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Expert handicapper Stephen Rodriguez tells us who he's backing tonight in college basketball

BET OF THE DAY: (2u) Seton Hall Pirates -4 @ -110

#14 Villanova Wildcats @ #8 Seton Hall Pirates, 8:30 PM:

  • Seton Hall has the best ATS record in the Big East (1810), and Villanova has the third worst ATS record (13-14-2).
  • Five of the last seven games have been decided by six points or fewer. Stat courtesy of Statschecker.

The reason we’re backing Seton Hall

#8 Seton Hall (21-7) kept the ball rolling with a third consecutive win after taking down Marquette on the road 88-79. The Pirates were on point, shooting over 50 percent from both the field and three-point range.

Myles Powell and Sandro Mamukelashvili led the way and did all of the heavy lifting. Powell knocked down five three-pointers for a team-high 28 points with five assists, and Mamukelashvili added 26 points on 10-of-13 shooting with nine rebounds.

#14 Villanova (22-7) fell off track and snapped a five-game winning streak with a 58-54 home loss to Providence. The Wildcats lived by three balls and it cost them as they shot a poor 17 percent (5-of-30) from three-point range.

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl was a bright spot, posting a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Collin Gillespie added a team-high 13 points and five rebounds.

These teams met earlier this season in Villanova which resulted in a come-from-behind 70-64 win by the Pirates. Powell and Mamukelashvili led the way in that matchup as usual and based on how they’ve been playing, I expect them to carry the Pirates to victory at home and cover the spread.

(1u) Florida State Seminoles -2.5 @ -110

#7 Florida State Seminoles @ Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 9:00 PM:

  • The Fighting Irish have a 23 W/L record in night games against the Seminoles since 2016-17.
  • Notre Dame and Florida State have both been solid ATS this season the Fighting Irish are (14-13-2) and the Seminoles are (15-14).

The reason we’re backing Florida State

#7 Florida State (24-5) were upset on the road and snapped a four-game winning streak after losing to Clemson 70-69. The Seminoles saw a seven-point halftime lead slip away and fell one second short of holding on to the win.

Devin Vassell scored a team-high 14 points with seven rebounds, and Trent Forrest and Malik Osborne each contributed 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting.

Notre Dame (18-11) snapped a three-game winning streak on the road by falling to Wake Forest 84-73.

The nation’s second-leading rebounder John Mooney posted a huge double-double with 24 points and 17 rebounds. Aside from Mooney, the other four starters lacked production totaling 23 points combined.

These teams met back in late January, and the Fighting Irish battled back from a 10-point halftime deficit but fell just short of the upset 85-84. Despite a tightly-contested first matchup, and Florida State’s bad habit of blowing big halftime leads, my expectation is the Seminoles will be playing with a chip on their shoulder and should cover the spread in a convincing win.

(1u) Auburn Tigers -12.5 @ -110

Texas A&M Aggies @ #17 Auburn Tigers, 7:00 PM:

  • Auburn has won 22 of the last 23 home games.
  • Auburn and Texas A&M have both struggled ATS all season The Tigers are (13-16) and the Aggies are (12-16).

The reason we’re backing Auburn

#17 Auburn (24-5) hit a bump in the road and fell short of stopping Kentucky from claiming the SEC regular season title. The Tigers snapped a two-game winning streak after losing to the #8 ranked Wildcats 73-66.

Seniors J’Von McCormick and Austin Wiley were the only Tigers to score in double figures as McCormick scored a team-high 13 points and Wiley put together a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds.

Texas A&M (14-14) fell flat on the road in LSU and lost to the Tigers 64-50. Turnovers were the difference maker as the Aggies turned the ball 13 times compared to four times by the Tigers.

Savion Flagg and Josh Nebo were the lone players to score in double figures - Flagg scored a team-high 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting, and Nebo added 11 points and nine rebounds.

My lean is towards Auburn mainly due to the Tigers having more to play for at this point of the season, as well as the Aggies’ lack of wins against ranked opponents this season (0-2). Auburn’s success at home is also another contributing factor in why the Tigers should be able to cover the hefty spread at home.


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