#11 Michigan vs #2 Villanova NCAA Tournament Betting Analysis

#11 Michigan vs #2 Villanova | NCAA Tournament Betting Analysis

No. 11 seed Michigan barely snuck into the 2022 NCAA Tournament as an at-large team, yet here the Wolverines are in the Sweet 16. They face No. 2 Villanova in South Region action on Thursday night from San Antonio in a rematch of the 2018 NCAA title game. The Cats are favored on the NCAAB odds.

How to Bet Michigan vs. Villanova NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

Why Bet on Michigan?

Michigan (19-14) beat SEC Tournament champion Tennessee 76-68 in Round 2. Hunter Dickinson posted a double-double and was key in sparking the Wolverines’ second-half run as he scored 27 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field — including 3-of-5 on three-point field goals — to go along with 11 rebounds, four assists, a block and a steal. Eli Brooks was clutch in the second half while racking up 23 points and five assists. Michigan recovered from a 37-32 deficit at the break to outscore Tennessee 44-31 in the second half.

It has reached this stage with limited time from starting point guard DeVante’ Jones, who missed the first-round game against Colorado State and the entire second half against Tennessee due to concussion protocols. But Dickinson (24.0 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 2.5 blocks per game, 3-for-6 from 3 through the first two NCAA tournament games) is playing like a superstar for a Michigan squad that clearly has some staying power.

With Jones out for the Colorado State game due to concussion protocols, Frankie Collins filled in and posted a career-best 14 points and career-high six rebounds in his first career start. Jones returned for the Tennessee game, but Collins was called on for the second half as Jones was ruled out for the second half due to symptoms. Collins is averaging 8.0 points and 4.0 rebounds per game.

Brooks is averaging 19.5 points per game and shooting 51.9 percent from the field in the two games. He adds 5.5 assists and 5.0 rebounds per night. Moussa Diabate gives U-M three in double figures with his 10.0 points per game average, and he boasts 7.5 rebounds per game.

Michigan has reached the Sweet 16 in five consecutive tournaments (2017, ’18, ’19, ’21, ’22), which marks a Big Ten record. U-M is one of just two programs, along with Gonzaga (seven straight), to reach the last five-straight Sweet 16s. Since 2013, the Maize and Blue has reached the Sweet 16 seven times, which is tied for the most in the country with the Zags.

Since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 in 1985, U-M’s streak of five-straight Sweet 16s is tied for the fourth-longest by any school. That list includes: North Carolina (9; 1985-93), Duke (9; 1998-2006), Gonzaga (7; 2015-22), Duke (7; 1986-92), Michigan (5; 2017-22), Kansas (5; 1993-97) and Kentucky (5; 1995-99).

Why Bet on Villanova?

Villanova (28-7) beat No. 7 Ohio State 71-61 on Sunday. The Cats saw Ohio State shave a 15-point lead to two, 60-58, with 5:04 to play at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. But Villanova held the Buckeyes to one field goal over the final stretch and outscored them 10-3 to secure the win.  Collin Gillespie led the Wildcats with 20 points. Jermaine Samuels added 17 points for the winners.

“We really respect Ohio State and what a tough intelligent team they are,” stated Villanova head coach Jay Wright, who improved to 32-13 in NCAA Tournament play as the VU head coach. “We watch a lot of film and they’re really good. They are intelligent in how they defended us. The leadership of Collin and Jermaine was huge for us. Eric did a great job inside and obviously made a huge three there late.”

During its seven-game 0 winning streak, Villanova’s opponents have connected on just 26.6% of their 3-point attempts. Success from beyond the arc usually has more to do with the shooter than the defender. Delaware and Ohio State, however, were both in the top five in 3-point shooting in their respective leagues, and they finished a combined 10-for-42 against Villanova. The Wildcats, meanwhile, have made 36% of their contested 3s in the NCAA tournament, which is their top mark since the 2018 national title run.

Villanova averages 72.8 points, 34.8 rebounds and 12.1 assists per game. The Wildcats add 9.4 three-pointers per game (36.2 percent) and hold the nation’s top percentage (82.6 percent) from the free throw line, which is on pace to set a national record. With six players with 20-plus steals on the season, Villanova is averaging 6.2 steals per game. It is the best free-throw shooting team in the nation at 82.6 percent.

This is the ‘Cats second straight trip to the Sweet 16 and fourth since 2016. It will bring them back to the city where they claimed the 2018 NCAA national championship at the Final Four. Villanova beat Michigan in that year’s title game.

Game Trends

  • Wolverines are 9-1-1 ATS in their last 11 neutral site games as an underdog.
  • Wolverines are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 NCAA Tournament games.
  • Wolverines are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
  • Wolverines are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games as an underdog.
  • Wildcats are 19-7 ATS in their last 26 NCAA Tournament games.
  • Wildcats are 20-8 ATS in their last 28 Thursday games.
  • Wildcats are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 neutral site games.

Expert Prediction

  • Villanova 69, Michigan 64
 
 

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