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NCAA March Madness betting: 5 betting trends and odds to know about Villanova

Sam Cooper
·4-min read

For the seventh time under Jay Wright, Villanova has advanced to the Sweet 16.

Playing without senior guard Collin Gillespie, the Wildcats knocked off popular upset pick Winthrop in the first round before dispatching North Texas in the Round of 32. And more importantly for bettors in Pennsylvania, the Wildcats covered the spread in both of those games.

Here’s what you need to know about Villanova moving forward in March Madness.

Villanova's odds to win the South Region

Villanova, the No. 5 seed in the South Region, currently has the third-best odds to emerge as the South champion at BetMGM. The Wildcats’ current odds are +600 thanks to their upcoming matchup against No. 1 seed Baylor.

Baylor is the region’s favorite with -150 odds. Next is Arkansas at +175 with Oral Roberts at +3500. Oral Roberts has been one of the stories of the tournament. ORU, the South’s No. 15 seed, shocked No. 2 Ohio State in the first round before edging No. 7 Florida in the Round of 32.

Villanova's odds to win it all

Dating back to 2004, Villanova has played in 15 of 16 NCAA tournaments. That includes national championships in 2016 and 2018, so this is a program with a track record of success in the month of March.

Of the 16 teams still alive in this year’s tournament, the Wildcats currently have the 11th-best odds to win it all at +3000 at BetMGM. The three remaining No. 1 seeds, of course, have the best odds: Gonzaga (+150), Baylor (+450) and Michigan (+900).

Villanova also has +600 odds to reach the Final Four. But that journey has to begin on Saturday with an upset victory over Baylor.

Villanova's odds vs. Baylor

At BetMGM, Villanova is currently a 6.5-point underdog against Baylor with the total set at 140.5.

The Wildcats were six-point favorites in both of their NCAA tournament games played thus far. Against Winthrop, Villanova won by 10, 73-63, and covered the spread. The game stayed under the total of 144.

Against North Texas, the game was nowhere near as close. The Wildcats rolled 84-61 to easily cover the spread. This time, the game went over the total, which closed at 125.5.

Villanova guard Caleb Daniels (14) celebrates a defensive stop with Justin Moore (5) and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (24) in the second half of a first round game against Winthrop in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament at Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis, Friday, March 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Villanova guard Caleb Daniels (14) celebrates a defensive stop with Justin Moore (5) and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (24) in the second half of a first round game against Winthrop in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament at Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis, Friday, March 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Noteworthy ATS trends for Villanova

Villanova is now 17-5 against the spread in its last 22 NCAA tournament games. But it has been a while since Villanova has been an underdog.

In fact, Villanova wasn’t an underdog a single time all season. The Wildcats enter Saturday’s game with a 13-10-1 ATS record on the year — all as a favorite.

The last time Villanova was an underdog was a Big East road game against Seton Hall last March. The Wildcats were 3.5-point underdogs and ended up winning outright, 79-77. The Wildcats were 4-1-1 ATS as underdogs during the 2019-20 season.

In the NCAA tournament under Wright (dating back to 2005), Villanova is 6-5 straight-up and 7-4 against the spread as an underdog. That record includes the wins over Kansas in the Elite Eight and North Carolina in the title game during Villanova’s 2016 national championship run.

Most recently, Villanova lost to Purdue in the Round of 32 as 3.5-point underdogs in the 2019 NCAA tournament. Villanova was a No. 6 seed that year, and was blown out by No. 3 Purdue, 87-61. Purdue advanced to the Elite Eight that year, where it lost to eventual champion Virginia in an overtime classic.

Villanova is 4-2 against the spread in Sweet 16 matchups under Wright, including a 2-1 ATS mark as an underdog. Villanova hasn’t been an underdog in the Sweet 16 since 2009.

Noteworthy over/under trends for Villanova

The over/under splits for Villanova have been pretty even this season. Of the team’s 24 games, 13 went over and 11 went under the point total. Four of Villanova’s last five regular season games went under the total, but two of the team’s three postseason games have gone over.

In Villanova’s 11 NCAA tournament games as an underdog during the Wright era, the under is 6-5. Three of the last four, though, have gone over the total.

In the Sweet 16, the under is 4-2 overall with a 3-0 record when Villanova has been the underdog.

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