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February 18, 2015 (Posted at 5:00 PM ET)

Take DePaul at +3 spread against Providence risking 3%

The Providence Friars travel to Allstate Arena to take on the DePaul Blue Demons in Big East action tonight. At 18-8, the Providence Friars are having a great season and have their eyes firmly set on making the NCAA tournament this year. They are a solid team in nearly all facts of the game; however, for tonight’s matchup with DePaul, we believe the Friars are in a less than ideal situation and could be primed for an upset. 

In regards to the betting public, we feel that Providence is a perceived "better" team in this contest simply because of their 18-8 record on the season compared to DePaul's 12-14, when in fact we don't believe there is much that separates these teams. Looking at the in game statistics, you'll find that there are extremely similar statistics in a number of important categories. Both teams shoot 44% from the field on average, both average 31 rebounds per game, both average 14 assists per game, both average 13 turnovers and both average 5 blocks per game. As you can see, this has the makings of a fairly even matchup. The one major difference offensively for these teams is the fact that the Blue Demons actually shoots the ball better from beyond the arc. DePaul is connecting on 36.1% of their shots from long range and average 8 made 3 pointers per game which could be a deciding factor in tonight's contest. A team's ability to shoot the 3 ball effectively can alter the course of a game, especially late in the second half in regards to both winning outright and covering spreads. We've often seen teams hit a 3 pointer at the buzzer to win the game and have also seen a team who was losing by 5 points hit a 3 at the buzzer to cut the lead to 2 to cover the spread. The Blue Demons currently have 4 players who are averaging in double figures this season with Billy Garrett Jr. leading the way with 13.3 points per game. Myke Henry is averaging 12.8 points and 5.6 rebounds, Jamee Crockett is averaging 11.3 points, and Tommy Hamilton IV is averaging 10.8 points and 5.4 rebounds per contest.

The Blue Demons come into this contest having lost 5 of their last 6 games which is another reason why we believe their stock is viewed as low at the moment. It is worth mentioning however that 4 out of their last 6 games have come on the road against the likes of St John's, Xavier, Butler and even these same Providence Friars, all of which are extremely tough venues for the visitors to pick up a victory. The Blue Demons home loss during that stretch came against the #4 ranked Villanova Wildcats, a loss which was likely expected. Being back at home tonight should provide a boost for this team that is surely looking to get back in the win column.

The Blue Demons will also have revenge on their mind tonight. Providence and DePaul squared off back on Jan 29th with the friars coming away with the victory. To DePaul's credit, their offense did manage to hang 72 points on what has been a pretty solid Providence defense at home. The Blue Demons shot 49% from the field and 38% from deep in that game, which is pretty impressive statistics, especially on the road. Providence on the other hand had an above average performance in that contest as they shot 53% from the field and held a 38-19 rebounding edge over DePaul. We don't believe their performance tonight will be as one-sided as the first meeting, especially given how the Friar's statistical numbers have lessened away from home this season. If the DePaul players can duplicate the performance that had on the road in the first meeting in front of their home crowd tonight, we believe that will likely be enough for them to pick up the victory. 

The Blue Demons have also been an extremely dangerous team ATS when listed as underdogs, especially at home. They have only been home underdogs of 3 or less just a single time this season and not only covered that number, but managed to win the game outright. Providence meanwhile has fared decently on the road, however mostly in the underdog role. It's not too often that the Friars have been asked to lay points on the road this season. In fact they have only been listed a 3 point road favorites just once this season. They were -3 favorites at Boston College earlier this season and ended up losing that contest both straight up and against the spread, 69-60. Providence is a solid team, however, we believe they will be lucky to escape this game with a victory, never mind winning by more than a single possession. 

The Friars could also find themselves in somewhat of a look ahead spot tonight as they have a huge game on deck with the conference leading Villanova Wildcats. The Friars just played host to the #4 ranked team back on 2/11 and nearly pulled off the upset before falling 74-68. The Friars will no doubt be looking forward to that rematch and could find it easy to overlook an opponent who has dropped 5 of their last 6 games. Looking past a team that is as offensively capable as the Blue Demons are would be a mistake. DePaul has already pulled off "upset" wins on this floor multiple times this season having already defeated the likes of Stanford, Xavier and St John's. The Blue Demons are a team that when they are making their shots, especially from the outside, they can be an incredibly difficult team to contain. Having spent a majority of the past month on the road, we believe being back home in the comforts of All State Arena will give the DePaul players a much needed confidence boost as they come away with the outright win. We believe this will be a closely contested game and DePaul can even win outright.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Providence is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games. 
  • DePaul is 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games following a cover! 
  • DePaul is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games. 
  • Providence is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. conference opponents. 
  • DePaul is 10-3 ATS in their last 13 games vs. a team with a winning record!

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