Michigan vs. Villanova: Odds, Spread, Preview & Pick for 2022 NCAA Tournament

Mar 24, 2022 - 12:50 PM

The South Region was a relatively chalky region during the opening weekend of the 2022 NCAA Tournament. But one double-digit seed emerged from the fray, and it’s one that many people thought was undeserving of earning an NCAA Tournament bid.

Yes, the Michigan Wolverines, everyone’s favorite team to hate, will look to advance to the Elite Eight against one of the most consistently strong programs of the last decade, the Villanova Wildcats, in a 2018 National Championship rematch.

Can Juwan Howard’s crew continue to defy the haters and ride this momentum to the South Region final? Or will Wright and the Wildcats move one step closer to its third Final Four appearance since 2016?

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Michigan Wolverines vs. Villanova Wildcats Game Info 

  • Date: Thursday, March 24, 2022
  • Start time: 6:29 p.m. ET
  • Location: AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
  • Coverage: TBS

Michigan vs. Villanova Betting Odds

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook

  • Moneyline: Michigan +175, Villanova -210
  • Point spread: Michigan +5 (-110), Villanova -5 (-110)
  • Total: 135.5

Betting Trends

  • Villanova is 15-14-1 against the spread this season
  • Michigan is 13-17 against the spread this season
  • Villanova is 14-11 ATS as a favorite
  • Michigan is 5-3 ATS as an underdog
  • Both teams have covered in their first two NCAA Tournament games
  • The over is 17-13 in both Michigan and Villanova games this season

Michigan Wolverines Betting Preview 

The Wolverines were in turmoil a month ago. Howard was suspended for the final five games of the regular season after throwing a punch at a Wisconsin assistant on February 20th. And after a brutal collapse against Indiana in its first Big Ten Tournament game, there were questions as to whether Michigan would even make it in the field of 68.

But the beauty of March Madness is that all you need is a chance. And Michigan has taken full advantage of theirs. The Wolverines defeated Colorado State and Tennessee in impressive fashion last weekend.

Michigan’s offense revolves around 7-foot-1 skyscraper Hunter Dickinson. The common denominator in Michigan’s first two NCAA wins is that neither Colorado State nor Tennessee had an answer for the big man. Dickinson has scored 48 points on 16-of-23 shooting in the first two rounds to go with 17 rebounds. To no surprise, Michigan ranks 48th in 2-point shooting.

The Wolverines aren’t a one-trick pony, however, as Eli Brooks, DeVante’ Jones, and Caleb Houston all score in double figures as well. However, Michigan isn’t very dangerous beyond the arc. The Maize & Blue rank 171st in 3-point shooting and 302nd in 3-point rate.

This isn’t Michigan’s finest defensive team. The Wolverines rank 73rd in adjusted efficiency and are 209th in 2-point defense. The Wolverines defend the perimeter relatively well, clean up the glass and defend without fouling, all critical parts of the formula to beating Villanova.

Villanova Wildcats Betting Preview 

Jay Wright has made another run to the second weekend despite not having a ton of depth. The Wildcats are essentially a six-man rotation. But those six men have been more than enough thus far.

Senior guard Collin Gillespie is poised to make his final March Madness a memorable one, as he has 34 points in wins over Delaware and Ohio State. Gillespie is the heartbeat of the Villanova offense, but Justin Moore, Jermaine Samuels, and Caleb Daniels are all highly-talented players who play critical roles.

This is your pretty standard Villanova team. The Wildcats play slow (346th in tempo) take a ton of threes (20th in 3-point rate), make a ton of threes (49th in 3-point shooting), and take care of the ball (33rd in turnover rate). Plus, the Wildcats are the best free throw shooting team in the nation, which is critical in closing out tournament games.

Villanova’s defense is what separates it from past predecessors that went on to win it all in 2016 and 2018. The Wildcats aren’t a bad defensive team, ranking 32nd in adjusted efficiency. But they aren’t on the level of those title teams, as they both ranked top 15 in adjusted defensive efficiency.

Villanova defends the perimeter well and defends without fouling. However, the Wildcats aren’t the best at defending inside, ranking 130th in 2-point defense. Villanova also is undersized, as 6-foot-8 forward Eric Dixon is Villanova’s tallest starter.

Michigan Wolverines vs. Villanova Wildcats Betting Pick

This might be a bad matchup for the Wildcats. There’s no obvious answer against Dickinson in the post. I’d expect Jay Wright to double team Dickinson once he gets the entry pass in the post, leaving shooters open on the outside. Villanova has plenty of capable players, but none of them are matchup nightmares like Dickinson could be.

I’m acknowledging that Michigan could be due for some 3-point regression, as they’ve shot 41% from deep while their opponents have shot 23.8%. However, this matchup feels like one the Wolverines can hang around in.

This should be a great game, one that Michigan could absolutely win.

The pick: Michigan +5, play to +4

Michigan Player Props

  • Caleb Houstan Over 3.5 Rebounds (+108, FanDuel)
  • Moussa Diabate Over 7.5 Points (-128, FanDuel)
  • Hunter Dickinson Over 8.5 Rebounds (+115, PointsBet)
  • Eli Brooks Under 13.5 Points (-115, PointsBet)

Villanova Player Props

  • Collin Gillespie Under 4.5 Assists (-150, DraftKings)
  • Eric Dixon Under 10.5 Points (-130, Caesars)
  • Caleb Daniels Over 10.5 Points (-102, FanDuel)

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