After losing four players from last season’s championship-winning squad, the Villanova Wildcats are clearly not the powerhouse team they have been in winning two of the last three national championships. Still, Jay Wright’s now, young team is getting more experience with each passing game and the nation’s 17th-ranked team is still clearly dangerous.
Villanova will be looking to pull off the huge upset over Kansas while the Jayhawks will be seeking some sort of revenge for their NCAA Tournament smackdown loss against the Wildcats that ended their season a year ago, even though it won’t quite feel the same with everyone gone from Villanova.
Okay, let’s get to my expert NCAAB betting pick on this matchup right now.
Villanova vs Kansas NCAAB Lines, Game Preview & Pick
- When: Saturday, December 15, 2018 at 12:00 PM ET
- Where: Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS
- TV: ESPN
- Radio: Villanova / Kansas
- Live Stream: WatchESPN
- NCAAB Odds: OFF / Total: OFF
Why Bet On Villanova?
The Wildcats were looking good and riding the wave of a six-game winning streak until their inexperienced showed in their 78-75 loss at in-city rival Penn on Tuesday as a 7.5-point road favorite no less. The loss was Villanova’s first in a city series game since losing to Temple 76-61 back on Dec. 5, 2012.
“It was nice while it lasted,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said. “We learn from it. It was fun to be a part of it.”
Collin Gillespie scored a team-high 21 points in the loss and Phil Booth added 18. Villanova averages 75.0 points per game (177th) while allowing 66.0 points per contest defensively (64th).
- Average Score For: 75
- Field Goals: 44.52%
- Three Points: 34.26%
- Free Throws: 72.32%
- Rebounds: 36.91
- Average Score Against: 66
- Field Goals: 43.40%
- Three Points: 32.24%
- Free Throws: 70.43%
- Rebounds: 31.55
Why Bet On Kansas?
The Jayhawks moved to 8-0 on the season by squeaking past new Mexico State 63-60 in a tougher-than-expected affair last Saturday. Dedric Lawson scored a team-high 20 points while adding 10 rebounds to lead the way to victory. Lawson scored Kansas’ final 14 points of the game to seal the deal.
“He didn’t get a lot done in the first half, and he’s better than that . but he did make some key plays late,” coach Bill Self said. “We don’t win the game, obviously, unless he made those plays.”
Marcus Garrett was the only other Jayhawk to reach double figures in scoring with 10 points. Kansas averages 81.8 points per game (51st) while allowing 71.4 points per contest defensively (179th).
- Average Score For: 81.75
- Field Goals: 48.40%
- Three Points: 37.75%
- Free Throws: 64.20%
- Rebounds: 39.38
- Average Score Against: 71.38
- Field Goals: 40.73%
- Three Points: 34.06%
- Free Throws: 71.20%
- Rebounds: 36.12
Villanova vs Kentucky NCAAB Betting Trends
- Villanova is 5-2 ATS in the last 7 games
- Villanova is 19-3 SU in the last 22 games
- The total went UNDER in 8 of Villanova’s last 10 games
- Kansas is 1-5 ATS in the last 6 games when playing Villanova
- Kansas is 5-0 SU in the last 5 games
- The total went OVER in 9 of Kansas’s last 12 games
Expert Analysis and Prediction for Villanova vs Kentucky
Kansas might have gotten smacked around by Villanova in their 95-79 NCAA Tournament loss to Villanova last time they met, but right now, the Jayhawks are the better team at both ends of the floor. Villanova is still very good, as their national ranking indicates, but the fact of the matter is that the Wildcats are now a young and inexperienced bunch that lost a whopping four players to this year’s NBA Draft.
While Villanova has gone 5-1 ATS in their last six meetings against Kansas and 4-1 ATS in their last five road dates against the Jayhawks, I believe Kansas is going to lay an emphatic smackdown on their now, inexperienced Villanova squad. Kansas is 12-5-1 ATS in their last 18 games against a team with a winning percentage above .600 and I like them to get a minimum of a six-point win against Villanova in this matchup.
NCAAB Betting Pick: Kansas 77 Villanova 70