Free College Basketball Picks: Big East Thursday Plays

Steven Suarez

Thursday, March 14, 2013 3:09 PM GMT

Thursday, Mar. 14, 2013 3:09 PM GMT

The Wildcats looked mighty good in their second-round matchup with St. John's, but now must contend with Louisville in the quarter-finals. Have we located the best vale for our sports picks?

Odds Overview

The college basketball odds have been made public for this Big East battle and the Cardinals are favored by 9.5 points at most books.

Meanwhile, the total has opened up at roughly 124. The OVER has hit in four straight meetings between Louisville and Villanova, but we wouldn't be surprised if this time the UNDER is the right side with the way these two teams have been playing defensively.

Let SBR be your 2013 NCAA Tournament betting headquarters.

Louisville Cardinals

Riding a seven-game winning streak, with six of those victories coming by double digits, the Cadinals are looking the part at the moment.

A few of those victories stand out above the rest. Louisville overcame Syracuse 58-53 in the face of a tough environment in the Carrier Dome, and then crushed both Cincinnati (67-51) and Notre Dame (73-57) to close out their regular season.

Those Ws pushed the Cardinals to 4-0 ATS over their last four matchups overall. Another interesting statistic: Rick Pitino's squad has gone 11-2 ATS over their last 13 neutral-site games.

This is a team that seemingly has all the pieces in place to do a lot of damage here in March. Gorgui Dieng is a menacing presence on both ends of the floor, while the backcourt tandem of Russ Smith and Peyton Siva is one of the best in the business.

Villanova Wildcats

A solid start to the tournament saw the Wildcats easily scoot past the Red Storm in a 66-53 win as 4.5-point chalk. Villanova has now covered the spread on three straight occasions, while going a very healthy 7-3 ATS over their last 10.

This is a team that's already proven they can hang with the big boys of the Big East. They've beaten Georgetown, Syracuse, Marquette and Connecticut and have already overcome the Cardinals (albeit at home) once this season

The Wildcats have also been one of the most profitable ATS teams, going 19-9-1 against the spread in total. They've cashed in four of their last five ahead of tonight's game.

What we like about Villanova is you never know who's going to step up on any given night. There's a nice balance to this roster, with five different players averaging at least 8.8 PPG on the year. The three to really look out for though are JayVaughn Pinkston, Mouphtaou Yarou and Ryan Arcidiacono.

[gameodds]14/224620/43/us[/gameodds]

College Basketball Pick

Few gave the Wildcats much of a chance in their regular season meeting with Louisville, with oddsmakers listing them as 11.5 point dogs.

Villanova came out on a mission though and ended up not just covering the spread, but winning the game straight up. The Pavilion was going wild and the Cardinals couldn't handle the pressure.

Tonight's game on a neutral court could be a different story, but we still believe there to be value on the Wildcats. They're playing with a ton of confidence at the moment after beating both Georgetown and St. John's by double digits over their last two.

Villanova may also have the better feel for things in the first half, considering they played yesterday and Louisville has been off since the weekend. We therefore like placing our sports picks on the Wildcats to cover the first-half spread, as we do think the Cardinal could dial it up in the second stanza and then race out to the W.

NCAA Basketball Picks: Villanova Wildcats 1H +5.5

Find out why capper Jeff Grant lined this game differently and believed that Louisville should be a 6.5 point favorite.

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