Villanova and St. Joe’s are still in contention for a postseason trophy!

The Wildcats have to be questioning why they’re in the NIT for a second year in a row, while St. Joe’s is probably relishing the opportunity to keep playing after its run to the A-10 tournament semifinals.

Nova earned a No. 1 seed in the NIT, and the home-court advantage that comes with it, because of the new format that favors power-conference teams, and also because of a ton of opt-outs from its fellow power-six schools.

New Jersey online sports betting and Pennsylvania online sports betting will ramp up a little after noon on Thursday, with the full slate of NCAA tournament games. But if you’re itchy to play the locals tonight, The ‘Cats are a 7-point favorite against VCU and the Hawk’s are a 7.5-point underdog at Seton Hall.

For what it’s worth, underdogs won outright in five of the nine NIT games on Tuesday night and the Big East went 0-3.


VCU at Villanova (-7) (9 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

If you haven’t watched VCU in a decade, the same principles apply.

The Rams, even though they are on their third head coach since Shaka Smart, play at a slower pace and make life hell for opponents with their defense.

VCU holds a 15-20 record to the over and the under hit in four of the last five games. The Rams are also 6-4 against the spread as an underdog.

Villanova is 6-6 ATS as a favorite of seven or more points, but it’s worth noting that four of those covers came against DePaul and Georgetown.

The ‘Cats are on a run of nine straight unders that dates back to mid-February. Even Wednesday’s over/under of 132.5 could go under. The losing team in all of Villanova’s games in February and March failed to reach 70 points.

It’s also worth noting that motivation, or lack thereof, is a huge factor in this game. Villanova had NCAA tournament aspirations and it turned in its share of disappointing performances in big spots all season.


St. Joe’s (+7.5) at Seton Hall (7 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

Motivation probably plays a role in Newark as well.

Seton Hall was close to making the NCAA tournament and an NIT game could be viewed as a major let down spot for the Pirates.

St. Joe’s could continue the momentum from its A-10 tournament run in which it won outright as an underdog twice.

The Hawks are 6-7 ATS as an underdog, but they’re 3-1 ATS as an underdog of five or more points. They covered against Kentucky, Villanova and VCU in that spot.

Seton Hall is 1-4 ATS in its last five contests and 4-5 ATS as a favorite of seven or more points this season.

Add up those stats and the abundance of upsets on Tuesday night and you have the perfect concoction for a potential St. Joe’s win. As of this writing, FanDuel had the Hawks at +255 on the money line and DraftKings listed them at +270.