Villanova Loses Three Before Beating Marquette And Is Now +400 To Make The Final Four

Villanova Loses Three Before Beating Marquette And Is Now +400 To Make The Final Four

Villanova College Basketball 2020 NCAA Final Four Futures

This past week, the Wildcats extended their losing streak to three games before stopping the bleeding with a win over #18 Marquette 72-71 Wednesday. On Saturday, Villanova hosted the first of two games this season against Seton Hall.

Seton Hall had a two-game lead over Villanova heading into their Saturday showdown. Villanova was riding a two-game losing streak before Seton Hall and they needed to have a strong game if they were to have a chance against the streaking Pirates.

Going into the game, the ancillary notes suggested Villanova had the advantage in turnover margin since Nova was among the best in the country and Seton Hall among the worst in the category. The idea was that Villanova would need to be aggressive on the boards and Seton Hall would shoot themselves in the foot enough to give Villanova a win, even if Nova wasn’t firing on all cylinders offensively. Unfortunately, Villanova was completely dominated on the boards (-11) and despite the +7 turnover margin we all expected, Villanova was well below average in the shooting department, while Seton Hall was slightly above average by their own standards.

An opportunity missed

The result was only a six-point loss, but it felt particularly devastating considering the poor play Villanova has demonstrated of late. It was an opportunity missed for Villanova to close the standings gap to just a one-game deficit in the conference. With the loss, Villanova slipped back to a tie for second alongside Creighton.

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and Collin Gillespie were particularly disappointing on the offensive side of the ball, combining to go just 8-29 from the field and 0-8 from deep. Robinson-Earl was a beast on the boards with 14 rebounds, but the next best rebounder on the team for the game only had six (Gillespie). Villanova had a few days off to prep for another big test against #18 Marquette with a cloud of doubt hanging over the team’s aspirations for the season.

Marquette had won six of their last seven heading into Wednesday’s game at Villanova. At this point, Villanova was on the ropes and Marquette had a golden opportunity to move into a three-way tie with Villanova and Butler for the #3 spot in the conference standings. Marquette also had a chance to jump Villanova in the AP Poll and set themselves up nicely for consideration as a #4 seed. Marquette is led by Player of the Year candidate, Markus Howard. Howard is averaging 27 points per game this year and shooting 39.7% from deep. When the game tipped off, it didn’t take long for Villanova to take control.

Despite what the final score showed, the game was comfortably in Villanova’s hands until Marquette finally pulled it to within ten with around seven minutes left. From there, Marquette chipped away at the lead, minute by minute, until Villanova iced the game with a Jeremiah Robinson-Earl free throw to put Nova up four with under five seconds left.

It was a textbook win for Villanova’s team. They shot around the same as Marquette, tied in rebounding, but the game-deciding advantages were on turnovers (+5) and free throws. Both are among Villanova’s best strengths and it was fitting they closed out the game playing to their strengths. Robinson-Earl was the star of the night, going 6-9 from the field with 17 points, 11 rebounds and a key free throw at the end to put the final nail in the coffin.

2019-2020 schedule and results so far

NOV 5 (W) – Army 97-54

NOV 13 (L) – Ohio State 76-51

NOV 16 (W) – Ohio 78-54

NOV 21 (W) – MTSU 98-69

NOV 22 (W) – Mississippi St 83-76

NOV 24 (L) – Baylor 87-78

DEC 1 (W) – La Salle 83-72

DEC 4 (W) – Penn 80-69

DEC 7 (W) – Saint Joseph’s 78-66

DEC 14 (W) – Deleware 78-70

DEC 21 (W) – Kansas 56-55

DEC 30 (W) – Xavier 68-62

JAN 4 (L) – Marquette 71-60

JAN 7 (W) – Creighton 64-59

JAN 11 (W) – Georgetown 80-66

JAN 14 (W) – DePaul 79-75

JAN 18 (W) – UConn 61-55

JAN 21 (W) – Butler 76-61

JAN 25 (W) – Providence 64-60

JAN 28 (W) – St. John’s 79-59

FEB 1 (L) – Creighton 76-61

FEB 5 (L) – Butler 79-76

FEB 8 (L) – Seton Hall 70-64

FEB 12 (W) – Marquette 72-71

Preview for this week

This Sunday, Villanova will face Temple (13-11) on Sunday as they seek to keep the momentum going into a favorable matchup. It’s always worrisome to have conference road games as they aren’t much of a resume-builder as they are a resume liability, but it should present Villanova with a nice matchup to get into an offensive rhythm.

On Wednesday, Villanova will face DePaul in another critical road conference game. Like the Temple game, this one will be another big liability game. Villanova will need Collin Gillespie and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl to lead them as the Wildcats hope to make the final push towards a Big East title.

Villanova is +400 to make the Final Four 

In odds via the PlaySugarHouse PA sportsbook, Villanova is +400 to make the Final Four. Is this a good bet?

Villanova has had a rough stretch of games, dropping them out of the top 10. However, Villanova rebounded with a narrow home win over Marquette on Wednesday, which should give them some hope for a run down the stretch and help stop the bleeding for now. If the tourney began today, Villanova would likely be a #5 seed, so let’s take a look at how that may play out from a betting perspective:

R-64: -240

R-32: +125

R-16: +155

R-8: +255

According to our calculations, the true odds for this futures pick should be around +600. Of course, that’s assuming their matchups along the way go completely chalk. As in, first round as the #5 seed means they would play a #12 seed. Their odds there are -240 as they’d likely be 5.5-point favorites. The next round would see them as the #5 as slight underdogs against a #4 seed at +125. After that, they would face a #1 seed but it’s possible they become favorites if they face a #8 or #9 seed at that point.

If you take the original $100 bet from Round 64 and compound it each round, you’ll end up around +600 but if the tournament gets crazy, and it should, you could see Villanova down to as low as +350. I like the bet, solely based on the idea there will be some chaos and there’s no way you’re getting +400 on them if they can survive the opening weekend, which I expect them to do if they’re a #5 seed.

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