DePaul Blue Demons at Providence Friars, Dunkin’ Donuts Center, Providence, RI
Thursday, February 17, 2011, 9:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN2
Opening Line: Providence -12.5
Current Line: Providence -12
Opening Total: 152
Current Total: 153.5
Money Line: Providence -800 / DePaul +600
The DePaul Blue Demons (6-18, 0-12 Big East) have dropped 25 straight games in conference play and will try yet again to end that lengthy skid when they visit the Providence Friars (14-11, 3-9) on Thursday. The Blue Demons have been double-digit underdogs in their last seven games and will be playing their second consecutive game on the road at Providence (-12).
DePaul has covered its last three games, with two of them decided by four points or less. One of those games was a 61-57 loss at Louisville on February 5 that was arguably the team’s best effort of the season. The Blue Demons were tied with the Cardinals at halftime 34-34 and shot better than the home team from the field and the free-throw line. However, they were outrebounded 32-24 and only got to the charity stripe only four times compared to 18 for Louisville.
The team got off to a rough start in an 82-71 loss at West Virginia on Saturday, trailing 47-34 before outscoring the Mountaineers in the second half. DePaul’s defense was not nearly as effective in that game, as West Virginia shot nearly 53 percent from the field and made 20 of 25 attempts from the free-throw line. Defense will be critical again for the Blue Demons against a Providence team that can certainly light up the scoreboard, especially at home.
The Friars are averaging nearly 79 points per game at home this season and have played three of their last four games on the road. They are coming off a 75-57 loss at Connecticut on Sunday in which leading scorer Marshon Brooks totaled 25 points but made just 7 of 22 shots from the field, including 1 of 8 from 3-point range. Brooks is averaging almost 31 points in the last three games and has scored at least 20 in seven straight games.
Providence plays four of its last six games at home starting with this game and has no chance of making the NCAA tournament. However, the Friars are a young team outside of Brooks (a senior) and could be a dangerous team in the NIT or College Basketball Invitational. A strong finish could give the team a lot of confidence going into next season.
DePaul will look to break a four-game series losing streak against Providence and has also won just one of the last seven meetings between the teams. The Blue Demons are 4-3 against the spread in those games though with the UNDER going 5-1 in the past six. The UNDER is also 5-1 in the past six games for the Friars overall.
Now that you have read this college basketball betting preview featuring Providence & DePaul, check out the NCAA basketball odds on this and all the games to compare the best lines at multiple sportsbooks.