There are two games that stand out to this sports handicapper as he prepares to make our final NCAA Basketball picks of the day: Villanova vs. Seton Hall & West Virginia vs. Kansas.
Seton Hall Pirates vs. Villanova Wildcats
No total had been made public at time of writing, but the spread has been released and, as expected, the Wildcats are heavy favorites on their own court. They're laying 16 points at sportsbooks like YouWager.
You can't fault oddsmakers for making the line as high as it is. After all, Villanova has been simply amazing this season, as evident by their 23-2 overall record and #6 ranking in the top polls. The Wildcats' only two losses have come against this same Seton Hall team and then Georgetown, with both setbacks coming on the road. Other than that, all has been well for Nova, who will be looking to close out the regular season strong before the conference tournament and then the Big Dance.
Tonight's opponent, Seton Hall, has been struggling lately, having lost four straight contests. The Pirates are 15-10 on the year, but have gone just 5-8 in Big East play thus far, with most of those troubles coming in recent weeks. Momentum is most definitely not on Seton Hall's side, and now the Pirates have to contend with a Wildcats team that will be eager to get some revenge after a big Seton Hall win in the first meeting.
And, in the end, we expect Villanova's chemistry and balance to prove to be too much for the visiting Pirates. At some point, the Wildcats should be able to pull away, so we'll be laying the chalk and looking for the blowout. With redemption on their minds and eager to keep their winning ways going, we'll be recommending that you back Nova here, as favorites in NCAA Basketball odds.
NCAA Basketball Pick: Villanova Wildcats -15.5
Kansas Jayhawks vs. West Virginia Mountaineers
The Jayhawks are atop the Big 12 standings right now, but a loss tonight against West Virginia could shake things up. Right now the college basketball odds board forecasts an extremely close game, as the line is either at a 1.5 or 2 (with Kansas favored) wherever we look. The total is at 147.5.
Bill Self's team has enjoyed another stellar season, especially when it comes to conference action. The Jayhawks have recovered from a bad loss to Oklahoma State to win consecutive games over Texas Tech and Baylor - both wins were by double digits. Kansas is now 21-4 overall and 10-2 in the Big 12, which has them two games up over the rest of the competition. Perry Ellis leads the Jayhawks in scoring with 13.1 points per game.
As for the Mountaineers, they've hit a wall of late, losing three of their last four contests. Though they managed a home win over Kansas State, they weren't able to get the job done against Oklahoma, Baylor and Iowa State, all of whom are ranked at the moment. They're 19-6 overall and 7-5 in the Big 12. Juwan Staten and Devin Williams have been the team's top performers thus far and will be counted on heavily in this matchup with conference-leading Kansas.
So, who do we think will show up tonight? We expect a back-and-forth game, but ultimately we like West Virginia to come away with a hugely important victory. The Jayhawks haven't been nearly as convincing when on the road, and we can expect a tough atmosphere on the Mountaineers' home court this evening. With the crowd behind them, let's place our NCAA Basketball Picks with West Virginia to cash as home dogs.
NCAA Basketball Pick: West Virginia Mountaineers +2