The biggest game so far in the Big East goes down in Providence, Rhode Island with Villanova travelling to face the 21-2 Friars in hopes of getting back into the mix for a Big East regular season title.
Ed Cooley's team has not been seen as a legitimate threat despite their sterling record, ranking outside of KenPom's top 40, but they have an opportunity to prove themselves in arguably the biggest home game in recent history.
Here are the odds for the Big East showdown, courtesy of WynnBET Sportsbook:
Villanova vs. Providence Odds, Spread and Total
- Villanova: -4.5 (-110)
- Providence: +4.5 (-110)
- Villanova: -200
- Providence: +165
Total: 132 (Over -110/Under -110)
Villanova vs. Providence Prediction and Pick
Villanova might be the better team, but boy are you paying quite a tax to bet them in a big game on the road. The Friars are elite at defending the rim this season, holding foes to a bottom 30 field goal percentage at the rim.
Meanwhile, the pace to this one is going to be slow with each possession being maximized, Nova has the slowest average offensive possession length and Providence has the third slowest.
With that in mind, Jay Wright's zone defense is going to give the Friars opportunities to shoot from three, allowing the second highest three-point rate in the Big East and the home team can make them pay, hitting on 37% of their three's (second best in Big East play).
Cooley has a veteran bunch on his team, including Al Durham and Nate Watson, and his teams have historically played Nova close in the past. Dating back to 2018, the Friars have beaten the Wildcats three times. Cooley knows how to beat this zone defense and the Friars are 7-1 as an underdog this season.
In a low possession game, I think we are getting a good price on a team that nobody believes is as good as their 21-2 record. Maybe they aren't that good, but they are good enough to cover the spread on Tuesday.
PICK: Providence +4.5
All of Reed's college basketball plays can be tracked here, his best bets column for college basketball is 60-54-3 for +2.9 units.