- Providence is a 6.5-point home favorite over DePaul on Sunday in a Big East game at Alumni Hall
- DePaul did not open its season until Wednesday because of COVID-19 issues within the program
- See below for analysis and a betting prediction for this game
After finally getting its season started, DePaul jumps right into Big East play when it visits Providence at 4:30 pm EST Sunday for a game at Alumni Hall.
DePaul had 10 games either postponed or cancelled because of COVID-19 issues before finally beating Western Illinois its opener Wednesday night.
Conversely, Providence has already played eights game. The Friars, favored by 6.5-points, are 5-3 overall, 1-1 in the Big East and 3-5 against the spread.
DePaul vs Providence Odds
|DePaul Blue Demons||+240||+6.5 (-110)||Over 145.5 (-105)|
|Providence Friars||-295||-6.5 (-110)||Under 145.5 (-115)|
Odds taken Dec. 26 from FanDuel.
Freeman-Liberty Makes Impact
DePaul junior guard Javon Freeman-Liberty made a memorable return to his hometown of Chicago as he had 19 points, eight rebounds, six assists and three steals to key the 91-72 victory over visiting Western Illinois.
Javon Freeman-Liberty rings the ??? for @DePaulHoops!
Blue Demons have started on a 12-2 run in their season opener!#PlayingPossessed x #BIGEASThoops pic.twitter.com/HicyNAUnY7
— #BIGEASThoops (@BIGEASTMBB) December 24, 2020
Freeman-Liberty transferred from Valparaiso where he averaged 19.0 points a game last season and was a first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference selection.
Senior guard Charlie Moore also played a major role in DePaul covering the 16.5-point spread as he led all scorers with 22 points. He made four of seven 3-point attempts.
Moore led the team in scoring last season at 15.5 points a game as the Blue Demons went 16-16. DePaul started the season with a 12-1 mark in non-conference action then went a dismal 3-15 in Big East play.
DePaul also had three other players score in double figures in its opener – freshman guard Kobe Elvis (12), sophomore center Nick Ongenda (12) and sophomore guard Oscar Lopez Jr. (11).
Snagged an early ? last night!
??| #PlayingPossessed pic.twitter.com/VgfpiG2iVL
— DePaul Basketball (@DePaulHoops) December 24, 2020
Despite being idle for so long, DePaul looked relatively sharp against Western Illinois. The Blue Demons had runs of 12 and 15 straight points in building a 44-25 halftime lead.
Providence’s Dynamic Duo
Providence had its three-game winning streak end Wednesday with a 70-64 loss at Butler as a 2.5-point favorite.
As has been the case all season, the duo of senior center Nate Watson and junior guard David Duke were the standouts for Providence. Watson had a game-high 19 points and Duke finished with 17 points and five assists.
Big man’s gotta eat ? pic.twitter.com/xtHjt1mzHC
— PC Men’s Basketball (@PCFriarsmbb) December 24, 2020
They were the only Friars to reach double figures in scoring.
Watson and Duke have combined to score 307 of Providence’s 591 points this season, or 51.9 percent. Watson has a team-leading 19.3 scoring average and Duke is right behind at 19.1.
Watson has scored at least 17 points in seven of eight games and has two double-doubles. Duke has reached 17 points six times and has one double-double.
Providence has done a good job of taking care of the ball. The Friars are averaging just 10.6 turnovers a game, ranking 20th in the nation.
Friars Swept Last Season
Providence has beaten DePaul in five of the last seven meetings, including twice last season with a 66-65 win on the road as a two-point favorite and a 93-55 rout at home as a 10-point choice.
All five Providence starters scored at least 12 points in the blowout. Watson had 18 points and eight rebounds and Duke scored 16 points and made four steals.
Moore had a total of 27 points for DePaul in the two games.
The addition of Freeman-Liberty will take some of the scoring load off Moore and give reason to believe DePaul will be improved this season. The Blue Demons might not be ready to win a Big East game on the road yet but should keep things close.
Pick: DePaul +6.5 (-110)