NCAA Basketball Picks: Villanova Will Cover Spread Against Stanford

David Lawrence

Thursday, November 26, 2015 12:35 PM GMT

The Stanford Cardinal are not in very good shape as they head across the country to face the Villanova Wildcats in Brooklyn. Who will be our NCAA Basketball pick?

Momentum
The Cardinal are in real trouble early in the season, falling to 2-2 after losses to SMU and Saint Mary’s of California. Both losses were decisive losses, the kinds which not only fail to set a right tone for a team in November, but which point to a lack of talent on the roster. Stanford depended on three players – Chasson Randle, Anthony Brown, and Stefan Nastic – for the vast majority of points and rebounds last season. Randle was the guy who would take all the big shots for the team and step up late in games. Brown was the second scoring option who was always available if defenses took away Randle and forced Stanford to go somewhere else under head coach Johnny Dawkins. Nastic was the tall rebounder who gave the Cardinal a presence on the glass. He was also the long defender who could alter shots near the rim and body up against a muscular opposing big man. Among the three of them, they gave Stanford so much to rely on last season, but now they’re all gone, and it’s clear no one has taken their place.

Villanova is 4-0. The Wildcats have been authoritative and convincing in each win this season. They crushed Nebraska in the second game, and they pounded East Tennessee State by an even larger margin. The Wildcats are attacking this season without the services of one player who came up big for them in the NCAA tournament last March: Darrun Hilliard, who is now in the NBA. However, the returning players – especially Ryan Arcidiacono, Daniel Ochefu, and new guard Jalen Brunson have enabled this team to continue to set a high standard. They still shoot the long ball. They are still deep and are very active on defense. The Wildcats have been able to seamlessly transition from one season to the next, continuing to serve notice that they are the undisputed favorite in the Big East Conference.

 

Home-Away Trends
This is a neutral-site game at the Barclays Center in New York. This is the first neutral-court game for each team this season.

 

Injuries
Stanford guard Robert Cartwright is out for the season with a forearm injury.

Center Grant Verhoeven is out indefinitely with a knee injury.

Villanova forward Tim Delaney is out indefinitely with a hip injury.

 

What’s The Pick?
Villanova opened up as a 15.5-point favorite on the college basketball odds. Villanova should be able to do what it wants, however. Stanford has injured players and is trying to find out how to play with most of its scoring and rebounding missing from the previous season. There’s really no scenario in which a Stanford victory is realistic. Take Villanova here with your college basketball picks and don’t think too hard about the outcome. It should come soon enough.

NCAA Basketbakk Pick: Villanova -15.5 at Pinnacle

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