Big East foes will battle when the Providence Friars (16-9, 7-5 Big East) challenge the No. 3 Villanova Wildcats (23-2, 10-2 Big East) at Dunkin Donuts Center. The Over/Under (O/U) for the game opened at 153.5 points with Villanova set as a 9-point favorite. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, February 14, 2018.
Villanova Wildcats vs. Providence Friars Free Preview
The Wildcats beat the Butler Bulldogs in their last game, 86-75. Donte DiVincenzo was the games leading scorer with 30 points on 11-for-20 shooting. Villanova dominated every facet of the game. They had an extraordinary free throw rate of 0.339 (above their season average of 0.225) and an offensive rebounding percentage of 23.3 (below their season average of 30.5). For those same stats, Butler had marks of 0.145 and 17.1, respectively.
In the Friars last matchup, they were defeated by the DePaul Blue Demons, 80-63. With 12 points and six rebounds, Isaiah Jackson played well for Providence. DePaul had an effective field goal percentage of 0.688 (above their season average of 0.477). Providence, meanwhile, had an offensive rebounding percentage of 42.2 (above their season average of 29.3).
A focal point for the Providence offense is getting to the free throw line. The Friars rank 29th in free throw attempt (FTA) rate (0.291), but Villanova is among the best in the NCAA at keeping opponents away from the charity stripe (ranking 21st by yielding a FTA rate of 0.181).
Both of these teams have typically finished over the projected point total. Games including Villanova have gone over 66.7 percent of the time, while Providence games have finished over 56.5 percent of the time. The Wildcats hold a clear advantage in both straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) records. They are 23-2 SU and 17-8 ATS, while the Friars are 16-9 SU and 8-15 ATS.
These teams have already met once this season. The two teams combined to score 158 points in that game, which was over the projected point total of 151.5. The Wildcats won 89-69, covering as 16-point favorites. The Wildcats 8.8 turnover percentage was their largest strength over the Friars, who had a mark of 16.5. Eric Paschall scored a game-high 17 points.
Villanova Wildcats at Providence Friars Prediction
Free Prediction: SU Winner – Villanova, ATS Winner – Providence, O/U – Over
- The Wildcats rank 45th in blocks allowed per game (2.7) while the Friars rank 107th (3.4).
- On the road, Villanova is 10-4 ATS with 8 overs and 6 unders.
- At home, Providence is 4-8 ATS with 8 overs and 4 unders.
- Villanova ranks 15th in three pointers attempted per game (28.2) while Providence ranks 264th (18.3).
- The Wildcats rank eighth in steals allowed per game (4.4) while the Friars rank 153rd (6.7).
- Villanova ranks 29th in assists per game (16.8) while Providence ranks 139th (13.9).
- Providence is 1-4 ATS with 3 unders and 2 overs in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Villanova is 3-2 ATS with 5 overs.
- The Friars have been outscored by an average of 9.4 points in their last five games. For the season, Providence has defeated opponents by an average of 2.4 points.
- During their last five games, the Wildcats have scored an average of 87.2 points per game (0.6 below their season average) and allowed an average of 78.0 points per game (7.6 above their season average).