NCAA Basketball Wednesday Betting Preview: Back Creighton to Cover Against Villanova

SI Gambling analyst Roy Larking focuses on NCAA matchups from the Big East and the Atlantic Coast conferences on his Wednesday college basketball betting card.
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No. 14 Creighton at No. 10 Villanova

The top two teams in the Big East Conference standings square off when Creighton visits Villanova tonight. Tipoff for the Bluejays vs. Wildcats contest is slated for 8:30 p.m. ET at Finneran Pavilion in Villanova, Pa. This is their second meeting this season. Creighton crushed Villanova 86–70 as 2-point underdogs at home in the first game on Feb. 13. These teams split the season series year, with both teams winning on the road. Villanova won the first game, 64–59, and Creighton won the second meeting, 76–61.

Creighton (17–6, 13–5 Big East) is looking to rebound following a 77–69 loss against Xavier on the road during their last game on Saturday. The Musketeers outscored the Bluejays 44–34 in the second half and won as 4-point underdogs at home. Prior to that, Creighton had won seven of their previous eight games, and the loss snapped a four-game winning streak. While they have had success winning straight up, the Bluejays have struggled to cover as they are 4–9 against the spread during their last 13 games.

Villanova (15-4, 10–3 Big East) is back at home after a 73–61 loss against Butler on the road on Saturday. The Wildcats were down 34–24 at halftime and lost as 10.5-point favorites. Prior to that, Villanova defeated St. John’s 81–58 as 11-point chalk and UConn 68-60 as 7.5-point favorites during two games at home. The Wildcats are 8–0 straight up and 5–3 against the spread during eight games at Finneran Pavilion this season. Villanova locks up the No. 1 seed in the Big East tournament with a win.

These teams are separated by a half-game in the Big East standings and posted almost identical stats. Creighton has a slight edge on offense as they average 78.6 ppg while Villanova scores 77.2 ppg. The Wildcats are slightly better on defense as they allow 67.9 ppg while the Bluejays give up 68.8 ppg. This fight for first place in the Big East has the makings of a one-possession game that could go either way. Expecting a close contest, take the points and back Creighton.

Pick: Creighton Bluejays +4.5 (-108) at DraftKings

Betting Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook – Game Time 8:30 p.m. ET

Betting Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook – Game Time 8:30 p.m. ET

Bet on College Basketball All Season at DraftKings

Boston College at No. 11 Florida State

Teams at opposite ends of the Atlantic Coast Conference standings meet when Boston College visits Florida State. Tipoff for the Eagles vs. Seminoles game is slated for 9:00 p.m. ET at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee, Fla. This is the lone regular season meeting between these teams this year. Including an 80–62 win last season, as 17-point favorites at home, Florida State has won eight of the last 10 games against Boston College. The Eagles have lost nine straight games as visitors in this series.

Boston College (4–13, 2–9 ACC) heads to Florida following a 94–90 win against Notre Dame at home on Saturday. The Eagles led 42–35 at halftime and won outright as 7-point underdogs. Boston College was playing for the first time since Feb. 13 after games against North Carolina and Georgia Tech were canceled. Prior to scoring a season-high 94 points against the Fighting Irish, the Eagles struggled on offense during losses to Syracuse (75–67), Wake Forest (69–65), and North Carolina State (81–65).

Florida State (14–4, 10–3 ACC) is back at home after three road games. The Seminoles look to rebound after a 78–70 loss to North Carolina as two-point favorites on Saturday. Florida State was leading 41–29 at halftime, but the Tar Heels outscored the Seminoles 49-29 during the second half. Prior to that, Florida State defeated Miami 88–71 and Pittsburgh 79–72. Including an 81–60 win against No. 7 Virginia during their last game in Tallahassee on Feb. 13, the Seminoles are 11–1 at home this season.

As one would expect, given the record of both teams, Florida State enters this contest with better numbers across the board. The Seminoles average 79.2 ppg on offense while the Eagles score 72.7 ppg. Florida State allows 69.7 ppg on defense while Boston College gives up 78.3 ppg. Boston College has covered the spread during four of their last five road games, and they are 3-0 ATS as double-digit dogs this season. Florida State is the vastly superior team, but I am taking the points and backing the Eagles.

Pick: Boston College Eagles +18.5 (-109) at DraftKings

Betting Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook – Game Time 9:00 p.m. ET

Betting Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook – Game Time 9:00 p.m. ET

2020–21 NCAA Basketball Betting Record: 29-23 ATS

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