The DePaul Blue Demons (10-16, 3-11 Big East) will try to slow down the NCAA’s top scoring team when they take on the No. 3 Villanova Wildcats (24-3, 11-3 Big East) at Wells Fargo Center. The game starts at 8:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, February 21, 2018.
The game’s Over/Under (O/U) opened at 156 points with Villanova set as a 20.5-point favorite.
DePaul Blue Demons at Villanova Wildcats Betting Prediction
The Blue Demons are trying to rebound after their 82-77 loss to the Seton Hall Pirates in their last outing. Seton Hall out-rebounded DePaul. The Pirates had 21 offensive rebounds and 48 total rebounds, while the Blue Demons had 11 and 31, respectively. Marin Maric was DePaul’s high scorer with 23 points on 10-for-12 shooting.
In the Wildcats’ last game, they defeated the No. 4 Xavier Musketeers, 95-79. Villanova’s 8.4 turnover percentage was their largest advantage over Xavier, who had a mark of 14.0. The Wildcats’ mark was better than their season average of 13.1. With 21 points, nine rebounds and nine assists, Villanova’s Donte DiVincenzo put together a solid performance.
The high-powered offense of Villanova will face off against the mid-tier defense of DePaul. The Wildcats currently rank first in offensive efficiency, while the Blue Demons are 206th in defensive efficiency. The Wildcats should have the edge on that side of the ball. Additionally, the Blue Demons rank 270th in free throw attempt (FTA) rate (0.212), while the Wildcats rank 43rd in opponents’ FTA rate (0.192).
Although DePaul struggles winning games straight up (10-16 SU), they have a respectable record against the spread (14-12). A little over half of the Blue Demons’ games have finished over the O/U total.
Meanwhile, Villanova is 24-3 SU and 18-9 ATS. Of the Wildcats’ 26 games with betting action, 17 have finished over the O/U total.
Both teams have had a player step their game up over their last five games. Maric (16.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.2 steals) has been great for the Blue Demons while Omari Spellman (14.4 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.6 blocks) has contributed greatly to the Wildcats.
This is the second game of the season between these two teams. In the first, the Blue Demons lost 103-85, unable to cover as 15-point underdogs. Max Strus scored a game-high 20 points and also added nine rebounds and six assists. The game finished with a total of 188 points, which was 43 points above the projected point total of 145 points. Villanova had a much better turnover percentage (10.4 vs. 16.9). DePaul, on the other hand, had a much better offensive rebounding percentage (48.9 vs. 24.3).
DePaul Blue Demons vs. Villanova Wildcats Free Pick
Basketball Tip: SU Winner – Villanova, ATS Winner – DePaul, O/U – Over
On the road, DePaul is 8-4 ATS with 7 overs and 5 unders.
At home, Villanova is 7-4 ATS with 8 overs and 2 unders.
Villanova averages 28.1 three pointers per game, which ranks 14th in the NCAA. DePaul ranks 261st in three pointers allowed per game (24.9).
The Wildcats average 16.8 assists per game, which ranks 25th in the nation. The Blue Demons rank 218th in assists allowed per game (15.0).
Villanova ranks 10th in steals allowed per game (4.6) while DePaul ranks 168th (6.8).
The Wildcats rank 47th in blocks allowed per game (2.7) while the Blue Demons rank 83rd (3.2).
Villanova averages 35.1 rebounds per game, which ranks 157th in the NCAA. DePaul ranks 175th in rebounds allowed per game (35.3).
In their last five games, DePaul is 4-1 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders.
Villanova is 3-2 ATS with 4 overs and 1 under over their last five games.
The Blue Demons’ average margin of defeat in their last five games has been 2.6, up from 0.2 for the season.
During their last five games, the Wildcats have scored an average of 83.8 points per game (3.6 below their season average) and allowed an average of 77.0 points per game (6.1 above their season average).
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