College basketball betting enthusiasts across the globe are in for what looks like a thrilling affair just waiting to happen when the second-seeded Villanova Wildcats try to pull off the upset over the top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks in their Elite Eight showdown on Saturday night.
Thanks to this expert betting breakdown, you’re going to find out which team will cover the spread in this intriguing matchup as well as what I expect the final score to be.
With that said, let’s get started.
Villanova vs Kansas Elite 8 Betting Lines Prediction & TV Info
When: Saturday, March 26, 8:49 PM ET
Where: KFC Yum! Center, Louisville, Kentucky
Line: Kansas -2.5
Why Bet the Villanova Wildcats
After winning all three of their tournament games by at least 19 points, including their stunning 92-69 beatdown of No. 3 Miami on Thursday, the Villanova Wildcats (32-5, 18-17-1 ATS, 19-16 O/U) look like a great underdog wager in this contest.
Villanova placed four players in double digits in scoring and got a team-high 21 points apiece from underrated small forward Kris Jenkins and point guard Ryan Arcidiacono in the win while out-rebounding the Hurricanes by 10.
The Wildcats shot 62.7 percent from the field in the win over the Hurricanes and an even more mind-numbing 66.7 percent from beyond the arc (10-for-15).
“I think we’re taking better shots,” he said. “We’re taking what the defense gives us while being aggressive.”
“I wanted to be aggressive and set the tone on defense,” the 6-3 senior said. “I found myself getting open looks (on offense) and my teammates did a good job of getting me the ball in spots where I could score. It’s just a mindset.”
Villanova is ranked 57th in the nation in scoring (77.9 ppg) and a stellar 27th in field goal shooting percentage (47.8%) and has a great, if underrated, head coach in Jay Wright.
Why Bet the Kansas Jayhawks
Kansas (33-4, 24-11 ATS, 13-21 O/U) is also looking good after man-handling Maryland in the second half of their 77-63 Sweet 16 win over on Thursday night.
All-American forward Perry Ellis scored a game-high 27 points while athletic swingman Wayne Selden Jr. added 19 points to lead the Jayhawks to victory over the Terrapins.
Kansas put up a great defensive effort in limiting the Terrapins to just 40.0 percent shooting from the field and 20.0 percent from beyond the arc while winning the rebounding battle by a whopping 15 boards.
Ellis scored 15 points in the second half and dominated the Terrapins the low post.
“I’ve gotten a lot more aggressive,” Ellis said. “My teammates, coaches, are all telling me to be aggressive, and that’s what I’m trying to do. They have a lot of confidence in me.”
Kansas ranks 15th in the nation in scoring (81.9 ppg), a stellar fifth in field goal shooting percentage (49.6%) and third in three-point shooting (42.2%).
Defensively, the Jayhawks give up an average of 67.7 points per game (72nd) though they do limit the opposition to just 39.7 percent shooting from the field (21st) and 32.2 percent shooting from downtown (64th).
Expert Betting Pick & Final Score Prediction
First and foremost, with two teams that combine to average 159.8 points per game, I like the Over 147 total points in this matchup even though Kansas has been consistently playing under their totals.
While the Under is 26-7 in the Jayhawks’ last 33 NCAA Tournament games and 5-2 in their L/7 non-conference games, the Over is 5-0 in Villanova’s last five games following an ATS win and a blistering 9-1 in the Wildcats’ last 10 games following a straight up win.
The Over is also 10-2 in Villanova’s last dozen games overall and 4-1-1 in the Wildcats last half-dozen NCAA Tournament games.
In addition to playing the Over 147 total points, I also like Villanova as an underdog in this contest and believe they’re going to cover the spread by beating Kansas outright.
Small forward Kris Jenkins has scored 21 points or more in five of his last 10 games while averaging a stellar 19.6 points over the span. Jenkins drained three-pointer against
Miami from 35-feet, or more like what is known as Steph Curry range in today’s times. 6-11 forward Daniel Ochefu scored 17 points against Miami and could be the key to
Villanova winning this contest if he can give Ellis trouble in the low post.
I know the Jayhawks are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games against a team with a winning straight up record and an identical 4-0 ATS in their last four neutral site games, but Villanova is 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games after scoring more than 90 points in their previous game and 4-1 ATS in their last five NCAA Tournament games.
While Ellis is very good, Kansas doesn’t have a flat-out superstar that can take over and I believe the Wildcats are the better and deeper team in this matchup. Play the Wildcats to cover the spread by winning outright!
The Pick: Villanova 77 Kansas 74