Big East Conference Tournament First Round betting preview and odds


USA TODAY Sports

The conference that houses the defending national champion Villanova Wildcats had another strong season with seven teams notching at least 19 wins. One of those teams, Xavier – a tournament regular in recent years – will be fighting for the opportunity to go dancing on the opening day of the Big East tournament this Wednesday.

Tournament to be played at Madison Square Garden, New York, New York

Georgetown Hoyas vs. St. John’s Red Storm (+1, 153)

The teams split two meetings this season, with each winning on its own home court as Georgetown posted a 28-point victory in early January before St. John’s exacted a measure of revenge with a six-point triumph late last month. However, that was the only win for the Red Storm among their final five games as they stumbled to a 7-11 record in league play. St. John’s has allowed at least 80 points in five straight games and ranks 305th nationally in points allowed (78) entering Tuesday’s contest.

Georgetown wasn’t any better, going 5-13 in Big East action with five straight losses entering this week. The Hoyas closed the regular season with a 26-point home loss to Villanova, which held Georgetown to 36.2 percent shooting and 4-of-15 from beyond the arc – not to mention 20 turnovers. Rodney Pryor, who scored 21 points, averages a team-high 18.1 and also led the team with 22 in the recent loss to St. John’s.

BETTING STATS:

MATCHUP CHART:

TRENDS:

* Both Georgetown and St. John’s are 1-4 ATS in its last five games overall.
* Favorite is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings.
* Under is 6-1 in Georgetown’s last seven games following a SU loss.
* Over is 4-1 in the last five meetings.


DePaul Blue Demons vs. Xavier Muskateers (-10.5, 142.5)

The Musketeers halted a six-game losing streak with a 79-65 road victory Saturday against the Blue Demons, but could use a couple more victories to improve their chances of making the NCAA Tournament. Junior guard Trevon Bluiett, fresh off being named to the All-Big East first team for the second time, leads the Musketeers into action. Bluiett, whose third double-double of the season helped Xavier close the regular season with a win, leads the Big East in average minutes played (34.4), and is fourth in scoring (18 points per game) and 10th in rebounding (5.8). This will be the fourth Big East Tournament for Xavier, which reached the semifinals in each of the past three, including a loss to Villanova in the 2015 final.

Billy Garrett, Jr., the winner of the Big East Sportsmanship Award, tries to lead the Blue Demons to the Big East Tournament quarterfinals for the first time in what will be their 10th attempt. Unless Garrett, Eli Cain and another player such as Tre’Darius McCallum, Brandon Cyrus or Chris Harrison-Docks come up with big games, the Blue Demons will have a small margin for error in this contest. Dave Leitao’s team posted only two conference wins and both came when it held its opponent to fewer than 70 points.

BETTING STATS:



MATCHUP CHART:



TRENDS:

* DePaul is 5-1 ATS in its last six games overall.
* Xavier is 1-7 ATS in its last eight versus Big East opponents.
* Under is 5-1 in DePaul’s last six games following an ATS loss.
* Over is 14-6 in Xavier’s last 20 games following an ATS win.


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