#2 'Nova - Georgetown To Stay Just Below The Total

Willie Bee

Tuesday, February 7, 2017 2:03 PM UTC

Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017 2:03 PM UTC

If you like playing either double-digit underdogs or double-digit chalk on the NCAA basketball odds, tonight's clash between Georgetown and Villanova is perfect for you.

Season: 30-29-2 (-1.90)

Villanova has been the most consistent team in the polls, Jay Wright's Wildcats never ranking below No. 4 and spending more time at No. 1 than anyone else. It has been anything but a consistent showing for John Thompson III and the Georgetown Hoyas. That's the backdrop for the first of two scheduled meetings between old rivals, FOX Sports 1 televising the tip a little past 7 PM (ET). Bookmaker is running with Villanova at -13, the total coming down a bit overnight to 142½.

The Wildcats are the only other team besides Gonzaga getting any 1st-place votes in either conventional polls, and enter play Tuesday with a 1½-game lead in the Big East race over Xavier, those two coming together in a key clash this Saturday. The Hoyas are well back in the pack three games under .500 in league action, and at this point will need a stunning run through the conference tourney to make the NCAA's.

 'Under' On 9-3 Streak For 'Nova Players

Georgetown (13-11 straight up, 7-15 against the odds) saw a short but solid run come to a screeching halt this past Saturday with a 68-66 overtime loss at home to Seton Hall. Favored by 3 on the NCAA basketball odds, the Hoyas clawed back to force the extra period but could not overcome an awful performance from beyond the arc in the end, hitting just one of their 19 tries from long-range

Villanova (22-12 SU, 11-11-1 ATS) has three wins since its second loss of the campaign at Marquette a couple of weeks back, but failed to cover any of them to haul a 5-game skid at the window into this one. Saturday's 92-79 decision over St. John's didn't miss a -17 burden by much, but stopped a 3-game 'under' run and was just the third game in 12 since Christmas to go past the totals.

 'Cats On Top In 7 Of Last 8 Meetings

The schools are colliding on the hardwood for the 79th time, Georgetown owning a 43-35 advantage with Villanova closing that gap with four consecutive wins in the series. The Wildcats covered all four of the victories, three of them coming last season, the last of which was in the opening round of the Big East Tournament.

Most of Villanova's home matchups in the rivalry have been played in Philadelphia proper at the Wells Fargo Center, tonight's tussle marking the first time in 11 years the clubs have gotten together at The Pavilion. Their clash in Philly last season ended with 'Nova on the right side of an 84-71 final, the Hoyas just getting the cover as 15 point 'dogs.

The spread represents the biggest underdog line for Georgetown this season, and by nearly 5 points over the largest up to now. Usually, I wouldn't hesitate to grab the Hoyas and this many points, but they've simply been too inconsistent to make that play, and 'Nova hasn't exactly been a cover machine either. Instead, I'm going to make my free college basketball pick on the final falling short of the total.

Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Under 142½ Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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