NCAA Basketball Pick on Providence ATS vs. Villanova

LT Profits Sports Group

Friday, March 13, 2015 2:43 PM UTC

Friday, Mar. 13, 2015 2:43 PM UTC

Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an overlay side that has a better chance of cashing than its spread, offering long term value. Here is their Side Value Play for Friday.


One of the best teams in the country just might have its hands full Friday night in the semifinals of the Big East Tournament when the fourth seeded Providence Friars (22-10, 9-6 away/neutral) take on the top seeded Villanova Wildcats (30-2, 15-8 away/neutral) at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY at 7:00 ET in a game televised nationally on FOX Sports 1.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Providence as a decided underdog for this contest with the current line at +9 with odds of -106.

13 Straight Wins Heading into Friday the 13th
Villanova looks to be in line for a one-seed in the NCAA Tournament after winning its last 12 games of the regular season and then making it 13 wins in a row with a dominant performance on both sides of the ball in an 84-49 thrashing of Marquette in the quarterfinals yesterday afternoon. Then again the superstitious may be quick to point out that a 13-game winning streak could be a bad omen when playing on Friday the 13th.

But all superstitions aside, the Wildcats could face a legitimate challenge from the Friars here, as Providence is another Big East team assured of its NCAA Tournament berth but one that has room to move up in its seeding after going 11-7 during the Big East campaign in a conference that ranks second as a whole behind only the Big 12 according to the Pomeroy Ratings. Providence was then also an easy NCAA Basketball pick winner in its quarterfinal.

Friars Won Quarterfinal Easily in True Road Game
But what was probably most impressive about the Providence 74-57 win over St. John’s yesterday was that it came in a true road game with this tournament being played at Madison Square Garden! Thus the Friars avenged two regular season losses to the Red Storm including a nine-point 75-66 loss in this building in the second matchup.

Now the Friars are again seeking double revenge vs. another opponent, as they were crushed by the Wildcats 89-61 in Philadelphia but also gave them one of their stiffest challenges during the Villanova 13-game winning streak in a 74-68 loss back home in Rhode Island.

Providence stayed close in that contest thanks to 12 offensive rebounds, and that is one area where the Friars have an advantage that they can exploit again today. That is because Providence is 52nd in the country in offensive rebounding percentage at 34.9 percent, nicely above the national average of 31.1 percent, while Villanova is only average on the defensive end allowing opponents to rebound their own missed shots 30.6 percent of the time.

Conversely the Wildcats are not a fantastic offensive rebounding team ranking 110th in that department.

Great Three-Point Shooting, but Can They Do It Again?
Villanova does everything else well though and that was apparent in its demolition of Marquette. But was that performance perhaps a too good vs. a questionable opponent? After all, the Wildcats tied both a school record and a Big East Tournament record with their 17 three-pointers made offensively, while simultaneously holding the Golden Eagles to 18-of-46, 39.1 percent shooting defensively.

As great as Villanova is this season, both of those performance on both ends of the court were better than their norm, and the Wildcats are now taking a step up in competition with Providence ranked an excellent 29th in the country overall on the Pomeroy Ratings and Marquette ranked 110th after finishing its year with a 13-19 record.

Thus do not expect a replay of either of those performances tonight, and if the Wildcats are a tad complacent after that great outing and their regular season sweep of Providence, they just may be on an outright upset alert!

Wildcats Not Good ATS after Allowing Less Than 50
Also, Villanova has not done well recently after holding opponents below 50 points, going just 3-8 ATS in the following game in the last 11 occurrences.

Look for a replay of that today as this has the potential to be a tight, entertaining contest, making the points worth taking with Providence vs. Villanova in one Big East semifinal on Friday.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Providence +9 (-106)

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