The perennially-powerful Villanova Wildcats will look to get their 2020-21 campaign started off on the right foot when they hit the road to take on the Boston College Eagles on Wednesday night in the 2K Empire Classic. The four-team event features a pair of Top 3 teams with No. 2 Baylor opening against No. 17 Arizona State later on Wednesday night. Now, let’s find out where the best college basketball betting value lies in this opening night matchup so you can wager on their College Basketball odds.
NCAAB Betting Preview – No. 3 Villanova at Boston College Odds and Picks
Why Bet On No. 3 Villanova at -14
Villanova went 24-7 overall and 13-5 in the Big East to finish in a three-way tie atop the Big East standings with Creighton and Seton Hall. The preseason No. 3 is a +800 pick in the MyBookie sportsbook to win the 2021 national championship and rightfully so.
While widely-respected head coach Jay Wright lost a star in recent first round NBA draft pick Saddiq Bey, the Wildcats return four double-digit scorers from last year’s squad in Player of the Year candidate Collin Gillespie (15.1 ppg), Justin Moore (11.3), Jermaine Samuels (10.7), and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (10.5)
Gillespie is a do-it-all star that shot 36.0 percent from beyond the arc, while Robinson-Earl is a five-star recruit with an unlimited ceiling who averaged 9.4 rebounds per game as a freshman last season to go along with his 10.5 points per game. Villanova also added two players that will contribute right away in Tulane transfer Caleb Daniels and former Georgia Tech and Pacific forward Justin Moore. Daniels was a star for the Green Wave as he put up a fantastic 17.0 points per game a year ago. Villanova is perennially powerful at both ends of the floor and the upcoming season should be no different for the Philadelphia-based powerhouse.
“You’re just holding your breath trying to get to the first game,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said. “The opener can’t get here fast enough. We’re not prepared for it like I’d like us to be. But if I had a choice, I’d rather get there and start it. You’re just so worried about somebody testing positive. It’s in the back of your mind all the time.”
In today’s COVID-19 times, teams haven’t been able to practice or scrimmage as much as in the past and that throws a new wrinkle into the equation.
“It’s going to be interesting to play on Wednesday and Thursday,” Wright said. “Just to see, we can’t scrimmage anybody. We don’t have any feel, usually I’ve been through a scrimmage that I can tell you what we look like. Wednesday is going to be so educational for us.”
Why Bet on Boston College at +14
Boston College went an uninspiring 13-18 overall and 7-13 in ACC play and enter the new season having to replace four key performers from last year’s squad. Jay Heath is back after putting up 13.1 points per game as a freshman and so is interior force Steffon Mitchell who averaged 8.7 rebounds per contest. Head coach Jim Christian also has a talented four-star recruit on the way in Demarr Langford, the fifth-highest recruit in program history. BC will also have a pair of transfer players that will see plenty of action right off the bat in Rich Kelly (16.7 ppg) and Makai Ashton-Langford.
“Rich is an efficient playmaker, an underrated scorer, and one of the elite shooters in college basketball,” Christian said. “He will be able to step in and contribute at both guard spots for us.”
Junior guard Wynston Tabbs, who missed all of last season with a knee injury, will be back in action this season after putting up 13.9 points per game during the 2018-19 season.
“I feel really good. It’s just so good to get back out there with my teammates.” Tabbs said. “Just showcase my results in practice.”
Villanova Wildcats Vs Boston College Eagles General Match Info
- When: Wednesday, November 25, 2020 at 7:00 PM ET
- Where: Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, CT
- Spread: Villanova -14
Expert Analysis and Prediction
Normally, I’d say Villanova looks good in this matchup, even as a 14-point favorite, but since the Wildcats haven’t played together very much at all and will be trying to figure out their new identity for several games, I’, going to say BC manages to narrowly cover as double-digit underdogs.
The Wildcats are 19-7-1 ATS in their last 27 neutral site games while BC went an uninspiring 1-5 ATS over their final six games last season. Still, Boston College upset Virginia, Notre Dame and Cal last season and I believe they will keep the final score in this one relatively close!
Pick: Villanova 78 BC 68
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