#3 Villanova Wildcats at #11 Providence Friars
Dunkin’ Donuts Center – Providence, Rhode Island
Saturday, February 6, 2016, 2:30 pm Eastern, TV: Fox Sports 1
Opening Line: Villanova -5
Current Line: Villanova -4 1/2
Opening Total: 135 1/2
Current Total: 136 1/2
Opening Money Line: Villanova -200 / Providence +170
Current Money Line: Villanova -185 / Providence +165
The 19-3 Villanova Wildcats travel to the 18-5 Providence Friars in a key Big East contest Saturday. Villanova is #3 or #4 in the polls and leads the Big East with a 9-1 record. Providence is #11 in both polls and tied for third at 6-4 with Seton Hall and Georgetown. Xavier is also in the conference title mix at 8-2.
Villanova leads the series 57-38 against Providence, but the Friars are 24-18 at home. The only conference loss this season came in Philadelphia to Providence 82-76 in overtime January 24. The game was postponed from Saturday to Sunday after a huge winter storm slammed into the Mid-Atlantic region. The loss snapped a 22 game Big East winning streak for Villanova. The Wildcats had beaten the Friars five straight times before that contest.
Villanova is coached by Jay Wright. The Wildcats also have losses to Oklahoma in Hawaii and at Virginia. All three losses are to teams currently ranked #11 or better. Villanova has home wins over Nebraska, Akron, LaSalle, Delaware, Penn, Xavier, Seton Hall, Marquette, and Creighton 83-58 Wednesday night. The Wildcats have neutral site wins over Stanford and Georgia Tech in the NIT Season Tip-off in Brooklyn, along with road wins at St. Joseph’s, Creighton, Butler, Georgetown, Seton Hall, and St. John’s. Villanova is 10-10-1 ATS and the total is 8-12-1 this season. The Wildcats were 11 point favorites against Creighton and the total was 144.5.
Providence is coached by Ed Cooley. The Friars have a loss to Michigan State in a tournament in Anaheim, home losses to Marquette, Seton Hall, and Xavier, along with a road loss at DePaul 77-70 Tuesday night. Providence has home wins over Harvard, Brown, Illinois, Boston College, St. John’s, Xavier and Butler, plus neutral site wins over Evansville and Arizona in Anaheim. The Friars have road wins over Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Butler, Creighton, and Georgetown. Providence was an 8 point favorite at DePaul and the total was 140. The Friars are 13-9 ATS and the total is 13-9 this season.
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Villanova is outscoring teams 76-61 this season. The Wildcats are #7 nationally in points allowed. Villanova is shooting 46% from the field and 33% from 3 point range. The Wildcats are shooting 75.8% from the free throw line. Villanova is #12 nationally in free throw shooting. Opponents are shooting 38.2% from the field and 32.5% from 3 point range. Villanova is #12 in field goal defense. Villanova averages 36.3 rebounds per game and opponents average 29.5 per game. The Wildcats average 15.8 assists, 11.3 turnovers, 7 steals and 3.6 blocks per game. Opponents average 11.9 assists, 14 turnovers, 5.7 steals and 2.1 blocks per game.
Josh Hart averages 15.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.3 steals per game. Ryan Arcidiacono averages 12.4 points, 2.7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. Kris Jenkins averages 11 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2 assists per game. Jalen Brunson averages 10.3 points, 1.9 rebounds, and 2.9 assists. Daniel Ochefu averages 9.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.9 blocks per game. He is questionable with a concussion. Mikal Bridges, Phil Booth, and Darryl Reynolds will also get time in the rotation. Donte DiVincenzo and Tim Delaney are both out indefinitely.
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Providence is outscoring teams 74-68 this season. The Friars are shooting 42.6% from the field and 31.1% from 3 point range. Providence makes 72.4% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 43.2% from the field and 31.2% from 3 point range. Providence averages 37 rebounds per game and opponents average 31.9 per game. The Friars average 15.6 assists, 11.6 turnovers, 7 steals and 3.8 blocks per game. Opponents average 13.1 assists, 15.1 turnovers, 6.2 steals and 3.5 blocks per game.
Ben Bentil averages 19.7 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game. He is questionable after suffering an ankle injury Tuesday night. Kris Dunn averages 17.2 points, 6 rebounds, 6.9 assists, and 3.1 steals per game. Rodney Bullock averages 12.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.4 blocks per game. Jalen Lindsey averages 6.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. Junior Lomomba averages 6.2 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2 assists per game. Ryan Fazekas, Kyron Cartwright and Drew edwards will also get time in the rotation.
Villanova is 8-3 ATS in Saturday games, 12-5 after a straight up win of 20 points or more, 46-21-1 against teams with winning records, 2-5-1 in road games, 1-4 after a straight up win, 1-5-1 after a cover, 1-5 overall and in Big East games. The road team is 14-6 ATS in this series recently. The Wildcats are 7-3 ATS in the last 10 games in Providence.
Providence 5-1 ATS after a straight up loss, 16-5 after failing to cover, 7-3 against teams with winning records, 2-5 at home, and 1-6 against teams with winning road records. The over is 5-1 in this series recently and 6-2 in Providence. The Friars have covered 8 of the last 11 against the Wildcats.
This will be an uphill climb for Providence if Bentil can’t play. I think the Wildcats will be out for revenge after losing a couple of weeks ago. I like Villanova to win on the road.