Coming off a loss to Georgetown, the Villanova Wildcats are back home on Sunday's college basketball betting schedule and in search of a bounce-back dubya vs. the Creighton Bluejays.
A week from now, most of the people in this country will be watching a professional football game, many of them more interested in the commercial breaks than the action on the field. Just as many won't even know why they're watching, just that all the rest of their pals are tuned into the Needs Full Lobotomy Championship, and if the masses are taking part, they should too.
Me? I'll be lamenting a short college hoops card and taking the Queen Bee out for our annual Super Bowl Sunday date, earning browning points to help me get through March Madness and the baseball season.
With no real football action taking place today, I'll be taking advantage of a decent college basketball betting card for a change on Sunday, and one of the games I'm keen to see finds the Creighton Bluejays in Philly for a clash with the Villanova Wildcats. FOX Sports 1 has the telecast from The Pavilion beginning at 7 PM (ET), Villanova lined at -16 for the matchup, that spread a half-point higher than the opener.
SBR's live NCAA basketball odds will have a total later this morning.
This will be just the third hardwood meeting between the schools since the early 50s, the other two coming a year ago in Creighton's first season as part of the Big East. The Wildcats proved to be no match for the Bluejays in either of those contests as Creighton easily covered chalk in each one with 28 and 21 point victories that both sailed well past the totals.
'Jays In Throes Of Long Skid After Fast Start To Season
It appeared earlier this season that Creighton (9-11 straight up, 7-11 against the spread) was out to prove the skeptics wrong. With 3-time All-American Doug McDermott gone, the Bluejays were 20/1 long shots to win the Big East on the college basketball futures odds, but shot from the gate with five straight wins, one of those over a then-No. 18 Oklahoma squad.
The good times were short-lived, however, for Greg McDermott's bunch. The 'Jays have managed to win just four of their 15 games since the 5-0 start, and reach Philadelphia today towing an 8-game losing streak.
Stopping that streak against 4th-ranked Villanova was never going to be easy, but it has made more difficult after the season-ending knee injury to Isaiah Zierden. The sophomore guard saw his second consecutive year at Creighton end prematurely in Wednesday's loss at Butler, and the Bluejays will have to make do without their offensive spark off the bench and top 3-point threat.
'Nova Looks To Tune-Up In Advance Of Tough Stretch
Anyone who watch Villanova (17-2 SU, 10-7-1 ATS) lose by 20 at Georgetown earlier this week might wonder why oddsmakers made the Wildcats the favorites to win the Big East. The Hoyas ran roughshod over Jay Wright's group that was favored by 4, holding them scoreless over a 7+ minute stretch in the first half of a game that just slipped past a 132-point total.
Anyone who saw the 'Cats beat VCU and Michigan at the Legends Classic earlier this season, or at St. John's about three weeks ago, knows the debacle at Georgetown was completely out of character. Villanova has otherwise been a very consistent team capable of playing high-caliber basketball on both ends of the court; even when the offense failed them in the overtime loss at Seton Hall, the Wildcats were still solid on defense, something they were not Monday night vs. the Hoyas.
Villanova is about to begin what could be a defining stretch on schedule with rematches against Georgetown, DePaul, Seton Hall and Butler plus the first of two against Providence filling five of the next six games. Wright should have the Wildcats ramped up and refocused for this one, which is why my free NCAA Basketball pick is on the home chalk.
NCAA Basketball Pick: Villanova -16 at BookMaker
Season: 27-31 (-7.1)