Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 4:45 PM EST.
7:00 PM EST. Villanova finds itself in unfamiliar territory, as the Wildcats are unranked and spotting single digits to St. John's for the first time in four years. At 11-4, 'Nova has more losses already in 2018-19 than it usually does over the course of a full season, but at bargain basements prices like this, we have to take a look at the defending national champions. The Wildcats stumbled out of the gate, no doubt, after getting whacked at home by Michigan 73-46, but the Wolverines are now the number two team in the nation and had an ax to grind in that rematch from last March. The Wildcats also dropped a game at ranked Kansas but did cover as an eight-point underdog. Their other two defeats came at Penn (78-75), which isn't an easy place to play. After those two defeats, 'Nova was bounced from the polls. The only real stain on the Wildcats resume was an overtime loss to Furman, but it did come on the heels of that Michigan blowout. We put very little stock into those games that were played weeks ago, but have no problem backing the undervalued Wildcats, as they are built to win the Big East and they’ll get start getting serious now.
It's been a hell of a week for the Red Storm, as they are fresh off of a 97-94 overtime win at Georgetown last Saturday. In that game, we backed the Hoyas at home as a pooch in that game because the Johnnies' stock is through the roof. While we ripped up that ticket, we didn't see anything from St. John's that would stop us from coming right back against them here. At 14-1, with that lone blemish being a point of contention for the Red Storm, as it came with controversy after the Johnnies were victims of a bad call that gave Seton Hall the ball with three seconds to go and the Pirates sealed the deal with a three-pointer. Nevermind that St. John's couldn't hit a free throw late or get a point from anyone on its very shallow bench. Not to mention, the Red Storm blew a 14-point lead and never should have been in that spot in the first place. Because of their success on paper, the Johnnies just cracked the Top 25 and are taking back a pile of points against an unranked conference opponent. However, the Johnnies have played a weak schedule (268th according to KenPom) and we maintain our position that Chris Mullin and his team are ill-equipped for the riggers of the Big East. They’ll pay the price here.
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#626 VILLANOVA -6½ -110 (Risking 2.20 units - To Win: 2.00)