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Villanova enters a rough trip with Xavier on a four-game winning streak, including a 13-point win at Xavier on Dec. 30. Since then, the Musketeers of Xavier beat Butler by 15 points on the road.
Villanova has won nine of the last 10 meetings (90%) against Xavier and won/covered eight of the past 10 In the regular-season (80%), per NBC's Edge Finder.
When visiting Xavier, Villanova is 5-2 ATS and on the ML (71.4%) with four straight wins. Xavier is going to have a hype home crowd tonight, but Nova has the coaching and talent edge.
The Wildcats have the two most efficiency players in the Big East, Connor Gillespie and Justin Moore. Those two will be the best players on the floor, along with Jay Wright, the better coach on Nova's sidelines. We cannot forget Jermaine Samuels as well.
Xavier is undefeated at home this season, going 9-0 on the ML. However, they have been -331 favorites or more in eight of the last nine games. Xavier was a home dog once at +128 this season, beating Oklahoma State, other than that the competition has been subpar.
Zach Freemantle and Paul Scruggs will play vital roles in this matchup after scoring six points apiece in each.
Villanova suffocated Xavier in the second-half for 20 points and were outscored 41-20 down the final 20 minutes.
I backed Villanova at +105 odds on the ML to continue sweeping Xavier despite the line movement in the Musketeers' favor.
Pick: Villanova ML (1u)
This was a -1 point spread for Florida but moved to -2.5 after the news of LSU's Xavier Pinson being out.
Pinson averaged 10.9 points per game and 4.7 assists per game for the Tigers. He leads the team in assists and third in points per and minutes played. That loss is significant, especially considering LSU has been a top-10 this season.
LSU is 14-1 on the year with its only to Auburn, while Florida enters on a two-game losing steak, plus dropping five of the last eight games overall.
The Tigers have struggled in Gainesville. LSU has lost four of the past five in Gainesville. LSU is 2-8 on the ML as the dog in this series, per NBC's Edge Finder.
I wanted to take LSU +1, but would rather live bet the Tigers pending the Gators' start to this game. We could get a great price on LSU +6 or better early. However if you played Florida already prior or after the line movement, you should feel pretty good after the recent line movement to -2.5.
Florida's Colin Castleton will still have to go through LSU's Darius Days and Elfton Reid, which isn't an easy task. The Gators' big man will be the key to the outcome as well as early foul trouble for both teams. Reid had four fouls and played only eight minutes in LSU's win over Tennessee.
Prior to the Tennessee game, LSU was down to Kentucky and rallied back to get a big home win, hence why I would rather live bet than pre-bet this big SEC matchup. They also rallied back against Georgia Tech after being down 20-9.
The Tigers rank No. 1 in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency (84.3), per Kenpom, while the Gators are 49th in adjusted offensive efficiency (110.9) and play at a similar pace offensively as LSU.
I think we will see a clear side early in this game worth betting on, but target LSU as they should keep this respectable, if not win.
Pick: Live Bet LSU's Spread -- Target is +5-6 range
This spread opened -2 in favor of Fordham before flipping to Duquesne -2 around 7-7:30 PM ET Tuesday night.
Someone knew something or have a hunch.
Well, what I can think of is Fordham is coming off a two-week pause, last playing on Dec. 30. We just saw Duquesne come off a 19-day pause against UMass and started slow, going down 20-8 before coming back and winning by four points.
Duquesne has won six straight meetings versus Fordham as the favorite and eight of the last 10 overall. The Dukes are also 9-2 ATS in its past 10 conference games (A-10).
Duquesne is now on a three-game winning streak and will have to force Fordham's Antonio Daye Jr in turnovers first and foremost. Daye played for FIU previously and is now an impact player for the Fordham Rams.
However, Daye scored eight points and turned the ball over eight times in his last game against La Salle. Duquesne protects the ball, ranking 28th overall in offensive turnover percentage (15.9%) and forces a 23.9% turnover percentage on defense in league play, which ranks third in the A-10.
Rust from a long layoff and turnovers could prove costly, especially for a Fordham team that shoots 30.3% from three (290th).
I played the -125 on Duquesne ML after the movement and missed the +110 and +2 on the Dukes. I would play Duquesne out to -140.
Pick: Duquesne ML
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