A pair of team that limped down the stretch play in the first round of the Big East Tournament Tuesday.
No. 14 Villanova Wildcats face No. 11 Rutgers in the late game at Madison Square Garden. And while there isn't much to choose between the Scarlet Knights, who went 2-8 SU in their final 10 games and Villanova, which was 3-7 SU down the stretch, the total has been a safe bet historically.
In the past 10 meetings, OVER bettors have won their bets every single time.
Rutgers battles the Wildcats, currently sitting with a 12-18 mark (7-18-2 ATS). The OVER/UNDER records, always important for totals bettors, are 12-13 for the Scarlet Knights and 20-7 for the Wildcats.
Sportsbooks had the Scarlet Knights installed as 1.5-point underdogs in this particular matchup. The best OVER line was 136.5 at 5Dimes earlier Tuesday.
Power Rankings / Prediction:
This game puts the Scarlet Knights, most recently No. 112 in the Odds Shark power rankings, up against the Wildcats, who rate No. 53 in the latest survey. Meanwhile, math and computer-based handicapping simulations run on this game predict a potential 71-69 victory for the Scarlet Knights.
How They Match Up:
Scoring and defensive stats point to some edges in this matchup. The game features Rutgers's No. 216-ranked scoring average of 66 PPG, against a Wildcats defense rated No. 287 and allowing 71.8 PPG. The Scarlet Knights FG% has averaged 42.8% to date this season, more than the Wildcats shooters have managed so far (41.3% per game).
Comparing how these foes stack up statistically, Villanova owns the country's No. 280-rated mark, allowing 74.4 points per game on the highway. Rutgers, on the other hand, rates No. 219 in scoring at home.
Last time out for Villanova, they were a 72-68 loser as they battled Cincinnati at home. They failed to cover in the match as a 1.5-point underdog. Maalik Wayns scored 26 points for Villanova on Saturday, but the Bearcats managed a 72-68 victory over the Wildcats at Villanova Pavilion.
Rutgers was a 61-58 winner in their most recent outing at home against St. John's. They failed to cover the 8-point spread as favorites. The Scarlet Knights grabbed a 61-58 win over the Red Storm on Saturday, behind a 15-point effort from Eli Carter at Louis Brown Athletic Center.
Villanova Wildcats Trends:
When playing on Tuesday are 7-3
After playing Cincinnati are 4-3
After a loss are 4-6
Rutgers Scarlet Knights Trends:
When playing on Tuesday are 2-8
After playing St. John's are 3-7
After a win are 4-6
A few Wildcats at Scarlet Knights trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Rutgers's last 5 games when playing Villanova
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Rutgers's last 6 games
Rutgers is 2-7 ATS in its last 9 games
Rutgers is 2-7 SU in its last 9 games