Brandon A. Quick |  Mon 02/04/2018 - 17:30 EDT

Michigan vs Villanova NCAA Basketball Championship Picks

Michigan vs Villanova NCAA Basketball Championship Picks
As is so often the case in the NCAA tournament, the two teams playing the best basketball in the land will meet for all the marbles with Villanova squaring off against Michigan Monday, April 2 in San Antonio (9:20 tip).

Betting Fodder

Combined these two teams have won 24 straight games – 14 for Michigan and 10 for Nova. That’s freaking impressive. While anyone with eyes can see that Villanova is the more explosive team, Michigan has proven it can also light up a scoreboard as it did in waylaying Texas A&M 99-72 in their Sweet 16 matchup. The Woleverines, however, prefer to play at a slower tempo in most games and have relied on crisp offense, solid three-point shooting, and sound defense to mount its 2018 postseason run. 

While Michigan has far more plusses than minuses, it’s hard for any handicapper to ignore that Villanova is better in just about every major statistical category. The Wildcats average almost 13 points per game more than the Wolverines in addition to shooting a higher percentage from the field, grabbing more rebounds, dishing out more assists, and and blocking more shots per contest. They also average 6.5 steals per game compared to Michigan’s 6.4. Doubtlessly, all of these factors are the driving force behind Nova’s considerable favoritism in this game. 

The line: Villanova -7 (-330) vs. Michigan +7 (+265)

Nova has covered the spread in all five NCAA tournament wins, proving its offensive prowess time and again. In its last three wins against West Virginia, Texas Tech and Kansas, the Wildcats were favored by no more than 6.5, but ended up winning each game by double digit margins. Only two teams have been within 12 points of Nova since February 28. It’s clear that the oddsmakers underestimated just how explosive this squad is – another reason for the hefty spread in this championship matchup.  

As good as Villanova has looked, Michigan coach John Beilein has a way of taking teams out of what they like to do. This game will present a contrast of styles and Michigan is capable of hanging around – particularly if the three pointers are dropping. Michigan probably has to slow down Villanova to have any chance to pull the upset, but Villanova cannot affort to allow Michigan’s shooters to get in sync. 

The total: O/U 145

Villanova averages an astounding 86.8 ppg and Michigan checks in at 73.9. Nova has broken the 80-point threshold in every game but one this tournament, while Michigan has exceeded 70 just once. With Nova’s collection of athletes and shot-makers, it’s hard to make them play a style other than fast. Of Michigan’s five tournament opponents, none were particularly gifted offensive teams. 

The Picks

I wanted to make a stronger case for Michigan when I handicapped this game, but I just couldn’t. In addition to Villanova’s statistical superiority, they also provide a better optic. I’m reminded of the fact that Michigan was bailed out by a desperation three-pointer from freshman Jordan Poole to beat Houston in the second round. The Wolverines also didn’t look comfortable against a lengthy Florida State team in the Elite 8. Nova is better than both those teams by a wide margin. 

The oddsmakers are trying to entice enough people to take Michigan as a 7-point dog in a championship game and more than a handful of bettors will jump. I just see way too much Nova in this one. 

TAKE Villanova -7 

As far as the total goes, 145 seems about right. The only way this game doesn’t go over is if Michigan doesn’t score enough points to “participate,” but even in the case of a Nova blowout I still see a final score around 82-65. That line of thinking, in essence, is what makes Villanova my primary play, but I’ll take a slight lean with far less risk on the over here. 

TAKE OVER 143

Category : Sports Betting News

Tag : basketball

Leave a comment
More articles...
Sports Betting News - 16/10/18
2018/19 NHL Outrights 
For many, the beginning of October can only mean that the NHL season is near. Oct. 3 signifies the start of the league's 102nd year of existence as 31 teams embark on an 82-game regular season that will conclude April 6. For bettors everywhere, the real question is how these next six months will play out. Here's a look at teams I like in the division, conference and Stanley Cup race.
Read this article 
Sports Betting News - 03/10/18
2018 Baseball Playoffs 
The 2018 Major League Baseball Playoffs began in earnest Oct.2 with a thrilling Wild Card elimination game between the Cubs and Rockies. The game was epic, the atmosphere electric, and it was just a microcosm of what's in store over the next few weeks. Nothing beats playoff baseball atmosphere or excitement - and this is particularly true when you've got a few dollars riding on the action. Let's dig into the beast that is Playoff Baseball 2018 and uncover some winners!
Read this article 
Sports Betting News - 28/09/18
UFC 229: McGregor vs Khabib Nurmagomedov 
Love him or hate him, the world is drawn to Connor McGregor. After nearly two years away from the octagon, the bad boy MMA star is back in action Sat, Oct 6 against lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in Las Vegas. Perhaps surprisingly to some, it is McGregor who finds himself in the underdog role in this clash. I'll try to ignore the hype and focus on the fight's specifics to determine which pugilist gets my money.
Read this article 
Sports Betting News - 25/09/18
Outrights to win the 2018/19 NBA Title 
It seems a little hard to believe, but another NBA season is fast-approaching. The first games will tip Oct. 16, so it's time to start thinking about those future bets and whether any team in the league can unseat the heavily-favored Golden State Warriors.
Read this article