- Houston takes on Villanova with a spot in the Final Four on the line on Saturday, March 26th
- The Cougars are looking to advance to the Final Four for the second consecutive year
- Read below for the Houston vs Villanova odds, analysis, and betting prediction
Some programs just have that winning time pedigree to be successful at the right time of the year. When Houston (32-5, 25-12 ATS) takes on Villanova (29-7, 19-15-2 ATS) on Saturday, March 26th, we’ll see two teams who are all too familiar with tasting victory in recent year’s at the NCAA Tournament.
Tip goes at 6:09 pm ET at the AT&T Center in San Antonio in a game that can be seen on TBS. The 5th seeded Cougars have been made 2.5 point favorites over the 2nd seeded Wildcats. This as more and more analysts are realizing that Houston probably deserved a higher seed from the selection committee when the March Madness brackets were released.
Houston vs Villanova Odds
|Houston Cougars||-134||-2.5 (-110)||O 128 (-112)|
|Villanova Wildcats||+112||+2.5 (-109)||U 128 (-108)|
Odds as of March 25th at Barstool Sportsbook
The over/under for this game is set at 128 points, one of the lowest totals we’ve seen during the second weekend of the tournament. At -134 on the moneyline, Houston has an implied win probability of 57.26% while Villanova’s +112 odds put them at a 47.17% implied probability to win this matchup.
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Houston Cougars Bet on Their Defense
The Cougars have garnered more and more accolades as this tournament has progressed. To the point that they are now amongst the favorites in the NCAA Tournament odds at +375.
— Houston Men's Hoops 🏀 🐾 (@UHCougarMBK) March 25, 2022
Their energy on the defensive side of the ball is almost unmatched in the college game, as number 1 seed Arizona found out in the Sweet 16. They led wire-to-wire in that contest with victory feeling as if it were never in doubt. Houston was third in the nation in scoring defense this season, allowing just 59 points per game.
In Illinois and Arizona, they’ve already knocked out two higher seeds and are looking to make it three in a row against Jay Wright’s tournament savvy Wildcats. The Cougars have the best overall efficiency ranking of any team left in the tournament. According to KenPom, they have a top 10 ranking in both adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency.
(5) Houston pulls off the upset over (1) Arizona 72-60!!! 😱
— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) March 25, 2022
Kelvin Sampson’s squad has won six in a row and 12 of their last 13 games as they get set for what should be a slug-it-out affair with Villanova.
Villanova Wildcats Betting Analysis
Villanova just seems to be one of those teams that gets the stops and hits the shots at the key moments in every game come tournament time. They currently sit a +120 in the Final Four odds, as they attempt to win their third national championship since 2016.
Villanova is going back to the Elite Eight for the 3rd time in the last 6 seasons!
The other 2 appearances? They won the national championship 👀 (2016 & 2018) pic.twitter.com/6qTmD3DOO6
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) March 25, 2022
On offense, they’ve been led by three upper classmen, Jermaine Samuels, Justin Moore and Collin Gillespie. They are all averaging at least 14.7 ppg so far in the tournament. Gillespie was a contender in the Wooden Award odds this season, not only for how much he scores, but when, he gets his buckets.
He was clutch throughout Villanova’s run to the Big East Tournament title. He won the MVP award and hit a three-point dagger with just under two minutes left in the Wildcats’ Sweet 16 win over Michigan.
COLLIN. GILLESPIE. CLUTCH
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 25, 2022
Villanova has now won eight in a row and 13 of their last 14 games as they prepare for battle with Houston on Saturday.
Houston vs Villanova Pick
This is an incredibly tough matchup to handicap and should be one of the most competitive games of the tournament. A couple keys to your March Madness betting strategy should be to bet on teams who are very well-coached and rank amongst the best in analytic categories and advanced statistics.
Both Houston and Villanova have both of those characteristics in abundance. While the advanced stats slightly favor the Cougars, Villanova has arguably the best coach in the nation in Wright. He seems to know what strings to pull at precisely the right times.
I am beyond fascinated to see Villanova’s top 10 KenPom offense against Houston’s top 10 KenPom defense on Saturday. The Wildcats rarely make mistakes. Collin Gillespie has been in control this tournament. But, the Cougars’ ball pressure has been outstanding. Must-see hoops.
— John Fanta (@John_Fanta) March 25, 2022
One thing that may work against Villanova is their lack of depth. Against Michigan, they played only six players in the whole game. Regardless, this feels like a game that will come down to the last shot. While Houston does have a slight edge, the 2.5 point spread makes Villanova the best bet to cover in this Elite 8 contest.
Pick: Villanova +2.5 (-109)
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