Big Monday Picks (Villanova vs Notre Dame & Texas vs. Baylor)

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Big Monday continues tonight, and although you will be without the much heralded picks of Mr. Lewass due to his crazy travel schedule, at least you'll get my picks.  Tonight we've got two half way decent matchups, although I would expect a little more at this time of the season.  Two of the teams are ranked in the top 25 (Texas and Villanova), but unfortunately they are playing against each other.  The intriguing thing is that Villanova is actually a 3 point dog tonight against the Irish.  So, who do we think is going to win?

Villanova +3 at Notre Dame

For some reason, the odds makers are taking a top rated team and putting them as the underdog.  Grant it, Villanova won't be top 10 when the new rankings come out as they just lost on Saturday to Georgetown, but Notre Dame didn't win on Saturday either...although they did play well against UCONN.  So, let's look at the only number that matters, and that is their records ATS.  Villanova is a respectable 14-11 ATS, whereas ND has been absolutely horrific at 8-15 ATS.  It's probably b/c the odds makers keep putting them as favorites against top 25 teams.  Go with Nova here and take the free points.

Baylor at Texas (-8)

I like Texas for some strange reason, but they are failing me this year.  They were hanging on by the short hairs to a top 25 ranking, only to lose on Saturday and most likely insure they'll be dropped out.  They come into tonight as 8 point favorites.  My theory for their poor performances has to be their Free Throw %.  You can't have a team shoot just 66% and win the close games.  5 of their 9 losses are by 6 points or less, and although I don't have the exact numbers of Free Throws missed during those games, I bet you they missed at least 6 or more in each.  With that said, they are going to handle Baylor tonight.  Baylor can score some points, but gives up a lot also.  With a 7-13 record ATS for Baylor, I don't see them making it happen.  Go with the Longhorns.