MetroBet takes a look at a pair of NCAA games on the Sunday slate.
Villanova Wildcats (-4) at St. John’s Red Storm
Moneyline: Wildcats -185, Red Storm +165
Betting Total: 145.5 points
Time (Eastern), TV: 5 p.m., FS1
The 13th-ranked Villanova Wildcats (20-5) and their in-conference rival, the St. John’s Red Storm (18-7), will go toe-to-toe on Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden. Villanova has won nine of their last 10 over St. John’s, but Red Storm backers have been rewarded in three straight contests. The Wildcats should bring that streak to a halt here.
Villanova did well to crush Providence on Wednesday after Marquette ended their 11-game winning streak last weekend. As usual, forward Eric Paschall (25 points) and guard Phil Booth (22 points) led the way.
Jay Wright’s crew travels just about as well as any Division I program in the country. They average nearly half a point more per game on the road compared to their overall figure (76.6 to 76.2), which doesn’t sound like much, but college teams typically lose multiple points per game when asked to play away from home.
The Wildcats also hold a sizeable advantage over St. John’s in the rebounding department. Nova’s rebound differential per game this season is plus-2.9 (96th), while the Red Storm’s is a ghastly minus-4.2 (326th).
Villanova is 8-1 against the spread in their last nine tilts vs. Big East competition; expect them to build on that against Chris Mullin and St. John’s on Sunday.
The play: Villanova spread
Arizona Wildcats at Colorado Buffaloes (-4.5)
Moneyline: Wildcats +170, Buffaloes -190
Betting Total: 140 points
Time (Eastern), TV: 8 p.m., ESPNU
The Arizona Wildcats (14-11) and the Colorado Buffaloes (15-9) are trending in completely opposite directions, with the visiting Wildcats having dropped six straight, while the Buffaloes have prevailed in four straight. Colorado has a good chance to win and cover on Sunday night, but the safer selection in this contest is the Over.
Based on their home/road splits, bettors should expect a high-scoring, up-tempo tilt at the Coors Events Center. Arizona averages about two more points per game on the road (74.6) compared to their overall figure (72.5) and surrenders an additional nine points-plus (78.8 to 69.5). That’s led to a 6-1 Over/Under record in their last seven road games.
Colorado tends to play a more free-wheeling style at home, tallying 81.4 points per game compared to 75.5 overall. On defense, the Buffaloes allow just over a half-point more at home, and opponents’ three-point shooting percentage climbs from 31.1 to 32.8. The Over is 8-1 in Colorado’s last nine tilts against winning teams, per Covers.com.
Guards Tyler Bey and McKinley Wright IV have been making things happen for the Buffaloes during the program’s winning streak, scoring 16.8 and 16.3 points per game, respectively.
The play: Wildcats vs. Buffaloes Over