NCAAB Picks - Villanova To Stifle St. Joseph's Outside Scoring Threats

Mark Lathrop

Saturday, December 3, 2016 3:33 PM UTC

Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016 3:33 PM UTC

This Big 5 game in Philly has plenty of mismatches, and our college basketball handicapper thinks there is one way to take advantage best as you make your Saturday picks.


2015-16  NCAAB  Record: 5-0, +5.00 Units 


Saint Joseph's (PA) Hawks vs Villanova Wildcats

It’s another Big 5 rivalry game in Philadelphia, the 3-3 Saint Joseph’s Hawks go across town to match up with the 2nd ranked 7-0 Villanova Wildcats. With the Wildcats having a scorching start to their season, the sportsbooks have put them as heavy 19-point home favorites in this game. Books are also looking at the fact that St. Joseph’s has lost 4 in a row in the series, last winning back in 2011. Only a huge number will draw any money on St. Josephs. The O/U total has been placed just under Villanova’s game average on the season at 132 at BookMaker which is an A+ rated sportsbook at SBR.

St. Joseph’s comes into this game after losing three games in a row, their last loss coming at the hands of the Temple Owls as a one-point favorite at home. Shavar Newkirk paced the Hawks, scoring 22 points over 38 minutes and hitting 4 of 6 of his 3-point attempts. St. Joseph’s won the rebounding battle, 35-33, but turned the ball over 9 times in the game otherwise. That discrepancy, plus some poor free throw shooting, was the difference in the game.

Villanova enters Saturday night’s contest fresh off of an 82-57 spanking of Penn as a 13.5-point road favorite. Villanova shot 55.1% from the field in the game and held Penn to just 32.1% shooting from the field. The Wildcats were sloppy with the basketball, though, turning over the ball a total of 16 times during the game. Kris Jenkins increased his team lead for 3-pointers made after going 6-7 from behind the arc in the game. The 6’ 6” senior forward has 20 on the year already and averages 13.7 points per game on 29 minutes.

The Wildcats have been more than 15 point favorites 3 times already, but have failed to cover the spread in any of those games. The Wildcats are 3-0-1 ATS against the Hawks in their last, though, after covering as a 13.5-point favorite last year at St. Josephs’ and as a 19.5-point favorite at home in 2014. In both of those games Villanova was able to jump out to big leads and cruise in the second half, and hold St. Joseph’s to under 40% shooting from behind the arc.

Both of these team’s field undersized lineups, without a true ‘big’ on either team to contend with. However, Villanova’s guards and forwards are all oversized for their positions and very versatile, not to mention are senior carryovers from a national championship team. St. Joseph’s two leading scorers are 6’ 0” in Newkirk and Lamarr Kimble, and those guards will be outmatched by at least 6” each by the man defending them. Villanova’s defense will be too much for these guards and St. Joseph’s won’t have an answer. For this reason, I like the Under of 132 at BookMaker as my college basketball pick in this Big 5 matchup.

 Free NCAAB Picks: Under 135Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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