Big East Tournament Preview: Top-Seed Villanova Enters As Betting Favorite

Written By Valerie Cross on March 11, 2020 - Last Updated on March 12, 2020
Villanova looking to clinch Big East title

Editor’s Note: The Big East Conference on Thursday announced it had canceled the remainder of its men’s basketball tournament.

No surprise here.

Villanova has been the preeminent team of the Big East Conference for years. The Wildcats have been a consistent basketball power, even capturing an NCAA tournament title in 2016.

So it’s no surprise that Villanova is the betting favorite entering the Big East Tournament, which begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday with St John’s and Georgetown squaring off on FS1.

But this year, some of the teams behind Villanova have been scrambling for the crown, giving the Wildcats some great competition in Big East play. In fact, Creighton enters as the tournament’s top seed, sharing an identical 13-5 conference record with Villanova.

It all should make for an interesting tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Here’s a quick rundown of the Big East teams, storylines, and their sports betting odds before the action begins on Wednesday night.

Villanova’s pricing varies slightly across PA sportsbooks

The Wildcats may not provide the best return on future odds in the Big East Tournament, but bettors can gain a little more value if they search multiple PA sportsbook apps.

Villanova enters Big East postseason play as +250 at DraftKings, +270 at FOX Bet, +280 on FanDuel Sportsbook, and +300 at PlaySugarHouse. (We’ll use PlaySugarHouse as the default pricing for this article as that sportsbook seems to offer strong returns amongst all teams).

Villanova will play its first game at 7 p.m. Thursday against the winner of DePaul (60-1) and Xavier (18-1).

St. John’s, Georgetown meet in opening game

No. 9 seed St. John’s (40-1) faces the No. 8 seed Georgetown (25-1) in the first game of the Big East Tournament on Wednesday night. Both teams stumbled to a 5-13 record in conference play this season.

Following that game, No. 10 DePaul and No. 7 Xavier tip off at 9:30 p.m. in the nightcap. The Blue Demons finished a disappointing 3-15 in conference play this season. The Musketeers were much better with an 8-10 Big East record, but Xavier enters the tournament having lost two straight.

Top seed Creighton returns more than 3-1 odds

The Blue Jays begin the Big East tournament at noon on Thursday with a game against the winner of St. John’s and Georgetown. Creighton has had a stellar 24-7 season overall, but the Blue Jays have been lackluster on the road, earning a 6-5 regular season record away from home.

Creighton’s future odds range from +310 at FOX Bet to +350 (DraftKings, PlaySugarHouse), and +370 (FanDuel).

Butler, Providence square off on Thursday

No. 4 seed Providence (+600) and No. 5 Butler (+500) meet on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. Both teams are bringing hot streaks into the game. Providence has won six straight games and Butler has won three in a row.

Late Thursday night No. 6 seed Marquette (+700) plays No. 3 seed Seton Hall (+320) at 9:30 p.m. The Pirates are viewed favorably by the oddsmakers with odds of +290 at FOX Bet. Marquette is +500 at DraftKings, +550 at FOX Bet and +950 at FanDuel.

Semfinals and Finals will be broadcast on FS1

The Big East semifinals begin Friday night at 6:30 p.m. Saturday’s final is scheduled for the same time. Both games will be televised on FS1.

It’s anyone’s guess who will play in the final game.

But the favorite shouldn’t surprise anyone.

For more tips on placing wagers on college basketball and upcoming March Madness, see our NCAA basketball betting guide.

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Valerie Cross

Valerie Cross is a senior content manager for Catena Media's Play network of sites including PlayPennsylvania, PlayMichigan and Valerie was a poker writer and editor for PokerNews before joining the regulated sports betting and online gambling industry in 2019. She received her BA from Furman University in 2007 in Spanish and Psychology and completed her MA and Ph.D. at Indiana University in Language Education.

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