The Villanova Wildcats will look to continue their 10-1 streak as favorites when they take on the Milwaukee Panthers in East Region action at the NCAA tournament on Thursday.
The No. 2 Wildcats open up as big favorites against Milwaukee, who are trying to become the fourth No. 15 to upset a second seed in three years.
Villanova has struggled with the point spread at tournament time, while the Panthers hit the tournament on a 5-0 run of covering the spread.
Spread and total points scored betting line
The Wildcats opened as 14.5-point favorites and the spread climbed to 16.5 points by Wednesday. The total was 140, down three points from the opening over-under value (Compare lines and consensus on the Odds Shark matchup report).
Odds Shark computer pick
Why pick Wisc-Milwaukee to cover the spread
No. 15 Milwaukee punched its ticket to the Big Dance with a 69-63 win over Wright State in the Horizon League Tournament championship game.
The Panthers are 7-1 against the spread in their last eight games as underdogs and will look to take advantage of Villanova’s poor tournament history as the Wildcats are 0-5 against the spread in their last five appearances.
Why pick Villanova to cover the spread
The No. 2 Wildcats were one of the hottest teams in all of college basketball before being upset in the Big East Tournament and earned an at-large bid.
Villanova was 8-3 against the spread in its past 11 games as a favorite. The Wildcats finished 13th in scoring margin, outscoring their opponents by 11.9 points per game.
Smart betting pick
Villanova needed a good matchup to end its drought against the spread in the NCAA tournament and got a perfect match in Milwaukee.
Darrun Hilliard II is too big and too athletic for Milwaukee’s guards to defend. Hilliard, averaging 18.8 points per game in his last four outings, will lead the Wildcats to the big win, although the ever-expanding point spread leaves Villanova open to a back-door cover here.
Wisc-Milwaukee Panthers: No. 104
Villanova Wildcats: No. 10 (per Odds Shark power ranks)
March Madness betting trends
- Villanova 26-4 SU past 30 games, but upset in conference tournament
- Villanova 10-1 SU, 8-3 ATS past 11 games as favorites
- Villanova 0-5 ATS past five tournament games
- Villanova 1-6 ATS past seven opening-round games
- Milwaukee won and covered five straight to end the season
- Milwaukee 6-2 SU, 7-1 ATS past eight games as underdogs
- Milwaukee 4-2 ATS in tournament since 2003