Villanova vs. DePaul - 2/21/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
DePaul Blue Demons (10-16) at Villanova Wildcats (24-3)
College Basketball: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 at 8:30 pm (Wells Fargo Center-PA)
The Line: Villanova Wildcats -20.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
We have some Big East conference college basketball action on Wednesday night as the DePaul Blue Demons take on the #3 Villanova Wildcats.
The DePaul Blue Demons desperately need a win here after losing 5 of their last 6 games, including an 82-77 loss to Seton Hall in their last outing. Marin Maric led DePaul with 23 points on 10 of 12 shooting with a team-high 8 rebounds, while Tre’Darius McCallum added 15 points with 3 steals and Max Strus added 14 points with 8 rebounds and 4 assists of his own to round out the trio of double digit scorers for the Blue Demons in the loss. Eli Cain added 9 points while also leading DePaul with 5 assists in the losing effort. Strus leads DePaul in scoring with 16.8 points per game, while Maric leads the Blue Demons on the glass with 6.5 rebounds per game and Cain leads DePaul in assists with 4.5 assists per game this season. As a team, DePaul is scoring 73.5 points per game on 43.4% shooting from the field, 32.6% from behind the arc and 71% from the foul line this season.
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The #3 Villanova Wildcats will also be looking for some kind of consistent play after alternating wins and losses in each of their last 5 games, including a 95-79 road win over Xavier in their last outing. Mikal Bridges led ‘Nova with 25 points on 10 of 15 shooting with 4 threes, while Donte DiVincenzo came 2nd with 21 points on 8 of 12 shooting with 5 triples and team-highs of 9 rebounds and 9 assists. Omari Spellman, Eric Paschall and Jalen Brunson each added 11 points, with Spellman hitting 3 triples, while Paschall dished out 6 assists and Brunson handed out 8 helpers in the winning effort. Collin Gillespie added 10 points to round out the scoring in double figures for the Wildcats in the win. Brunson leads Villanova with an average of 19.5 points and 4.9 assists per game while Spellman is the Wildcats top rebounder with 7.6 rebounds per game this season. As a team, Villanova owns the top scoring offense in the nation with 87.4 points per game while shooting the 6th-best field goal percentage in the country at 51%, along with a 40.4% percentage from behind the arc and 76.2% from the foul line this season.
DePaul is 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 games overall and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 road games while the over is 5-2 in their last 7 conference matchups. Villanova is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games overall while the over is 7-1 in their last 8 conference matchups. The road team is 7-1 ATS in the last 8 meetings between these two teams.
Villanova is the top scoring team in the country, and is probably going to end up as a #1 seed in the big dance. However, despite their shortcomings SU, DePaul has actually done pretty well ATS as of late, and on the road no less, which is big here considering that the road team has had the majority of the success between these two over the last few years. I went back and forth on this, but the clincher for my pick is that the last 3 times that DePaul was a 20+ point underdog against Villanova, they covered all 3 times, including a 3-point loss in 2016, so I’ll take a stab at DePaul and the points here.