Big East Basketball Picks: #9 Villanova Wildcats at Georgetown Hoyas

#9 Villanova Wildcats at Georgetown Hoyas
Verizon Center – Washington, DC

Monday, January 27, 2014, 9:00 pm Eastern, TV: Fox Sports 1
Opening Line: Villanova -5
Current Line: Villanova -5 1/2
Opening Total: 142
Current Total: 140
Opening Money Line: Villanova -250 / Georgetown +210
Current Money Line: Villanova -250 / Georgetown +210 

Villanova is a 5.5 point favorite at Georgetown Monday night.
Villanova is a 5.5 point favorite at Georgetown Monday night.

The 17-2 Villanova Wildcats and 11-8 Georgetown Hoyas renew their rivalry Monday night in Washington. While Villanova sits in second place at 6-1 in the revamped Big East behind 7-1 Creighton, Georgetown is 3-5 in conference and in seventh place. A current four game tailspin for the Hoyas has put their NCAA tournament hopes in serious jeopardy even though it is still January.

Georgetown leads the series 42-29 against Villanova, including 21-12 in Washington. The Wildcats won the only meeting last season in Philadelphia 67-57. However, Georgetown has won 3 of the last 4 and 8 of the last 10 against Villanova. The Hoyas have also beaten the Wildcats three straight times in the Verizon Center. The two schools will close out the regular season against each other in Philadelphia March 8.

Villanova is coached by Jay Wright. Villanova has losses at Syracuse and at home against Creighton. The Wildcats have key wins over Lafayette and Delaware at home, USC, Kansas, and Iowa (all three in a tournament in the Bahamas), Penn, LaSalle, at St. Joseph’s, at Butler, Providence, at Seton Hall, at St. Johns, DePaul, and last Saturday at Marquette 94-85 in overtime. Villanova has won six of the last seven games. The Wildcats are 13-4 ATS and the total is 13-4 this season.

Villanova is outscoring teams 81-68 this season. The Wildcats are #23 nationally in scoring. Villanova is shooting 45.9% from the field and 35% from 3 point range.The Wildcats make 72.2% of their free throws. Villanova opponents are shooting 40.5% from the field and 35.6% from 3 point range. The Wildcats average 38.6 rebounds per game and opponents average 28.8 per game. Villanova is 51st or better nationally in both categories. The Wildcats average 16 assists, 12 turnovers, 7 steals and 4.6 blocks per game. Opponents average 12.6 assists, 14.5 turnovers, 5.7 steals and 2.7 blocks per game.

Forward JayVaughn Pinkston averages 15.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists. Guard James Bell averages  15.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Guard Darrun Hilliard II averages 13.8 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. Guard Ryan Arcidiacono averages 10.2 points, 2.4 rebounds and 3.5 steals per game. Guard Josh Hart averages 9.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game. Guard Dylan Ennis averages 7.1 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. Forward Daniel Ochefu averages 4.9 points, 6 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 1.6 blocks per game. Kris Jenkins and Tony Chennault will also get significant minutes.

Georget0wn is coached by John Thompson III. The Hoyas have losses to Oregon in South Korea, to Northeastern in a tournament in Puerto Rico, at Kansas, at Providence, at Xavier, Seton Hall, Marquette, and Saturday at Creighton 76-63.   The Hoyas have key wins over Wright State at home, Kansas State and VCU in Puerto Rico, Depaul and St. John’s both at home, and at Butler. Georgetown is 7-11 ATS and the total is 11-7 this season.

Georgetown is outscoring teams 72-67 this season. The Hoyas are shooting 46.5% from the field including 34.1% from 3 point range. Georetown makes 68.6% of their free throws. Hoya opponents are shooting 39.6% from the field and 30.5% from 3 point range. Georgetown is #37 in opponents’ field goal percentage and #47 in three point defense. The Hoyas average 34.9 rebounds per game and opponents average 31.3 per game. Georgetown averages 14.1 assists, 12.8 turnovers, 6.1 steals, and 4.5 blocks per game. Opponents average 11.5 assists, 12.5 turnovers, 6.5 steals and 2.9 blocks per game.

Hoya guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera averages 17.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Guard Markel Starks averages 16.2 points, 2.2 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 1 steal per game. Center Joshua Smith is out for the season because of academics. He averaged 11.5 points, 3.4 rebounds and i steal per game. Forward Jabril Trawick is out indefinitely with a broken jaw. He averages 7.1 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 1.6 assists. Forward Mikael Hopkins averages 6.8 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.6 blocks per game. Forward Nate Lubick averages 5 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game. Aaron Bowen, Reggie Cameron, and Moses Ayegba will also get minutes in the rotation.

Villanova is 5-0 ATS after scoring 90 points or more, 5-1 overall and in Big East games, 9-2 after a cover, 22-7 after a straight up win, 6-2 in road games, and against teams with winning records, 20-7 against teams with winning records, 0-5-1 in Monday games. The favorite is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 games in this  series. Seven of the last nine games played in Washington in the series have gone under the total.

Georgetown is 4-1 ATS in Monday games, 6-13 against teams with winning road records, 2-5 at home, 0-4 against teams with winning records, overall, and in Big East games. The home team is 4-1 ATS in the last games in this series. The Hoyas are 5-2 ATS in the last 7 against the Wildcats, and 4-1 ATS in the Verizon Center against Villanova.


Georgetown has really struggled without Smith and Trawick, two of their four leading scorers. Those struggles should continue against a great Villanova team. The Hiyas will hang around, but Villanova pulls away late.

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