three of those games came on the road, so you can bet that the Friars will be happy to get back to the Dunkin Donuts Center. Motivation for the Friars should come in the form of the return of Coach Ed Cooley, who was taken to hospital during the loss to Xavier. The coach was tired and dehydrated, and should be ready to return for the Villanova game.
Key Betting Trends
Villanova is 13-6 ATS in its last 19 games
Villanova is 20-2 SU in its last 22 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Villanova’s last 5 games
Villanova is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games at home
Providence is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
Providence is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Providence’s last 6 games
Providence is 9-3-1 ATS in its last 13 games on the road
Consider This Before Placing Your Bet
Providence are going to need more than just a little coaching inspiration if they are to get anything out of this one. Villanova know that they can take complete control of the Big East over the next couple of games, which is why I think they win, although I expect it to be pretty close.