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Jonny OddsShark’s Big East Tournament Betting Preview And Picks

The Big East tournament is one for underdogs and UNDER bettors and the action gets underway on Wednesday, March 7 at Madison Square Garden.  

Dogs have won 35 percent of their games straight up in this tourney since 2001 and UNDERs have come through at 55 percent. When you consider the break-even mark is 52.4 percent for totals and underdogs only won at a rate of 26 percent in all of college hoops this year, these are solid betting numbers. 

Here I help you handicap the rest of the tournament with odds, betting notes and my picks: 

Betting records for Faves in the Big East tourney since 2001: 

SU (straight up): 128-68 
ATS (against the spread): 98-98
OU (OVER/UNDER): 76-93-1

The Favorites: 

Villanova +125

Tournament record since 2001: 19-15 SU, 14-19 ATS, 11-21 O/U

It might surprise some that Nova is favored considering Xavier won the regular-season title. But Villanova is the top-scoring team in the conference and also allows the fewest points. The Wildcats have won this thing two of the last three years. They’re the second-best bet and the best OVER bet in the conference this season also. 

Xavier +250

Tournament record since 2001: 6-4 SU, 7-3 ATS, 3-7 O/U

These guys have made the most money for Big East bettors this season and they’re also the sixth-best bet in the nation overall. One bet for the Musketeers is cash for all, I guess. They’re the best rebounders in the conference and the No. 2 scoring team. Two major problems, though: they’re second-worst in turnover margin and they lost both meetings with Nova this year. 

Butler +700

Tournament record since 2001: 0-4 SU, 1-3 ATS, 0-4 O/U 

They ranked second in both offensive and defensive efficiency in the Big East. They also beat Villanova this season. Watch out for tired legs here, though. This is the Bulldogs’ third trip to the New York area in a little over a week with travel back to campus in Indianapolis in between.

Creighton +800

Tournament record since 2001: 5-4 SU, 5-4 ATS, 3-6 O/U

They are the eighth-highest scoring team in college hoops and the No. 1 team in the Big East in assist-to-turnover ratio. I like that last stat a lot. The Bluejays just upset Villanova four games ago so they come into New York with confidence. 

Seton Hall +800 

Tournament record since 2001: 13-15 SU, 13-15 ATS, 11-17 O/U

Injuries are something to keep an eye on for Seton Hall here. Top scorer Desi Rodriguez and top defender Ismael Sanogo both missed time with ankle injuries recently. UNDERs have come through at 60 percent for the Pirates going back to 2001. 

The dark horse: 

Marquette +2500 

Tournament record since 2001: 10-12 SU, 10-12 ATS, 12-10 O/U

I like long shots who can hit threes and the Golden Eagles lead the Big East in three-point percentage. Marquette also owns two of the top five scorers in the conference in Markus Howard and Andrew Rowsey. Add all that up and you got the second-best OVER bet in the conference, too. 

My Picks: 

Villanova +125 and Creighton +800.

I went 9-3 against the spread in the Big Ten tournament last week and picked Michigan and Purdue on futures bets. Michigan won it at +700. Follow me on Twitter for my Big East picks this week @JonnyOddsShark

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