College Basketball Free Bet: #3 Villanova vs. BC (2K Empire Classic)
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Our NCAA Basketball Model is projecting the Villanova Wildcats to beat the Boston College Eagles by the score of 75-62 tonight in the 2K Empire Classic at Mohegan Sun Arena. Since Nova is a 14-point favorite, there's not much value in betting on the spread, but there's an edge on the total.
We are projecting 137 total points to be scored in this game, a 5.5-point difference from the 142.5-point consensus.
While there isn't much of an edge on the spread and not enough upside to encourage a bet on Villanova's -1200 moneyline, betting UNDER the total is our recommended wager. Last season, the UNDER went 19-12 in Villanova's games while it went 17-14-1 in Boston College's contests.
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ABOUT THE TEAMS
Boston College lost four of their top six scorers from last season, in which they finished 13-19 overall. BC hasn't made the NCAA Tournament since 2009 and there's a lot of uncertainty around this year's team.
Villanova is ranked 3rd in the country to start the year and even though they lost wing Saddiq Bey to the NBA, starters Collin Gillespie, Justin Moore, Jermaine Samuels and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl will be back and ready to contribute. Last year's team went 24-7 and was poised to make a run in the postseason before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the season.
Villanova's defense allowed 66.4 points per game (90th) last season and their offense scored 73.2 points per game (115th). The Wildcats also only averaged 69.8 possessions per game last season while the Eagles averaged 71.2, both of which are in the middle of the pack when it comes to pace.
These two teams have a rich history, stemming from their Big East roots. They were both members of the conference from 1979-2005 and played 52 times in that span. Overall, Nova holds a 53-24 record over BC and they're 8-3 against BC at a neutral site. The last time these programs faced off, the Wildcats escaped with a 60-59 overtime win in the Sweet 16 of the 2006 NCAA Tournament.
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