Saint Joseph’s looks to take a step toward the program’s first Big Five championship in more than a decade when the Hawks head to face Villanova on Wednesday. The college basketball betting lines list the host Wildcats as double-digit favorites.
This will be the second Big Five game of the season for both teams, with Saint Joseph’s topping Penn 69-61 as a six-point favorite. Penn was a 12-point underdog when the Quakers upset Villanova.
Villanova, which has won or shared seven of the last eight Big Five championships, is listed by the college basketball spreads as a 12½-point favorite.
Villanova has won 11 games in a row against Saint Joseph’s but has covered in just one of the last four matchups. The last win by the Hawks came in 2012 and their last victory at Villanova came in 2004.
Senior guard Chris Arzin has missed the last three games for Saint Joseph’s.
For Villanova, forward Trey Patterson is out.
Villanova went from being among the teams receiving votes to climbing to 15th in the coaches poll and 18th in the Associated Press poll.
Coming into the season, Saint Joseph’s (+1400) had the seventh-best odds of winning the Atlantic 10 title. Villanova (+550) is fourth in the odds of winning the Big East title.
Reynolds Delivering for St. Joseph’s
Junior guard Erik Reynolds is in his third year as a starter and he leads the St. Joseph’s Hawks in scoring for the second season in a row.
Despite a tough shooting performance, Reynolds had 13 points in the win over Penn and has scored in double figures in each of the Hawks’ first six games this season. Dating back to last season, he has 23 straight double-digit scoring games. He had 104 points in the five Big Five games last season.
Cameron Brown, in his fifth season at Saint Joseph’s, freshman Xzayier Brown and sophomore Rasheer Fleming are the other double-digit scorers for Saint Joseph’s.
Saint Joseph’s has covered against the college basketball point spreads in eight of its last 10 games.
Villanova’s Top Scorer is Back For Moore
It is pretty safe to say that Justin Moore and Eric Dixon know how to play off of each other. This is the fifth season for Moore, who leads the Wildcats in scoring at 15.6 points per game. Dixon is in his fourth season at Villanova. He is putting up 14 points and 7.6 rebounds per game.
They were a combined 11-for-29 from the field in the loss to Penn. However, they combined for 50 points in a win over North Carolina on the way to winning the Battle 4 Atlantis title.
Villanova DEFEATS #14 UNC 83-81 in OT thanks to an Eric Dixon masterclass performance.
The biggest win in the Kyle Neptune era comes over a historical rival in North Carolina.
Dixon tallied 34 points and 10 rebounds.
Justin Moore with 16 points.
— ⚡️College Hoops Central⚡️ (@Hoops__Central) November 23, 2023
Washington State transfer TJ Bamba and Richmond transfer Tyler Burton are the other double-digit scorers for the Wildcats, who did lose three of their top five scorers from last year’s team that shared the Big Five title with Temple. Keep that in mind when looking at the NCAAB expert picks.
Villanova has covered against the college basketball odds in four of its last five games.
Saint Joseph’s vs Villanova Betting Lines
Villanova Could Struggle to Cover Big Spread
Points have been hard to come by in recent Saint Joseph’s-Villanova matchups, with five of the last six meetings going under the total.
This is the 10th time in a row that Villanova is favored by at least 10 points against Saint Joseph’s and the 12½-point line might be a little bit on the high side.
Saint Joseph’s has lost 14 of its last 15 games against Big East teams, and with Villanova looking to avoid falling to 0-2 in the Big Five standings, this could be a tough test for the Hawks.
Villanova is 5-1 this season when listed as the favorite while the Hawks have dropped their only game this season as an underdog. The Wildcats had won eight straight games when favored by at least 10 points before the loss to Penn. However, they are 2-7 against the spread in the last nine games as double-digit favorites. The Hawks have covered three of the last four games as double-digit underdogs.
The question doesn’t seem to be whether Villanova can win this game but whether the Wildcats can cover.
College Basketball Pick: Saint Joseph’s +12
Saint Joseph’s vs Villanova Game Information
- Game: Saint Joseph’s (4-2) vs Villanova (6-1)
- Location: Finneran Pavilion, Villanova, PA
- Date/Time: Wednesday, Nov. 29, 6:30 p.m. ET
- Saint Joseph’s vs Villanova Live Stream: TBS.com
Questions Of The Day
What is a key factor to consider when betting on the Big 5 Classic?
Can Saint Joseph’s, which averages 7.2 steals per game, create enough turnovers to hang around against favored Villanova?
What is the best betting option for the Big 5 Classic game between St. Joseph's and Villanova?
Go with Saint Joseph’s to cover as 12½-point underdogs against Villanova.