Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#711 Villanova vs.
#712 St. Josephs
Saturday, December 7, 2019 at 3:00pm EST
Written by Chris Kubala

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#711 Villanova University
#712 St. Josephs
6-2
2-7
21-15
12-19-2
15-20-1
15-17-1
73
70
67
72

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It’s a battle of schools from the Big 5 when the Big East tangles with the Atlantic 10 in the City of Brotherly Love. The #23 Villanova Wildcats are on the road as they tangle with a city rival in the Saint Joseph’s Hawks Saturday afternoon. Villanova dropped Penn 80-69 at home in their last contest Wednesday night. Saint Joseph’s was pasted 94-71 at home by Lafayette in their last game on Tuesday night. The Wildcats own a 39-24 advantage in the all-time series between the teams and have won seven straight matchups. That includes a 70-58 victory at home in the most recent matchup on December 8, 2018.

Villanova Wildcats Seek Third Straight Win

Villanova earned their second straight win as they defeated a second straight Big Five opponent. The Wildcats look to make it three straight over Big Five teams here: their lone two losses to date came to ranked squads in Ohio State and Baylor. Villanova was tied at 30 with 3:28 to play in the first half before going on a 13-3 run over the next six minutes to take a 10-point halftime lead. The Wildcats withstood seeing the Quakers draw within two on multiple occasions before pulling away late to put the game away. Villanova shot 50.8 percent from the field, including four of 10 from three-point range, and won the rebounding battle 37-28. Saddiq Bey led the Wildcats with 27 points and six rebounds in the win.

The Wildcats come into this contest tied for 35th in the nation in scoring offense as they put up an average of 81 points per game on the year. Villanova is tied for 153rd in rebounding by pulling down 37.9 boards a night while the team is 7th by dishing out 18.1 assists per contest. The Wildcats are average defensively, ranking 197th in the nation by allowing 69.6 points per game. Saddiq Bey is leading the team in scoring with 16 points plus 5.5 rebounds per contest. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl puts up 13 points plus 10.1 boards a game while Cole Swider chips in 10.9 points a night. Justin Moore (12 points), Collin Gillespie (14.6 points, 5.5 assists) and Jermaine Samuels (eight points, 4.8 rebounds) are all big contributors for coach Jay Wright this season. Villanova shoots 48.5 percent from the field as a team on the year. The Wildcats connect on 10.3 three-pointers a night while shooting a solid 40.2 percent from beyond the arc. Villanova is a decent free throw shooting team as they connect on 73.9 percent of their attempts on the year.

Saint Joseph’s Hawks Trying to Snap Slide

Saint Joseph’s started the season 2-1 but they have dropped six straight games after they were whipped by Lafayette. The Hawks hope to get back in the win column and snap their slide though it’s a tough challenge. Saint Joseph’s trailed by 23 in the first half before closing it on a 16-0 run to get within seven at the half. The Hawks’ momentum left as quickly as it arrived as they never got any closer the rest of the way, allowing the Violets to cruise to the win. Saint Joseph’s shot 41.7 percent from the field, including eight of 27 from three-point range, and allowed Lafayette to shoot 54.8 percent in the contest. Ryan Daly led the Hawks with 25 points, six rebounds and five assists in the loss.

The Hawks enter this contest tied for 192nd in the nation in scoring offense with 72 points per game on the season. Saint Joseph’s is 119th in rebounding with 38.6 boards a night while they stand 166th by dishing 13.9 assists per contest. The Hawks have struggled on the defensive end as they are 333rd in scoring defense by allowing 80.6 points a game. Ryan Daly is putting up a team-leading 20.9 points, 8.4 rebounds and 4.8 assists per contest. He’s the only player in double figures this season. Lorenzo Edwards, Rahmir Moore, Taylor Funk and Myles Douglas each put up at least seven points a night for the Hawks. Saint Joseph’s is shooting 38.4 percent from the field as a team this season. The Hawks average 9.3 three-pointers a night despite shooting only 30.5 percent as a team from beyond the arc. Saint Joseph’s is inconsistent at the charity stripe, converting 68.9 percent of their attempts.

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The Hawks are going to have their work cut out for them in this contest. Daly has been a solid offensive force but the fact remains that you can’t rely on anyone outside of him in crunch time. Villanova is a very good offensive team and they have plenty of depth and experience to work with in their rotation. The Wildcats can burn you from the outside and they can crash the glass with the best of them. Saint Joseph’s is struggling on the defensive end of the floor and that’s going to be an uphill climb for them here. Villanova carves up the Hawks and deals them their seventh straight loss.

Prediction: Villanova Wildcats -16

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Saint Joseph's has been a leaky defensive unit all season and that's a major issue for them in the first month of the year. Facing a Villanova team that can pile up points and blitz you in a hurry is going to test the Hawks. Opposing teams are blistering the nets at a 41.7 percent clip from three-point range against Saint Joseph's, which plays right in Villanova's favor. The Wildcats are hitting 40.2 percent from beyond the arc on the year and can bury a team in a hurry. Given the issues the Hawks have defensively, can we expect them to slow down the Wildcats?

The over is 4-0 in the Wildcats' last 4 games as a road favorite, 4-0 in their last four Saturday games, 6-1 in their last seven as a favorite and 5-1 in their last six overall. Saint Joseph's has seen the over go 5-0 in their last 5 games after allowing more than 90 points in their previous game, 4-1 in their last 5 games following a straight up loss of more than 20 points and 7-3 in their last 10 after a double-digit loss at home. It wouldn't be surprising to see Villanova crack the 90-point mark and come up near the century mark. This one ends up over the number.

Prediction: Over 157.5

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Villanova enters this one with a +11.3 ppg differential in scoring in the opening half of their games this season, which is 12th in the nation. The Wildcats are seventh in the nation in first-half scoring with 41.8 ppg this season. Saint Joseph's has a -2.3 ppg scoring differential in the first half on the year, which is tied for 232nd in Division I. That more than negates that the Hawks are 334th in first half scoring defense. Villanova should have a comfortable margin at the half here.

Prediction: Villanova Wildcats

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Villanova has seen some big numbers on the offensive end of the floor this season. The Wildcats are tied for 107th in scoring defense in the opening half by allowing 30.5 ppg in the first 20 minutes. Villanova sees an average of 72.3 ppg in the first half of games this season. Saint Joseph's has seen an average of 77.1 ppg in the first half of their games this season. Seeing how the Hawks are weak defensively and Villanova can put up points, this one ends up over the total at the half.

Prediction: Over
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.