Villanova Wildcats vs. Baylor Bears – College Basketball, March 27, 2021
Will one of these two storied basketball programs finally play a close game in the 2021 NCAA Tournament?
The Bears thrashed their opposition in each of the first two rounds and are playing great on both ends of the floor. The Wildcats also picked up a couple of double-digit victories and own a 16.5 scoring differential heading into the Sweet 16.
Only one can march on to the Elite 8; let’s get to a Villanova vs. Baylor prediction.
Villanova vs. Baylor Odds and Key Info
- When: 5:15 pm EDT, 3/27/2021
- Where: Hinkle Fieldhouse – Indianapolis, IN
- Coverage: CBS
- Line: Baylor -7.5
- Money Line: Baylor -315, Villanova +255
- Total: 142
A Case for Betting on Villanova
For the first time in this college basketball season, Jay Wright’s squad plays the role of underdog. Perhaps that’s a sign to pull the trigger on the Cats – Nova is 3-0-1 against the spread as a dog since December of 2019.
Villanova covered the spread 56.5% of the time in 2020-21, but know that they’re a 23-10-1 ATS during their last 34 games played at a neutral site.
Are 7.5 points starting to feel like too much to lay against a pesky bunch that’s guided by one of the most proven coaches in America?
Jeremiah-Robinson Earl was recognized as one of the best players during week one of March Madness. It was not just because of his dependability as a scorer and a rebounder (20 ppg, 8.5 rbg in the NCAA Tournament). The 6’9” power forward dished out six assists against Winthrop and registered six more dimes against North Texas.
Despite Collin Gillespie not being in the lineup, the show rolls on for Nova.
A Case for Betting Baylor
Villanova has been good against the spread; there’s no denying that. Baylor’s been better.
16-10-1 ATS this season (61.5% cover rate), and it looks like the Bears are hitting a stride in the Big Dance. Scott Drew and co. jumped out to a 13-point lead at halftime and coasted in the second half as a 6.5-point favorite in their matchup against Wisconsin. Baylor’s the top three-point shooting team in all college basketball (41.52%) and is +24 in turnover differential through the first week of the tournament.
And then there’s the eye test. Watching these two teams play, the disparity in talent is glaring.
The Wildcats have one standout player on their roster; the Bears have two-All-Americans in their backcourt and another playmaker who averages more than 16 points per game.
Villanova vs. Baylor Pick
A can case be made to back either side in a Villanova vs. Baylor prediction. That’s why I recommend attacking the total if you plan on betting this game.
The Wildcats were up and down, closing out the season, but one thing they’ve been consistently good at is defending their opponents. Including their two games in the 2021 NCAA Tournament, Nova has held their opposition to under 40% shooting across their last eight. They’ve been especially good at defending the three-point line during that same stretch (29.9%).
Another thing to consider is that we can expect a much slower pace in this one than what we traditionally see with Baylor against Big 12 foes. Jay Wright knows that getting in a fast-paced affair with a much more athletic team won’t work in his favor.
The total was lurking at 139 just a few days, but did you see the Villanova vs. Baylor odds when Vegas originally released this line?
The total was 133.
The public likes points and has bet this number up, but “133” is probably a better indication of what the true number should be. In that case, load up on the under at MyBookie.