February 10, 2018
There are two picks today.
#1: Take Villanova -10 spread (buy the half point) against Butler for 3% of the bankroll.
At first glance, it may seem like this is a lot of points to be giving a team that has proven to be as capable as the Butler Bulldogs, and normally that may be true, however, the Bulldogs couldn't find themselves in a worst spot ahead of this matchup.
The Villanova Wildcats have spent the better part of the last month as the number 1 ranked team in the country. They were riding high on a 9-game winning streak and suffered what was one of the more shocking upsets of the season. In their last contest, they fell on the road to St. John's in a closely contested battle. It was not something that many had saw coming, especially Villanova. There is no question that they are going to be extremely motivated to atone for that loss. Villanova rarely loses, let alone suffer two losses in a row and now that they are back home, it should spell certain disaster for whoever their opponents are.
Not only do the Wildcats have the motivation of coming off a loss, but this is also an opportunity for them to exact a bit of revenge of their own. Prior to St. John's, the Butler Bulldogs were the only other team in the country to defeat the Wildcats this season, in a matchup that took place in December which makes this a revenge game for Villanova. You can bet that this team has had this date circled on their calendar for some time now and may have even been a contributing factor to their loss against St. Johns.
In recent meetings, it has been the Bulldogs who have owned this series as of late, having won outright 4 straight times. Butler has had Villanova's number, which is another reason a bulk of the betting public will gladly be taking the double-digit points with Butler in this contest. We believe that is a mistake. We have seen what the Wildcats can do to teams when they are playing their best basketball and after their recent stumble, we expect to see the very best Villanova team that we have seen all season.
In their first meeting, the Bulldogs were able to gain the advantage over Nova with their outside shooting. 3-point shooting comes much easier for teams in their home gym, so we expect things to go much differently this afternoon. Villanova's perimeter defense has been outstanding this season and we expect that they will focus on taking away Butler's outside shooting, which will make it extremely difficult for them to put points on the board. Even though it doesn't seem likely, given how well-rounded this Butler team is, this matchup has blowout potential written all over it.
We expect the Wildcats to jump all over the Bulldogs early, which will force Butler to play from behind all game which is not the style of basketball that Butler is used to playing. This is a team that is not built to come from behind and we expect Villanova to simply continue to hit their shots and stretch their lead until the very end, coming away with the win and cover behind an impressive performance.
#2: Take West Virginia -12 spread against Oklahoma State for 3% of the bankroll.
Aside from their upset victory over Kansas, the Cowboys have struggled severely as of late. They have lost 4 of their last 5 games and their offense has gone cold, averaging just 64.3 points per game, 13 below their season average which could spell bad news for them this afternoon against a West Virginia defense that is known for their pressure defense.
West Virginia opened the season with an impressive winning streak, however, they hit a rough spot in conference play, recently losing 5 of 6 games, however, it has looked as if the Mountaineers have figured things out as they are coming off two impressive wins against Kansas State and most recently Oklahoma on the road. they have a ton of momentum backing them and being back at home will certainly give them an advantage.
The first meeting between these two teams in Stillwater, was a closely contested battle. The Cowboys were able to hang with the Mountaineers for the most part, however, West Virginia was still able to force them into 22 turnovers and dropped 80+ points on them on the road. In Morgantown, we expect things to get even worse.
The Cowboys haven't looked the same without Tavarius Shine in the rotation and we expect their struggles and sloppy play to continue this afternoon. West Virginia has only lost twice on their home court this season and we don't believe Oklahoma State has the offense to keep up. This game may be close in the early going, but the Mountaineers should pull away in the second half enoute to a convincing blowout victory.
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