Villanova vs. WVU March Madness Betting Pick & Sweet 16 Prediction

Villanova vs. WVU March Madness Pick & Sweet 16 Prediction

Written by on March 21, 2018

Arguably no team has looked more impressive in this NCAA Tournament than East Region No. 1 seed Villanova of the Big East, and the Wildcats won’t be playing far from their Philly camps on Friday in the Sweet 16 against Big 12 school West Virginia. MyBookie oddsmakers expect Nova to advance to face the Texas Tech/Purdue winner. Here’s our March Madness betting pick for Friday night.

Villanova vs. WVU March Madness Betting Pick & Sweet 16 Prediction

When: Friday, 7:27 PM ET Where: TD Garden, Boston TV: TBS Radio: Tunein.com March Madness Betting Lines: Villanova -5.5

Latest March Madness Betting Trends

  • WVU is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games.
  • Mountaineers are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games after scoring more than 90 points in their previous game.
  • West Virginia is 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games following a ATS win.
  • Mountaineers are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 vs. Big East.
  • Villanova is 8-1 ATS in their last 9 neutral site games.
  • Wildcats are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
  • Villanova is 8-2 ATS in their last 10 NCAA Tournament games.
  • Wildcats are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points

Why Bet on Villanova?

The Cats have barely broken a sweat thus far, blitzing Radford in a 26-point win and Alabama in a 23-point victory. In all, Villanova spent the first two rounds trailing its opponents for just 122 seconds, and its biggest deficit has been a mere three points. In its two tournament games, Villanova has made 56 baskets, and 38 of them have come on an assist. Against Radford, Villanova generated a crazy-good 1.40 points per possession whenever stars Jalen Brunson and Mikal Bridges were on the floor together. Against Alabama, the Wildcats forced five Collin Sexton turnovers and held the Crimson Tide to 0.88 points per possession. Also against Bama, the Wildcats went 7-of-9 from 3 in a span of six minutes, ultimately turning a five-point halftime lead into a 23-point victory. The nation’s most efficient offense is holding opponents to humbling offensive production. Villanova currently resembles the 2016 squad that won the national title. Since losing to Creighton on Feb. 24, Villanova has allowed only 63.1 points per game over its past seven contests. Villanova has been the average bettor’s dream with a 24-12 ATS record this year. More than 47 percent of the field goals Villanova has attempted to this point in the season are 3s, 12th nationally and second most of any NCAA tournament team. It also shoots the 11th-best overall percentage from 3, making more than 40 percent of its attempts as a team. The Wildcats are 32-4 this season with just one potential loss remaining, meaning they’ll finish with five or fewer losses in five straight seasons. The only other team to have five or fewer losses in even four of the past five seasons is Gonzaga, which plays in the weak West Coast Conference.

Why Bet on West Virginia?

Against Marshall on Sunday in a blowout win, West Virginia forced 18 turnovers, more than the Thundering Herd had committed in their two previous games combined. research. Murray State committed turnovers once every four trips up the floor against the Mountaineers in the first round. WVU has been aggressive, and Jevon Carter is averaging 24.5 PPG in the NCAA tournament. That said, West Virginia is not a great offensive team. In fact, they grade out as below average in the half court. Their efficiency (1.19 PPP, 11th nationally) comes from generating steals and second-chance opportunities. There are few teams better built for handling the Mountaineers’ pressure than Villanova as the Cats commit just more than 10 turnovers per game, which ranks 13th nationally. If the Mountaineers are to have any shot, it will need to Villanova having an off day shooting. West Virginia is an excellent interior defensive team, but struggles to guard the perimeter, allowing opponents to shoot a hefty 37.5 percent from the arc. Is WVU a safe bet in the Sweet 16? West Virginia’s Sagaba Konate averages 3.2 blocks per game, an impressive number for a guy who is only 6-8. But Konate has a great instinct for defense, and has recorded four or more blocks 14 times this season — including in a win at Baylor in which he blocked nine shots. He could change things in the paint. The Mountaineers’ seventh NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearance since 2005 ties Florida, Arizona and Louisville for the third-most of any team during that time period. Duke, Kansas and North Carolina have nine Sweet 16 trips, while Kentucky Michigan State and Wisconsin have eight. Among those, only West Virginia, Duke, Kansas and Kentucky are playing in this year’s Sweet 16. West Virginia’s last two trips to the Sweet 16 have been against No. 1 seeds – Kentucky in 2015 and Gonzaga in 2017. Including No. 1 seed Villanova, the combined record of those three teams is 102-5. Bob Huggins is now 33-23 all-time in NCAA Tournament games including a 13-8 mark at West Virginia, his 13 victories amounting to 42 percent of the Mountaineers’ 31 all-time NCAA Tournament wins.

Expert March Madness Betting Prediction

It will be close for a half, but then Villanova pulls away and wins by 10.