Is No. 1 Villanova Set Up for an Upset vs. Creighton?

Willie Bee

Thursday, February 1, 2018 12:38 PM UTC

Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018 12:38 PM UTC

Home, sweet home is where top-ranked Villanova will be the next four games, and we have a free college basketball pick for the first of those matchups against Creighton on Thursday.

Creighton Bluejays at No. 1 Villanova WildcatsFree NCAAB Pick: Under 163Best Line Offered: Heritage

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With six neutral-site contests and eight more on the road, the Villanova Wildcats haven’t seen a whole lot of their own fans this season. They’re a perfect 7-0 so far when they do play in front of ‘Nova Nation, and the Wildcats will have a chance to enjoy home cooking for the next two weeks beginning with a key Big East clash Thursday against the Creighton Bluejays.

Fox Sports 1 carries the 6:30 PM (ET) tip from the City of Brotherly Love, and the Wildcats are a consensus -12½ play at top sportsbooks. Playing the scoreboard means a decision on a 163-163½ point total.

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Previewing Thursday Night's @BIGEASTMBB clash with Creighton with thoughts from Jalen Brunson: #Brunson4NPOY

— Villanova MBB (@NovaMBB) January 31, 2018

Injury To Booth Cuts Into ‘Nova Depth

All five of Creighton’s losses have come away from Omaha, three of those on the Big East slate with each of those as a small underdog. The Bluejays bounced back from a loss at Providence nearly two weeks ago by winning both contests last week, a 68-63 decision at St. John’s as 2-point road chalk before an 85-77 triumph vs. Georgetown last Saturday that wasn’t enough to cover as 12½-point home chalk. Tonight is the first of two on the road with a trip to DePaul next Wednesday. The Jays will enjoy a 3-game homestand after that which begins with a tough matchup against Xavier.

Villanova survived a bit of a scare Sunday at Marquette, holding on for an 85-82 win as 6½-point road chalk on the NCAA basketball odds. After trailing by a dozen in the first half, the Golden Eagles made a run to eventually take the lead and make it a ball game. The Wildcats used a 10-0 spurt in the second to grab the lead for good. Donte DiVincenzo got the start in place of injured Phil Booth (hand, out several weeks) and contributed 23 points to the ‘Nova cause.

Series Trends, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick

This is the first of two scheduled meetings this season, Villanova returning the road appearance in Omaha a little more than three weeks from now. It’s also a rematch of last year’s Big East Tournament Championship Game, which went to the Wildcats, 74-60, as 10-point favorites. Villanova swept all three matchups a season ago, covering each time, to extend its series win streak to 7 games and give the ‘Cats a 10-2 advantage in the series. Creighton’s only appearance at Wells Fargo Center resulted in a 96-68 rout by the Bluejays, who hit their first nine 3-point shots.

Missing one of their key contributors and the fact this is the highest total ever in the series, I’m on the ‘under’ with my free college basketball pick.

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