Houston vs Villanova: Betting Odds, Picks, and Predictions (3/26/22)

Houston vs Villanova Betting Odds

Houston and Villanova look like the two best teams left in the tournament.

Both have man-handled tournament opponents with relative ease. But how do they match up with each other?

It’ll be tough for Villanova to crack Houston’s defense. But it’ll be tough for Houston to keep up with Villanova’s shot-making.

Which side has the edge?

Houston Cougars Odds

With Gonzaga being eliminated, Houston is now the highest-rated team left in the tournament per the major analytical sites (KenPom, BartTorvik, EvanMiya).

Houston is top-10 nationally in both offensive and defensive efficiency. The Cougars contest every shot, grab every offensive board and are ruthlessly interior both attacking and defending the paint.

The Cougars can also shoot. They don’t shoot the lights out and aren’t 3-point reliant, but the shot-makers can keep up with Villanova if needed.

Houston’s defense matches up well with Villanova. The Wildcats play slow with long offensive possessions, but Houston is used to defending for 20+ seconds. Moreover, Houston can stop the pick-and-roll and the length won’t let Villanova shoot over them.

The biggest advantage for Houston will be athleticism. Especially in the backcourt, as Collin Gillespie and co. are smart basketball players rather than incredible athletes.

Villanova Wildcats Odds

Speaking of Gillespie, keep an eye on the injury report. Jay Wright has said the knee is good after he tweaked it against Michigan, but he might not be 100%.

Villanova needs to shoot well in this game. There won’t be many other avenues of offense against Houston.

And while Villanova toasted both Delaware and Michigan on the perimeter, those are two weak perimeter defenses. Especially Michigan, who has been getting burned by good backcourts all season.

The Cougars are good at allowing low-quality 3s, but Houston is due for some slight negative shooting regression from beyond the arc. Hopefully, Villanova will take advantage of that.

Houston vs Villanova Prediction and Pick

Houston’s athleticism will prove to be too much for Villanova. Kelvin Sampson can suffocate any offensive set that Villanova tries to run.

Meanwhile, Houston can get the offense on the interior and will likely out-rebound a Villanova defense that was sub-200 in defensive rebounding rate.

I’ll take the Cougars at -2.5 or better.

I also like the under. Both teams are sub-330 in tempo. Villanova will play particularly slow, and Houston will keep points off the board.

Plus, Houston managed to hold Arizona to just 60 points, which seems impossible given how much the Wildcats run. Houston can hold any team under the total, and the Cougars have done so in all three tournament games so far.

Meanwhile, Villanova has gone under in four of the last five.

I’ll take the under at 127.5 or better.

March Madness Bracket

Tanner joined Lineups to cover everything, but he has vast experience in, and unlimited passion for, Major League Baseball and NCAA Basketball. He’s a McGill University grad and former (Canadian) Division-I alpine ski racer who now spends his time drinking beer and betting home underdogs. Patrick Mahomes is a poor man’s Tom Brady.

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