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Ohio State vs Villanova Picks, Odds and Spread March Madness Second Round

Eric Rosales

by Eric Rosales in College Basketball

Updated Dec 5, 2022 · 1:51 PM PST

Villanova players celebrate on bench
Villanova's Caleb Daniels (14) is greeted by teammates Justin Moore (5), Jermaine Samuels (23) and Collin Gillespie, left, as he leaves the game against Delaware during the second half of a college basketball game in the first round of the NCAA tournament, Friday, March 18, 2022, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
  • #2 seed Villanova takes on #7 Ohio State in Round 2 of NCAA Tournament South Region
  • Buckeyes shot just 1-for-15 from three in their win against Loyola Chicago
  • Read below for the Ohio State vs Villanova odds, analysis, and betting prediction

It wasn’t pretty, but the Ohio State Buckeyes stomped out a mid-major power in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament.

To return to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2013, they’ll need to punch up a level against the Villanova Wildcats. A blue blood out of the Big East, and a fixture on the college basketball landscape, the 2-seed in the South Region also cruised into the Second Round.

The Wildcats have won the tournament twice in the last five years.

It’s a big reason they sit in the top 10 of the NCAA Tournament champion odds, and why they’re a 5-point favorite over the Big Ten’s Buckeyes.

Ohio State vs Villanova Odds

Team Moneyline Spread Total
Ohio State Buckeyes +190 +5 (-110) O 132.5 (-110)
Villanova Wildcats -230 -5 (-110) U 132.5 (-110)

Odds as of March 18th at Caesars Sportsbook. See all available Caesars Sportsbook promo codes. Note that as of March 20 (11:19 am ET), the Ohio State vs Villanova total has climbed to 134 (-110o/-110u) while the point spread has stayed at -5. Ohio online sports betting is now allowing users to obtain Ohio sportsbook promos – with early pre-regs.

Tip-off for this Ohio State vs Villanova game goes at 2:40pm ET from PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh. The game can be seen live on CBS.

We’re into the Round of 32 at the NCAA Tournament and hopefully you’ve tasted betting victory. If you haven’t yet, make sure you take advantage of the many March Madness betting bonuses, with easy wins waiting for you to cash in. Still unsure? Learn more about the types of March Madness bets you can make, and get started today!

Ohio State Buckeyes Betting Analysis

While the final scoreboard numbers are the most important, there are a few eye-raisers following OSU’s 54-41 win over the Loyola Chicago Ramblers. More on that in second.

The Buckeyes never let the Ramblers get it going, putting to bed any hopes of a run by a school that’s risen to prominence on the national stage. A team that hit the Sweet 16 last year, and a memorable run to the Final Four in 2018 was held to a miserable 15-for-56 shooting performance (26.8%), resulting in their lowest scoring output all year.

The Buckeyes were especially tough on Chi-Lo star star Lucas Williamson, who finished with four points on 1-of-10 shooting with three turnovers.

Ohio State did just enough offensively with EJ Liddell, just outside the top 10 in the Wooden Award odds, putting up 16 points and 10 boards in the win.

Big Ten Freshman of the Year Malaki Branham added 14 points, five rebounds and four steals. They were the only OSU players to hit double digits.

That’s because the Buckeyes struggled mightily from three-point range, connecting on just 1-for-15 from beyond the arc — a woeful 6.7% clip. This is the same team that shot 37.3% from distance, which was third-best in the Big Ten, and 28th in the nation.

Villanova Wildcats Betting Analysis

Villanova started slowly, but a team that’s ranked ninth on offense and 29th on defense in KenPom soon began to impose their will on the 15th-seeded Delaware Blue Hens.

In the end, they showcased both those strengths in an 80-60 victory Friday afternoon.

The definitive moment was a 35-10 surge from the end of the first half into the second half, turning an 8-point Blue Hens lead into at Wildcats’ blowout.

Five ‘Nova players scored in double figures, including a game-high 21 points and six assists from Justin Moore, who also went 3-for-5 from three-point range.

Collin Gillespie, a few ticks down from Liddell in the Wooden Award odds, added 14 points, four rebounds and four assists, while hitting 4-for-9 from downtown.

As a team, the Wildcats shot 50.9% from the field, including a crisp 13-for-28 from three-point range, a 46.4% clip.

They also did a number defensively on Delaware, holding them to 3-for-20 shooting from three point range.

Ohio State vs Villanova Pick

If it feels like the Wildcats are peaking at the right time, it’s hard to argue the progress. This is a team that was 7-4 at one point, before reeling off 20 wins in their last 23 games, including six wins in a row.

Their depth should shine out Sunday: aside from Gillespie, the back-to-back Big East Player of the Year, they feature five other players that average at least nine points per game.

There is some history between these schools, but before their current stars were the stars. Ohio State won the most recent meeting between the schools in 2019, when Liddell and Kyle Young each scored eight points in a 76-51  win. Gillespie had 10 points and five assists.

For all their success, the Wildcats have also stumbled en route to the Sweet 16. In fact, they’ve been bounced in the Second Round five times since 2010, including as a one seed in 2017 and 2015, and a 2-seed in 2014 and 2010.

Ohio State will have to be better from distance, but there’s really no other way to go but up after Thursday.

Two schools with strong offensive prowess do play at among the slowest adjusted tempos, according to KenPom. Ohio State ranks 288, while Villanova comes in at 345.

Look for a close battle and a slugfest in the halfcourt. While I think ‘Nova advances, I’m more inclined to lean on a lower-scoring result.

Pick: UNDER 132.5 (-110)

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