Big East Basketball: Connecticut Huskies vs. Villanova Wildcats

Connecticut Huskies at Villanova Wildcats
Monday, 2/20/12, 7:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPN
Opening Point Spread:  Connecticut -1
Current Betting Line:  Connecticut -2
Opening Total:  137.5
Current Total:  136.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Villanova Wildcats are 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings with the Connecticut Huskies

Connecticut has won the last three meetings in this series and will look to bounce back from a 79-64 blowout loss to the Marquette Golden Eagles as three-point home favorites.  The Huskies have recorded a 142-86 record when playing on ESPN/ESPN2 since Jim Calhoun’s first season in 1986-87, which includes a 4-5 record this season.  Offensively, the team is led by All-America candidate Jeremy Lamb, who is averaging 17.3 points per game.  Connecticut is 1-7 ATS on the road this season and the “under” is 5-3 in those contests.

The Huskies are 2-6 overall away from Connecticut during the 2011-12 campaign, including a 2-5 mark versus Big East Conference opponents.  Connecticut has struggled offensively for most of the year, scoring just 68.4 points per game, which ranks 12th in the conference.  It’s important to note that the program has covered the spread in its three wins and failed to do so in its seven losses over the last 10 games.

Villanova has dropped five of its last six games that includes a 74-70 overtime loss to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish as three-point home underdogs.  The Wildcats have gone “over” the total in eight of their last 10 games.  Offensively, the team was playing without starting guards Maalik Wayns and James Bell last time out, with the starting unit logging 202 of a possible 225 minutes in defeat.  Wayns is currently listed as questionable and Bell is doubtful for this affair.  Villanova is 2-8 ATS at home this season and the “over” is 7-2 in that situation.

The Wildcats have three projected starters that average in double figures without their starting backcourt, with guard Dominic Cheek leading the way in averaging 12.4 points per game.  Villanova has dropped seven of the last 10 meetings in this series, while going 4-5 all-time when playing host inside the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.  Playing great defense is going to be the key in trying to pick up a victory Monday, posting a 7-2 record when holding opponents to 69 points or less, while going 4-13 when failing to do so.

Bettors will likely back the Wildcats due to being 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings, while the Huskies are 2-6 ATS versus conference foes.

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