- Delaware takes on Villanova in NCAA Tournament First Round action on Friday, March 18th
- The Wildcats are coming off their 5th Big East Championship since 2015
- See the Delaware vs Villanova odds, analysis and best bets below
Jay Wright has his Villanova Wildcats (26-7, 16-5-2 ATS) primed for another NCAA title run as they get set for a First Round matchup with the the Delaware Blue Hens(22-12, 15-18 ATS) in South Region action on Friday, March 18th.
This game will be played at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh and broadcast live by CBS at 2:45 pm ET. The Wildcats have been crowned champions in two of the last five tournaments held and as a number two seed, they are looking to go all the way to the final once again.
Villanova has been made a 15.5-point favorite over Delaware in this #2 vs #15 matchup. Let’s take a peek at all the odds and totals while giving you our best bet prediction for this one.
Delaware vs Villanova Odds
|Delaware Blue Hens||+950||+15.5 (-109)||O 134 (-109)|
|Villanova Wildcats||-1667||-15.5 (-110)||U 134 (-110)|
Odds as of March 16th at Barstool Sportsbook. Editor’s note: the game total has been bet up from 134 to 135.5 as of 11:13 am ET, March 18.
Delaware have only lost one game all year by more than 15 points and that was their season opener when they went down 93-71 to Davidson. Do they have enough to bust up some March Madness brackets against the heavily favored Wildcats? Let’s investigate.
Delaware Blue Hens Betting Trends
After ending the regular season on a three game losing streak, (if you include the resumption of a game against Towson on February 28th) the Blue Hens ran the table to capture the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament title. They avenged two of those late season losses defeating both Towson and UNC Wilmington to win the tournament.
Delaware is back in The Big Dance for the first time since 2014! 🕺
— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) March 9, 2022
Having finished just 4th in their conference, winning the tourney was the only way the Mud Hens were going to get a berth in the big dance, their first appearance since 2014. Delaware managed to keep their opponents to under 60 points in each of their CAA tournament wins.
The total in this matchup against a Villanova squad that currently sits ninth in the NCAA Tournament title odds, sits at 134. The Mud Hens last five games have all fallen under that total.
They are led by Jameer Nelson Jr., son of former NBA player Jameer Nelson. The guard averages 13.7 points per game on 45.4% shooting and will need to have a a hot hand early for Delaware to stand any chance at an upset.
— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) March 9, 2022
Villanova Wildcats Betting Analysis
Villanova has depended on senior guard Collin Gillespie all season and he’s proven that in the critical moments, he wants the ball. Gillespie features in the Wooden Award odds and is on the ballot this season; he sank consecutive three pointers in the final minutes to deliver Villanova another Big East title in the tournament final, defeating Creighton, 54-48.
Collin Gillespie in a 54-48 win vs. Creighton : 17 points on 5-14 shooting, 3-8 from 3, 4-4 from the FT line, 7 rebounds, 5 assists & 2 steals in 36 minutes (Outscored Creighton 8-3 by himself in the final 2:49 of the game to help Villanova win the Big East Championship) pic.twitter.com/Tzv6uUxgYA
— Lee Harvey (@MusikFan4Life) March 13, 2022
The Wildcats overall come into this one on a hot streak having won 10 of their last 11. According to KenPom, they rank 8th in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency. They’re 15-12-1 ATS as a favorite this year, but an incredible 14-3 ATS in their last 17 NCAA tournament games as a favorite, covering 82.4% of the time in those contests.
They have the 24th rated defense in Division I with regards to opposition points per game, holding teams to just 63.1 ppg this year. They held Creighton to just 48 points in the Big East tournament final and the under is 6-0 in their last six neutral site games as a favorite.
Delaware vs Villanova Prediction
Is their potential for a Mud Hens upset here? It’s highly unlikely. Jay Wright is one of the best coaches in college ball and will make sure his team is not looking past Delaware, although their aspirations are to become crowned champions once again.
Matchup is set!
— Villanova MBB (@NovaMBB) March 13, 2022
Villanova sit at +550 in the odds to reach the Final Four odds and anything less than an appearance in the second week of the tournament will be a huge disappointment for Wright’s squad.
The more difficult question is whether the Mud Hens can keep the score somewhat close and how many points will be scored? The Mud Hens haven’t played many teams that can close out on defense like Villanova and have made a habit of playing low scoring games themselves with the under going 4-0 in their last four overall as well as last four Friday games.
The trends between both teams point to a fairly low scoring affair, so take under 134 points in this first round matchup between Delaware and Villanova on Friday.
Pick: Under 134 (-110)
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First Round Game Previews (Thursday)
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- New Mexico State vs UConn Odds, Lines, and Spread (6:50 pm ET)
- Saint Peter’s vs Kentucky Odds and Picks (7:10 pm ET)
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- Creighton vs San Diego State Odds, Lines, and Spread (7:27 pm ET)
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- San Francisco vs Murray State Picks and Odds (9:40 pm ET)
- Akron vs UCLA Odds, Lines, and Spread (9:50 pm ET)
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- East Region Odds — Baylor Earns Top Seed, Kentucky Favored
- Midwest Region Odds See Kansas Favored Over Auburn, Iowa and Wisconsin
- South Region Odds: Arizona +110 Favorites, Tennessee & Houston Sleepers
- West Regional Odds: Gonzaga Odds-On Favorite to Reach Final Four