(16-1, 8-5-1 ATS)
(14-2, 8-2 ATS)
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is always one of the best for basketball betting action, and this Monday is no exception. In one of the biggest Big East battles of the season, the Villanova Wildcats will hit the road and take on the Connecticut Huskies in what should be a tremendous duel not to be missed.
The Wildcats are starting a horrifying three game road trip that includes stops at Connecticut, the Syracuse Orange, and the Providence Friars, and if you told Head Coach Jay Wright that he would be getting two wins out of these three NCAA basketball betting clashes, he would certainly take it. A 74-66 win over the Maryland Terrapins on Saturday will keep the Cats in the Top 10 in the country this week, and for good reason. They’re outscoring their foes by over 15 points per game, and they have one of the best backcourts in the entire country with Corey Stokes, Corey Fisher, and Maalik Wayns. The play on the inside by Antonio Pena and Mouphtaou Yarou is slacking, as those two are only averaging 18.7 points and 14.9 boards per game between them, and if either one gets into foul trouble, there really aren’t any bigs to come off the bench and help out. Still, the trio in the backcourt is good for over 45 points per game this year, and when they’re all on their game, there really is no stopping Villanova.
Though you don’t necessarily see it on the stat sheet, Head Coach Jim Calhoun has more options to turn to in the post, though he knows that his key man is Alex Oriakhi down there. As the leader of this team in the paint, Oriakhi is averaging 10.9 points and 9.2 rebounds per game this year, and he is also the squad leader in blocks with 38. When he is on his game on defense, this is a tough team to stop. The Huskies are holding teams to just 64.5 points per game this year, and opponents are only shooting 38.1 percent from the floor, No. 13 in the country. Rebounding is a big key to the game on a regular basis, and this is what really kept UConn out of the NCAA Tournament last year. Of course, it also helps this year that Kemba Walker has had a coming of age, and he is clearly one of the best players in the entire nation. Walker just scored 31 against the DePaul Blue Demons over the weekend, and he is now up to scoring 25.6 points per game.
Both of these teams are great, and they are both going to be Final Four contenders when push comes to shove at the end of the season. For now though, we have to go with the host Huskies. Though Nova has more players that can shine on a given night, we know that Walker is the best player on the court. He has single handedly beaten a number of great teams this year, and he’ll add the Wildcats to the list on Monday.
College Basketball Free Pick: Connecticut Huskies