Wildcats, Spartans Strong Favorites for Conference Tournaments

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After wrapping up their regular-season schedule with three straight-up wins in a row, the Villanova Wildcats hit the postseason as strong +115 favorites on the odds to win the Big East Tournament at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Wildcats clinched the No. 1 seed in this week’s tournament with last week’s 83-62 win over Marquette before wrapping up their campaign with an 84-71 victory over Georgetown to finish at 16-2 SU in conference play.

Despite an outstanding season, during which they held the top spot in the AP Top 25 rankings for three weeks in February before falling off to their current position at No. 3, the Wildcats have been a shaky bet at the sportsbooks.

Villanova is just 2-5 against the spread over their past seven games according to the OddsShark College Basketball Database, and a combined 1-3 ATS against Georgetown and DePaul, one of which they will face in a quarterfinal matchup on Thursday.

The No. 2 Xavier Musketeers, who split a pair of meetings with Villanova this season, closely trail the Wildcats on the Big East Tournament odds at +250, while the Butler Bulldogs and Seton Hall Pirates round out the front of the pack at +500 and +900, respectively.

Creighton is pegged at +1200 ahead of Thursday night’s Bluejays vs. Pirates second-round matchup at Madison Square Garden, ahead of the Providence Friars at +1400, and the Hoyas, who have tumbled to +2000 after losing six straight SU, while the Golden Eagles pull up the rear as +3300 longshots.

In other college basketball betting action, the Michigan State Spartans lead the way on the college basketball futures as +105 favorites to claim their third Big Ten Tournament title in five years after wrapping up their campaign with six straight double-digit victories.

The Indiana Hoosiers, winners of five straight, including Sunday’s convincing 80-62 victory over Maryland to edge out the Spartans for the regular-season conference title, trail at +325, followed by the Purdue Boilermakers at +500, and the Terrapins at +600.

The Iowa Hawkeyes and Wisconsin Badgers both equaled Maryland and Purdue with 12-6 conference records, but will both be forced to earn berths in the tournament quarterfinals after being pegged as the No. 5 and No. 6 seeds, respectively. As a result, the Hawkeyes lag at +800 on the Big Ten Tournament odds, followed by the Badgers at +1400.

The eighth-seeded Michigan Wolverines sport long +2500 odds going into their second-round meeting with No. 9 Northwestern on Thursday, while a bet on the field of seven remaining squads in the Big Ten Tournament pays out at +3300.