A Midseason Review Of The Villanova Wildcats

A Midseason Review Of The Villanova Wildcats

Vilanova College Basketball Betting

I want to start off by saying I’m not a Villanova fan. I think that’s important to note when you’re reading articles about certain teams because I believe in fair and accurate writing. I’m not going to blow smoke or remain faithfully optimistic when times are tough. I’m just going to shoot you straight.

The #10 ranked Villanova Wildcats (17-5) have had a relatively good season overall. They’re currently the #2 team in the Big East despite their two-game slide of late. For the season, the team has respectable numbers. They’re top 75 in three-point percentage. They’re also top 10 in free throw percentage and top 15 in fewest turnovers.

Combine that with their #63 ranking in assists and this is a solid team at ball control, ball movement, and sound from the line. If they are in a close game late, they’re going to be a problem for teams because forcing turnovers is extremely difficult and when you do foul them, they’re elite from the line.

Breaking down Vilanova’s week

Villanova has five players averaging double digits. Their leading scorer is guard, Collin Gillespie. Saddiq Bey is the #2 scorer and a possible Lottery pick in the upcoming draft. Bey leads the team among qualified three-point shooters with a 46.5% average and 5.2 attempts per game.

Though Villanova struggles from the field and rebounding, the rebounding numbers are a little skewed. Villanova technically averages just under two more rebounds than their opponent per game. Now, they’ve had a rough go of the rebounding against bigger teams, Nova profiles much like an extremely well-coached Mid-Major program.

They remind me of the old Gonzaga teams who would knock off big teams through sound fundamentals and execution. Though they lack the upside of teams we typically see winning the tournament, this is a down year in college basketball and Villanova could absolutely win this whole thing still.

This past week, the Wildcats struggled mightily. The Creighton game was a disaster. The Wildcats shot 36% from the field and 29% from three while Creighton was absolutely on fire, shooting 50% from the field and 50% from three. Saddiq Bey was clearly off, going 4-13 from the field and just 1-5 from three. Creighton also won the rebounding battle (+4). With just two days off, Villanova had a quick turnaround before heading to Butler to face the Bulldogs on Wednesday.

Wednesday’s road game at Butler started out a little uneasy and ended in heartbreak. For much of the game, Villanova was able to hang around and keep it close. With just over five minutes to go in the game, Butler’s eight-point lead began to slip away. Following a late Saddiq Bey three, Kamar Baldwin hit an amazing step-back three to end the game at the buzzer.

It was a gutting loss for Villanova and put them two back from the Big East leader, Seton Hall. Both teams shot well overall, but Butler was able to control this game on the boards (+6) and that was ultimately the big difference.

There’s a lot of ways things can go when a team gets into a funk, but a loss like this typically either sinks a team’s confidence or motivates them going forward. We’ll see how they respond this weekend in their showdown against Seton Hall.

The Schedule

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

Preview for this week

On Saturday, Villanova will host the top team in the Big East, Seton Hall. The Pirates are 9-1 in the Big East and feature one of the nation’s top guards in Myles Powell. The Pirates hold the advantage in rebounding (+2) but Villanova holds the upper hand in free throw percentage (+8.75%), three-point percentage (+3%) and in turnovers (3 less per game).

It’s probably going to be a very entertaining game, but I think Villanova should have a slight edge, due mainly to the turnover advantage. If Nova can win the turnover battle and stay close in rebounding, they should be able to take down Seton Hall. Both teams shoot around the same from the field but Villanova’s advantage from deep should propel them in this contest.

Odds via PlaySugarHouse

Villanova is +2200 to win the title

We can run this one out to show how good these odds actually are, but we first must point out Villanova is listed with the 12th best odds to win the title. Now, assuming Villanova is a #3 seed, which is what they’re currently projected as, let’s do the math to get the appropriate odds:

R-64: -900

R-32: -250

R-16: +130

R-8: +220

R-4: +250

F: +300

Total = +2900

According to our calculations, the true odds for this futures pick should be around +2900. That means a $100 bet should win you $2,900. Since the actual odds are +2200, a $100 bet only wins you $2,200. Futures bets are fine if you don’t want to keep up with betting the money line each game.

This case for futures is simple. Since you can’t string along the bets in a parlay, you’d have to bet them individually as moneyline bets. If you kept risking your winnings by compounding each bet, you would end up with $2,900. Now, those odds are likely not going to go chalk like that throughout the tournament. There’s a decent chance at a later stage of the tournament, Villanova ends up playing a #7 seed instead of the two, which would throw off those estimates.

This COULD actually mean the futures bet would be the smarter play. For example, if Nova plays a #8 seed in the round of eight, those odds essentially flip for that round and the total through the title game actually drop to +1600. Futures are fun and volatile, but odds are, if you can hit on one, the odds will be as close as they would’ve been had you string bet them.

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