Big East Odds Report: The Race is Now Wide Open
By: Brent Booher
A week ago, the Seton Hall Pirates (18-7, 10-3 Big East) were enjoying a three-game lead at the top of the Big East.
Food tasted fresher. Water tasted cleaner. Life was good.
Then Creighton came to town and handed the Pirates an 87-82 defeat on Feb. 12 before Seton Hall went to Providence on Saturday to fall 74-71.
Just like that, the Big East became a muddled mess at the top yet again, and Seton Hall’s three-game lead is now down to one.
Welcome to life in college basketball in the grand year of 2020!
Seton Hall enters this week ranked No. 16 in the Top 25, down from No. 10 a week ago, and suddenly with Creighton and Villanova hot on their heels, faces a pivotal week in their hopes to claim their first Big East regular season crown in 27 years.
It doesn’t get any easier for the Pirates to close out the season, as four of their final five games will come against teams currently in the top half of the conference.
From a betting perspective, not a whole lot has changed following the Pirates difficult week. Seton Hall is listed at +250 to make the Final Four, and at +2200 to win the National Championship.
Note: Seton Hall Odds to win the Big East Tournament are not currently available for New Jersey bettors, as New Jersey state regulations prevent wagers on colleges in the Garden State. However, for bettors in Pennsylvania and other legal stages will find the Seton Hall Big East odds are currently +325.
February 19: vs. #21 Butler (19-7, 7-6 Big East); February 23: vs. St. John’s (14-12, 3-10 Big East)
Best SportsBook 2020
The Blue Jays Big East Odds: Beware the Boys of Omaha
Creighton (20-6, 9-4 Big East) is currently one of the hottest teams in the country, having won seven of their last eight games to climb within a game of first-place Seton Hall.
Last week, the Blue Jays enjoyed a phenomenal week with their aforementioned 87-82 road win over Seton Hall and a 93-64 beatdown of DePaul on Saturday.
With convincing wins over Xavier, Villanova and Seton Hall, the Blue Jays are not only safely in the NCAA Tournament field, but there is a very good chance they can obtain a Top 16 ranking heading into the tournament.
Creighton is led by a balanced scoring attack (4th best offense per Ken Pomeroy) with four guards averaging double digits in scoring, the catalysts being Ty-Shon Alexander (16.7 ppg) and Marcus Zegarowski (15.8 ppg).
This week, oddsmakers have Creighton’s Big East odds at +600. This is outstanding value when you consider this teams success against the best teams in the conference already.
If you fancy their chances to make a deep run in March, Creighton is currently listed at +1400 to advance to the Final Four, and at +6000 to win the tournament.
Don’t forget about this team going forward.
February 18: at #19 Marquette (17-7, 7-5 Big East); February 23: vs. #21 Butler (19-7, 7-6 Big East)
Everything is Al(W)right for Nova After Three-Game Skid
Jay Wright’s Wildcats (19-6, 8-4 Big East) halted a three-game losing skid with a pair of victories last week over Marquette and in-city rival Temple.
The pair of victories pulled Villanova back to within two games of first-place Seton Hall, and unlike Seton Hall and Creighton, Villanova’s schedule is somewhat less daunting as three of Nova’s final six games of the season will come against the bottom of the conference.
Villanova’s standing in the field of 68 is all but locked in, and they’re very likely to land a Top 16 ranking when the brackets are officially unveiled.
But before that happens, the Wildcats will be one of several teams in the mix for the Big East regular season championship.
Oddsmakers continue to consider Villanova as the short favorite to win the Big East Tournament at +250. Nova is listed at +400 to return to the Final Four after a one-year absence, and at +2200 to win the National Championship.
February 19: at DePaul (13-12, 1-11 Big East); February 22: at Xavier (17-9, 6-7 Big East)
Marquette and Butler Linger as Big East Threats
A 72-71 road loss at the hands of Villanova was the lone game on No. 19 Marquette’s schedule last week, and despite the narrow defeat, the Golden Eagles (17-7, 7-5 Big East) remain ranked in the Top 20 and pose a threat to make a late run at a share of the Big East regular season crown.
As has been the case all season, Marquette depends heavily on college basketball’s leading scorer, and Big East all-time leading scorer, Markus Howard (27.3 ppg) for success.
The hyper-talented senior guard isn’t necessarily a one-man band at Marquette, but any postseason success the Golden Eagles will have begins and ends with him.
Marquette will get another major test this week when they face Creighton at home before traveling to face a very dangerous Providence team on Saturday.
No. 21 Butler (19-7, 7-6 Big East) meanwhile remains an enigma this season, as they have split wins and losses over the last three weeks. Last week was no different for the Bulldogs, as they followed up a 66-61 victory over Xavier with a 73-66 road loss against Georgetown.
Butler’s week does not look to do the Bulldogs any favors if they hope to buck their recent trend of splitting wins with losses as they will take to the road to face the top two teams in the Big East.
Despite the very apparent flaws with both teams, oddsmakers still have Butler listed as the second-most likely team to win the Big East Tournament at +300, with Marquette close behind at +400.
Marquette – February 18: vs. No. 15 Creighton; February 22: at Providence
Butler – February 19: at No. 16 Seton Hall; February 23: at No. 15 Creighton
Handicapping the Rest of the Big East Odds
The Big East is far and away the best conference not named the Big Ten in the country this year.
Entering this week, as many as eight teams could stake claim to an NCAA Tournament berth, with Georgetown, Xavier and Providence doing a lot of work to get on the right side of the bubble before Selection Sunday.
Xavier greatly helped their at-large standing with a win over St. John’s on Monday, and entering the week Joe Lunardi has Georgetown as one of his last teams in the NCAA Tournament.
Providence is currently squarely on the bubble as well, but the Friars schedule to end the season gives them a path to get into the dance as well.
The rest of the futures odds to win the Big East Tournament entering this week look like so:
St. John’s: +2000
If you’re a fan of college basketball, the next month of Big East play will be must see TV.
Big East Betting Nuggets
- Seton Hall is 2-5-1 ATS over their L8 games
- Creighton is 6-1 ATS over their L7 games
- Villanova is 1-3-1 ATS over their L5 games
- Marquette is 7-1 ATS over their L8 games
- Butler is 1-8-1 ATS over their L10 games
- Providence UNDER is 4-2-1 over their L7 games
- Xavier is 5-0 ATS in their L5 games
- Georgetown is 3-1 ATS in their L4 games (1-6-1 ATS run previous eight games)
- St. John’s is 1-4 ATS in their L6 games
- DePaul is 2-5 ATS in their L7 games