David Caraviello for Bookies.com

By David Caraviello | | 2 mins

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Big East Basketball Betting Guide: Taking Aim At Villanova

Big East Basketball Betting Guide: Taking Aim At Villanova
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The Big East has become Villanova’s league — the Wildcats have won the conference in five of the last six years, and they’re favorites once again thanks to three returning starters and one of the nation’s top recruiting classes. Fans of college basketball betting should have Villanova high on their list of national contenders.


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But ’Nova doesn’t have the league’s best player: That would be Seton Hall guard Myles Powell, who averaged 23 points per game last season. With Powell headlining four returning starters and the addition of a shot-blocking transfer from Florida State, the Pirates are the most likely candidate to knock the Wildcats from their perch. Beyond that, Xavier (which returns four starters) and Marquette (which returns dynamic scorer Markus Howard) could make some noise, while Georgetown has a promising young roster.

Big East Basketball Preseason Odds to Win Conference

TeamOdds
Villanova+150
Seton Hall+250
Xavier+350
Creighton+600
Providence+600
Georgetown+650
Marquette+750
Butler+1400
St. John’s+2400
DePaul+2900

Odds via 888sport are current as of publication. And check out our college basketball futures odds.

Big East Betting Tips

Markus Howard can take over a game for Marquette and could have his team in the hunt for the Big East crown.
Markus Howard can take over a game for Marquette and could have his team in the hunt for the Big East crown.
  • Although they went out early in last year’s NCAA tournament, Villanova was the Big East’s best bet against the spread last season, with a 21-15 record. This isn’t a deep conference, with maybe four true contenders at the top and everyone else, so expect the Wildcats to face large lines against opponents from the bottom half of the league, especially at home.
  • The Big East’s most-reliable team against the total last season was DePaul, which posted its best record in 12 years, and went over 60 percent of the time. But Dave Leitao’s squad lost its top two scorers and may be in for a rebuilding year, so it might be a lot to expect the Blue Demons to go over the college basketball odds total as regularly as they did a season ago.

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  • Meanwhile, Creighton went under the total in nearly 62 percent of its games last season, the highest percentage in the Big East. The Blue Jays play a style that involves a lot of outside shooting and relatively little inside presence, due to their lack of size. Although they add a 6-11 grad transfer for this season, this will still be a squad that struggles to find balance, and has to work the shot clock for open looks from the outside.
  • Villanova is the lone Big East team capable of drawing large amounts of public college basketball consensus money after winning two of the last four national championships. From a betting perspective, perhaps look for teams with scorers who can take over a game, but perhaps aren’t well-known nationally. Powell at Seton Hall and Howard at Marquette certainly fit that description, and are capable of winning games on their own.
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