Daily Ticket: Test your sports knowledge in today’s Final Four contest

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MAAC Tournament: Monmouth vs. Saint Peter’s odds, picks and predictions

Analyzing Saturday’s Monmouth vs. Saint Peter’s odds and lines, with college basketball expert picks, predictions and best bets.

The fourth-seeded Monmouth Hawks (21-12) battle the second-seeded Saint Peter’s Peacocks (18-11) in the championship game of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament Saturday. Tip-off from Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., is slated for 4 p.m. ET. Below, we look at the Monmouth vs. Saint Peter’s odds and lines, and make our expert college basketball picks, predictions and bets.

Monmouth dropped three of its final four games to close out the regular season. That streak began with a 70-65 setback to these Peacocks Feb. 25. However, the Hawks have rallied to win two tournament games by a combined 7 points and find themselves on the doorstep of the NCAA Tournament.

Saint Peter’s has been impressive in dispatching Fairfield and Quinnipiac in its two MAAC tourney conquests. The Peacocks have a shutdown defense that has worked well against foes at both ends of the pace spectrum. SPU has held opposing shooters to a 44.7% effective field-goal mark on the season — that ranks ninth in the nation.

See alsoFerris Mowers Coaches Poll powered by USA TODAY Sports

Monmouth vs. Saint Peter’s odds, spread and lines

Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 9:20 a.m. ET.

  • Money line: Monmouth +122 (bet $100 to win $122) | Saint Peter’s -150 (bet $150 to win $100)
  • Against the spread (ATS): Monmouth +2.5 (-108) | Saint Peter’s -2.5 (-112)
  • Over/Under (O/U): 124.5 (O: -110 | U: -110)

[tipico]

Monmouth vs. Saint Peter’s odds, lines, picks and predictions

Prediction

Saint Peter’s 62, Monmouth 61

Money line

Peg Saint Peter’s as being somewhat fortunate in the recent exchange of 3-point figures. The Peacocks can be undone by teams that defend the perimeter well on defense and get to the free-throw line on offense, and Monmouth is capable in both areas. Enough so to consider the Hawks a 45% probability in this title game.

The price here is awfully close to providing some slim leverage. Consider a partial-unit play on MONMOUTH (+122) or a line watch and a triggered wager at +125 or +130.

Against the spread

The Hawks are 7-0 ATS in their last seven games as underdogs. The underdog is 4-0-1 ATS in the last five meetings in this Garden State rivalry.

Monmouth lost by 5 points in both regular-season meetings in 2021-22. Both games were close affairs all the way, played without big momentum swings. The Hawks either winning this third meeting or getting the deficit down a notch is likely just enough to warrant a play on MONMOUTH +2.5 (-108).

Over/Under

The low total and the way games 1 and 2 this season played out make this a difficult total with which to quibble. So don’t.

AVOID THE O/U PLAY ON THIS ONE.

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Big East Tournament: UConn at Villanova odds, picks and predictions

Analyzing Friday’s UConn at Villanova odds and lines, with college basketball expert picks, predictions and best bets.

The third-seeded UConn Huskies (23-8) and second-seeded Villanova Wildcats (24-7) square off in the semifinals of the Big East Tournament Friday. Tip-off in this marquee matchup will be at 9 p.m. ET from Madison Square Garden in New York. Below, we look at the UConn vs. Villanova odds and lines, and make our expert college basketball picks, predictions and bets.

No. 20 UConn took down Seton Hall 62-52 in the quarterfinals Thursday for their first win of the tournament. The Huskies covered the spread comfortably as 4.5-point favorites. It was their second win in three games against Seton Hall this season, and they were led by G Tyrese Martin and G R.J. Cole, who scored 17 points each in the victory.

No. 8 Villanova won in a much narrower fashion to advance to the semis as it beat St. John’s 66-65. It was The Wildcats’ third straight win, though they’re only 1-3-1 ATS in their last five games. G Caleb Daniels led the way with 19 points, while G Collin Gillespie dropped 14 and had 6 rebounds. Villanova trailed by 17 points at one point in the game, making the victory their largest comeback of the season.

Rankings courtesy of the Ferris Mowers Coaches Poll powered by USA TODAY Sports.

UConn at Villanova odds, spread and lines

Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 11:13 a.m. ET.

  • Money line: UConn +110 (bet $100 to win $110) | Villanova -150 (bet $150 to win $100)
  • Against the spread (ATS): UConn +2.5 (-122) | Villanova -2.5 (-112)
  • Over/Under (O/U): 131.5 (O: -116 | U: -117)

[tipico]

UConn at Villanova odds, lines, picks and predictions

Prediction

UConn 63, Villanova 60

Money line

UConn is a team equipped for a deep run in the tournament this March, as are the Wildcats. However, this is a tough matchup for Villanova because of UConn’s length and athleticism. They split the season series 1-1, with UConn winning the last meeting 71-69 at home Feb. 22.

I like UCONN (+110) to win outright as underdogs on a neutral floor.

Against the spread

Villanova is 1-0-2 ATS against UConn since the start of the 2020 season. The Wildcats are favored in this game but they’re coming off an emotional, close win over St. John’s in a game in which they didn’t play particularly well and very easily could’ve lost by double-digits.

Take UCONN +2.5 (-122) to cover.

Over/Under

The Huskies may have struggled from the field a little bit against Seton Hall, but they were dominant defensively and held the Pirates to only 18 first-half points. With the way they’re playing on that side of the ball, contesting a good portion of their opponents’ shots, Villanova is unlikely to reach their average of 73.5 points per game.

I like the UNDER 131.5 (-117) Friday after Thursday’s totals went way under for both teams.

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Big Ten Tournament: Penn State vs. Ohio State odds, picks and prediction

Analyzing Thursday’s Penn State vs Ohio State odds and lines, with college basketball expert picks, predictions and best bets.

The Penn State Nittany Lions (13-16) face the Ohio State Buckeyes (19-10) Thursday in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament. Tip-off from Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis is at 9 p.m. ET (BTN). Below, we look at the Penn State vs. Ohio State odds and lines, and make our expert college basketball picks, predictions and bets.

The Nittany Lions rolled past Minnesota by a 60-51 score, easily covering a 3.5-point spread in the opening round Wednesday. The Under cashed and is now 7-1 across the past eight games for Penn State.

The No. 25 Buckeyes, per the Ferris Mowers Coaches Poll powered by USA TODAY Sports, swept the regular-season series, winning 76-64 on the road Dec. 5 and 61-56 in Columbus Jan. 16. Ohio State closed out the regular season on a 1-3 SU/ATS skid, although that one win was a solid 11-point victory against Michigan State March 3.

Penn State vs. Ohio State odds, spread and lines

Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 7:37 a.m. ET.

  • Money line: Penn State +180 (bet $100 to win $180) | Ohio State -230 (bet $230 to win $100)
  • Against the spread (ATS): Penn State +5.5 (-120) | Ohio State -5.5 (-105)
  • Over/Under (O/U): 132.5 (O: -107 | U: -115)

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Penn State vs. Ohio State odds, lines, picks and predictions

Prediction

Ohio State 69, Penn State 65

Money line

Ohio State (-230) ‘should’ be able to win this game rather handily, but the way it closed the season you cannot risk nearly two and a half times your potential return on a maybe.

PASS, and concentrate on the spread instead.

Against the spread

PENN STATE +5.5 (-120) has the experience of playing in this venue after its tournament-opening win over Minnesota. Ohio State will be playing its first game trying to get a feel for the neutral hardwood early on. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Nittany Lions jump out to an early lead, and perhaps even lead at half before the Buckeyes wake up.

Ohio State will win this game, but it has been sleepwalking lately and this will not be a pretty victory.

Over/Under

The OVER 132.5 (-107) is the slight lean here.

While the Under has dominated for Penn State lately, the Over has cashed in six of its past seven against teams with a winning overall record. The Over is also 6-2 for Ohio State in its last eight games on a neutral floor.

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College sports coverage from USA TODAY Sports Media Group:

Alabama / Arkansas / Auburn / Colorado / Florida / Georgia / Iowa / LSU / Michigan / Michigan State / North Carolina / Notre Dame / Ohio State / Oklahoma / Oregon / Penn State / Rutgers / Tennessee / Texas / USC / Wisconsin / College Football News

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