It is finals time for college students, and as such, games are a little sparse this week; at least until Saturday when nearly every Top 25 team will be back in action. There are more than a few Dicky V “cupcake specials” on the menu – those games with a massive 20-point or more spread that you are welcome to wager on if you feel so inclined, but I tend to stay away from given the sometimes random nature of WHEN exactly the winning coach clears the bench and how motivated the defeated team is to pad some garbage-time stats.
There is one game tonight between fierce city rivals that should be an interesting watch and a very reasonable (in my opinion, very favorable) spread worth taking a look into. So without further ado, let’s dig into tonight’s Big Five Philly special for a winning edge on St. Joe’s and Villanova.
St Joseph’s -4 at Villanova (Total: 136)
It wasn’t long ago that Jay Wright’s Wildcats were national powers and a threat to make the Final Four every season (including appearing in a Final Four with Scottie Reynolds upsetting Pitt). Those times feel far away these days. Villanova missed the postseason entirely last year and appear to be headed down the same path this season. They enter tonight at 5-4, but without a single quality win on the ledger and a few brutal losses including an 18-point loss to lowly Columbia, who will likely be middle of the pack in the Ivy League. The subsequent loss to Temple is understandable, but scary for tonight’s game, as most pundits had Temple and St. Joe’s neck and neck in A-10 rankings.
St. Joe’s has also had a little bit of early disappointment, failing in two of their three legit tests, losing to Florida State and Creighton, however their win over Notre Dame is looking better and better as the Irish continue to rack up nonconference wins.
I know this is a rivalry game, but this line surprises me. I had this one pegged at around seven before it came out as low as four. St. Joe’s is a much, much better team than Nova this year, and I don’t see any raucous home crowd being present to buoy the Wildcats tonight. They simply do not matchup with the pro-caliber talent of the Hawks roster and I have trouble seeing them containing them on either end of the floor.
I respect the unpredictability of sport, but this seems like a pretty easy one to me. Take St. Joes laying just four in an easy double-digit road win.
Free Pick: St. Joes -4