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Villanova Wildcats vs. DePaul Blue Demons Pick-Odds-Prediction 1/18/14

DePaul Blue Demons (10-8) at Villanova Wildcats (15-1)

College Basketball: Saturday, January 18, 2014 at 4:00 pm (Villanova Pavilion)

The Line: Villanova Wildcats -17.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: Fox Sports Networks

The DePaul Blue Demons visit the 6th ranked Villanova Wildcats on Saturday at 4PM on Fox Sports Network.

DePaul has won two in a row in conference play after starting out 0-3 and sitting in the cellar.  The Blue Demons built on their OT win at Butler by defeating St. John’s 77-75 at home this past Tuesday.  The Blue Demons led throughout this game before allowing the Red Storm to claw back into it late before Billy Garrett Jr. helped DePaul seal the win.  The swingman finished with a team-high 21 points and 5 boards and knocked down all six of his free throws -- including key ones down the stretch to seal the game.  Cleveland Melvin added 16 and Brandon Young added 19.  The Blue Demons have now gotten solid production from their big 3 in the past two games and the direct correlation has been W’s and a renewed confidence.

Villanova Wildcats vs. DePaul Blue Demons Pick-Odds-Prediction 1/18/14

Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Villanova slid up to #6 this week after also defeating St. John’s 74-67.  The win moved the Wildcats to 4-0 in conference play and 14-1 overall.  Villanova overcame a lethargic start after they fell behind 33-31 at the half before turning it on and pulling away in the second half for the win.  The Wildcats had five players score in double figures, with Jayvaughn Pinkston leading the way with 15.  Villanova had one of their worst shooting nights on the year, finishing 36% from the field and just 31% from three point land.  Fortunately, the Wildcats ramped up the defensive intensity in the second half and did not necessarily need to shoot it well to overcome the lowly Johnnies.  Villanova now ranks in the top 40 in points, assists and rebounds per game nationally.

DePaul is playing well and is finally leaning on their veterans to get some good conference wins.  The Blue Demons have been strong on the road for the past two seasons against good competition but have failed to get over the hump still.  I think the Blue Demons will give Nova all they can handle for about 35 minutes before the Wildcats pull away for the win late.  I like DePaul to steal the cover, despite the tough loss on the road.

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DePaul +17.5

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