NCAAB Betting Prediction For Villanova Vs. Michigan State (11/18/22)

While I try to not put too much stock into early non-conference results, I was thoroughly impressed by Michigan State’s performance against Kentucky in their overtime win. Their brutal non-conference schedule continues against the rebuilding Villanova Wildcats who have stumbled out of the gates with an early upset loss to Temple to start the season.

Villanova Vs. Michigan State Odds

Michigan State opened as a -5.5 and quickly saw that number move to the key basketball number of 6 as of writing. Early season results have this number about right with projections having MSU at -6 as well. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this balloon up even more overnight with how Villanova has looked early.

As for the total, the number has held pretty firm at the opener of 132.5. This has taken slight hits to 132 with bettors assuming to witness a defensive showdown with how the Sparty’s have played as well as Villanova’s typical suffocating style of play.

Villanova Vs. Michigan State Prediction & Pick

The Pick: Michigan State -6

Until Villanova can prove that this is not just early season struggles under a new regime, then they are officially in auto fade territory. Especially with the way the Spartans have looked, a young physical upstart team that can turn defense into efficient offense.

The Wildcats loss to Temple was not the only low point as Villanova also struggled in their last game out against Delaware State, needing a second half performance to pull away by ten. 

The offense has lacked versatility, relying on their roots of getting to the free throw line and three-point shooting ability. That has worked in the past when the Wildcats were capable of doing damage down low but without efficient post numbers then that allows opposing defenses to stretch out their defense. Villanova currently ranks 109th in 2-point FG percentage.

As if life couldn’t get harder for the Wildcat’s offensive woes, they now go against one of the better defensive units in basketball. Ranked 16th in AdjD per Kenpom and looking as crisp as ever in on ball pressure, I find it hard to believe Nova will figure out their lower level of scoring which will result in more anemic possessions.

Villanova Vs. Michigan State Key Matchups

Can the Spartans find outside shooting to stretch out Nova’s defense? How will the Wildcats contain Mady Sissoko?

Spartans three-point shooting vs Nova’s perimeter defense

If Michigan State’s last game against Kentucky taught me anything, it is that my tweets have magical powers after Hauser made me put my foot in my mouth. Jokes aside, I was dead wrong about Joey Hauser’s contributions and that he may be a key piece for the Spartan’s offense moving forward.

If Michigan State wants to be a legit threat to win it all this season, then they will need to advance in perimeter shooting. A bugaboo of theirs in years past, they now have two players shooting above 41% from deep in Hauser and Brooks. That doesn’t even account for Tyson Walker who is one of their better shooters but has been on a cold spell to start the season.

While Villanova is normally known for their perimeter defense, they have been sluggish and slow on the outside and giving up quality open looks. Should MSU draw the defenders down low with their slashing style of play then they will benefit from open looks from three to help bury the Wildcats early.

Mady Sissoko vs Nova’s interior

MSU was pegged to take a step back as they went into this season unranked and has performed past expectations early. This is in large part of the emergence of Mady Sissoko who has commanded attention down low.

He currently averages 11 points per game and 7.7 rebounds while being a force down low. He won’t do the Wildcats any favors with their offensive woes near the rim should he be able to avoid foul trouble. If Sissoko can repeat his performance from the Kentucky game and turn it into regular play, then he will be a major factor for the Spartans moving forward.

Verdict

Take Michigan State at -6 or better in what will be another impressive performance by the Spartans as they have massive advantages over the Wildcats on both ends of the court.

Kody is a sports betting writer here at Lineups. He specializes in college sports as well as the NFL and NBA. He won’t quit believing in the Lions Super Bowl chances even when they are eliminated.

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