Big East Basketball Odds: Creighton & Villanova Favored

UConn, Xavier Knocking on the Door

The Big East Conference may not be what it once was, but they still play solid basketball. While the conference may not have a top five or top 10 team, there are still plenty of teams with some big-time talent.

The Sagarin college basketball ratings have five Big East schools in the top 33. Ken Pomeroy has five teams in his top 35.

The Big East basketball odds have Creighton as slight favorites to win the title, with Villanova on their heels. The Wildcats lost Jay Wright, the man many people thought was the best coach in the conference.

The Big Two

Creighton (+155):

The Blue Jays are +155 in the Big East basketball odds and Creighton is returning four of its top six scorers. Creighton has talent returning but the school also brought some in. Guard, Baylor Scheierman transferred from South Dakota State. At 6-foot-7 he’s one of the taller guards around and strong on the glass.

Last basketball season with the Jackrabbits he averaged 16.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists. The Blue Jays didn’t have an exceptionally strong recruiting class, so Scheierman will help. Big man Ryan Kalbrenner averaged 13.1 points and 7.7 rebounds and the 7-foot-1 center will carry a bigger load this season.

With their size, the Blue Jays can create problems for most teams.

Villanova (+225):

The Big East basketball odds have the Wildcats next and Villanova has to replace leading scorer and assist leader Collin Gillespie. The Wildcats do return two of their top three guards in Caleb Daniels and Justin Moore.

Both players averaged more than 10 points a game last season. Eric Dixon and Brandon Slater return at forward and both were solid contributors a year ago. The Wildcats had a solid recruiting class, ranking in the top 25, but the biggest addition is coach Kyle Neptune. A longtime assistant under Wright, Neptune knows the program well.

But it’s not easy replacing a coach who went 642-282. There’s plenty of pressure on the coach but if Wright believes he’s the right man for the job, who’s to argue?

Best of the Rest

Connecticut (+450):

UConn lost four of its top five scorers from last year but you can never really count the Huskies out.

The Big East basketball odds have UConn at +450 and the Huskies will be good once again. The key returning player is Adama Sanogo, who averaged 14.8 points and 8.8 rebounds and UConn brought in some good talent

Hassan Diarra came over from Texas A&M, Nahiem Alleyne arrived from Virginia Tech and Tristen Newton came from East Carolina. The Huskies also landed freshman big man Donovan Clingan, one of the centers. It may take UConn awhile to blend, something to remember when looking at college basketball spreads, but the team should be in good shape for the conference tournament.

Xavier (+500):

The Big East basketball odds have Xavier at +500, making them the last of the teams less than +1000. It’s easy to see why the NCAAB odds are relatively low on the Musketeers. The team returns leading scorer and rebounder Jack Nunge and third-leading scorer Colby Jones.

Zach Freemantle is another big man returning and he posted solid numbers last year. Xavier landed a couple of nice guards in Kam Craft and Desmond Claude in recruiting. But the big pick-up for Xavier could be graduate transfer Souley Boum, who averaged 19.8 points for UTEP last year.

Boum and returning guard Colby Jones give the Muskateers a solid inside-outside game that can create matchup problems for the opposition.

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