NCAA Basketball Georgetown Hoyas (17-5, 10-8 ATS) vs. Providence Friars (12-11, 8-11 ATS), Dunkin’ Donuts Center, Providence, Tuesday, Feb. 9th, 7 PM Eastern, ESPN2
By Z-Man of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Hoyas -4/Friars +4
The Georgetown Hoyas are ranked seventh and eighth in the most recent major polls, but they’ve gone through some ups and downs as of late. The G-Towners will try to stay on a winning track when they hit the road to visit a team they’ve beaten three times in a row, the Providence Friars, Tuesday night at the place they call The Dunk.
Many hoops bookies opened this game with Georgetown favored by four points, with a total of 158.5. Some early line movements have indicated a trending toward the Hoyas and the over.
Georgetown is also listed at right around -210 on the couple of moneylines that have come out, with Providence getting about +175 to win the game outright.
The Hoyas, who returned three starters from last season, started 11-1 this season, but they’re only 4-3 over their last seven games. They blew a big early lead and ended up getting blown out themselves at Syracuse two weeks ago, then looked great in beating Duke in an out-of-conference bout. They followed that up by blowing another big first-half lead and losing at home (as 12-point favorites) to South Florida, but then bounced back to beat second-ranked Villanova Saturday 103-90 Saturday.
On the other side of this match-up, Providence, which only returned one starter from last season, went through a rather unimpressive 8-4 non-conference schedule, then split its first eight Big East games. But the Friars have since lost three in a row, at Cincinnati, at Syracuse and at home to Marquette Saturday 82-79.
So at 7-4 in Big East play Georgetown is tied with Pittsburgh for fourth place, three games behind Syracuse and Villanova, who are tied for first. And at 4-7 Providence sits in 12th place. At this point, both teams are about where they were expected to finish in the Big East.
Georgetown ranks third in the nation in FG shooting at just over 50%, and they’re shooting 40% from 3-point range and 70% from the free-throw line. Defensively the Hoyas are holding opponents to 41% FG shooting, and are outrebounding foes by three boards per game.
The Friars are not one of the better shooting teams around, hitting at 44% from the floor, 33% from long range and 68% from the line. But they rank fifth in the nation in scoring at 82 PPG.
At the other end of the floor Providence is allowing opponents to shoot 45% from the floor this season, which ranks last among all Big East teams. They are, however, outrebounding opponents by 3.1 boards per game.
Last year Georgetown swept two games from the Friars by scores of 68-58 and 82-75. The teams split the games against the pointspreads, and the totals went 1-1. But the Hoyas held a firm advantage on the boards, outrebounding the Friars by 12 and 11 in the two games.
Providence better pick up wins while they can, because their remaining schedule affords them few breaks. After Tuesday their next three games are at Villanova and at home vs. West Virginia and Syracuse.
The Hoyas are 2-0 both straight up and against the spread this season as favorites on the road. The F-Men, on the other hand, are 1-2 both SU and ATS as a home dog this season.
G-Town is 10-8 on the totals this season, as their games are averaging 138 points. Meanwhile Providence is a lopsided 13-5 on the totals, as their games have averaged a healthy 161 points.
The Sagarin PREDICTOR ratings at USAToday.com rates Georgetown at +8.1 over Providence. Factoring in Sagarin’s updated college basketball home-court advantage figure of 4.0, and the Hoyas are four-point favorites over the Friars for Tuesday’s game on the Sagarin line.
Z-Man’s Pick: I expect a very close game that is VERY high scoring. Take the OVER 158.5.