Big East Conference Tournament Preview

UConn Massive Favorites to Win 11th Big East Tournament

Big East Conference tournament odds show the Huskies as a clear favorite after a 24-7 season that saw Dan Hurley’s team finish 13-7 in conference play. The Huskies finished fourth in the conference, four games behind Marquette. The best part about this time of year is that many College Basketball teams who had no business making the NCAA Tournament can rise up and steal their conference tournament or teams who thought they were a lock were left out of the dance because of an unexpected loss early in their tournament. Welcome to the time of year when breaking down March Madness odds is truly that. 

First Round-Wednesday, March 8th

Game One: 8th Seed St. John’s (17-14, 7-13) vs. #9 Butler (14-17, 6-14) 3:00 PM EST FSI

Neither team in this match-up has done well against the spread in 22-23 and no matter how hard we dig it’s difficult to find a solid betting trend. The Johnnies are 13-18 ATS while the Bulldogs are 14-16-1 ATS.

Totals history doesn’t provide a solid angle with 16 of St. John’s 29 games (2 pushes) hitting the over, while the Bulldogs have been an under team all season long with 21 unders in their 31 overall games. However, in St. John’s last 10 games, the under has cashed six times. St. Johns advances, but the under may be the better option when the number comes out. 

Game Two: 7th Seed Seton Hall (17-14, 10-10) vs. 10th Seed Depaul (9-22, 3-17) 5:30 PM ET FSI

Despite a record barely over the .500 mark, the Seton Hall Pirates have been kind to bettors with a 16-13-1 ATS record this season. While the Blue Demons have been as bad as their record would indicate with an 11-18-2 ATS mark. DePaul has failed to cover 10 of their last 10 games.

The Pirates are coming off a terrific win against the 20th-ranked Providence Friars after coming into the game with just eight scholarship players and riding a three-game losing streak. Not only did they beat the Friars they won by 24 points. Seton Hall advances in this one.

Game Three: 6th Seed Villanova (16-15/10-10) vs. 11th Seed Georgetown (2-18/7-2) 8:00 PM EST 

Look for Villanova to advance easily in this one. This may be a stay-away game when the number comes out because even though the Hoyas have had one of the worst seasons in NCAAB, they’ve been fairly competitive against the number (14-17).

We suspect that the Wildcats will be 8-10 point favorites. Too much to lay with a team that ranks 233rd on total offense (69.5 ppg). Villanova is 5-3 ATS over the last month but it’s best for bettors to sit this one out,

Quarterfinals- Thursday, March 9th

Game Four: Top Seed Marquette (25-6/17-3) vs. Game One Winner (St. John’s) 12:00 PM EST FS1

It’s Interesting the number here with Marquette winning the Big East by two games over Xavier but tied for the second with Creighton (+320) to win the Big East Tournament. We predict they’ll face St. John’s in this game with the Golden Eagles advancing to the semi-finals. Both teams come into the tournament covering three of their last four games.

Game Five: 4th Seed UConn Huskies (24-7/13-7) vs. 5th Seed Providence 2:30 PM EST F1

Despite finishing fourth in the Big East during the regular season, the Huskies are the favorite to win the tournament, The Huskies have covered 4 straight games and 6 of their last seven. In those four games, only the nine-point win against St. John’s (-7.5) came close to the number.

They beat Providence (-7.5) by 18, then St. Johns followed by a 29-point (-17.5) win against DePaul and then a season-ending win and cover against Villanova (-2.5), 71-59. The Huskies are the favorites for a reason. 

Game Six: 2nd Seed Xavier (23-8/15-5) vs. Game Two (likely Seton Hall) Winner 7:00 PM EST FSI

The chalk has won out so far and this should be no exception. Xavier comes in riding a three-game win streak with covers in four of their last six games. After a streak of four straight unders the Musketeers have cashed three straight overs, something to consider if the line isn’t to your liking. 

Game Seven: 3rd Seed Creighton (20-11/14-6) vs. Game Three Winner 9:30 PM EST FS1

This will likely be a match-up with Villanova who has given the Blue Jays some problems this season. A month ago, Creighton escaped with a 5-point win at home (-9.5) failing to cover, and then got a 12-point home win 10 days ago. Two games, two covers for Villanova. We think Creighton advances but it won’t be easy. 

Conference Tournament Odds Got it Right

Usually, when you’re trying to predict who will win a postseason tournament, the Big East Conference Tournament Odds tell a story. The key is to find out why. Despite their fourth-place finish, UCONN has the highest points scored vs points allowed difference in the conference (+438). That figures out to an average of 14.13 points per game.

Their last two losses at Creighton (56-53) and Xavier (82-79) were by a combined six points. Add to the mix a 1-point loss at Seton Hall, and you have a team that is seven points away from a 12-game winning streak. Daniel Hurly’s team is rolling and we don’t see any reason to go against them. The  Big East Conference Tournament Odds show +190 and that’s the number we’ll be using when we make our wager on the Huskies.

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