College Basketball Odds & Picks for Villanova vs. Texas: Target the Total in Top-25 Matchup
Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Greg Brown.
- After winning the Maui Invitational, Texas looks to add No. 12 Villanova to its impressive early-season resume.
- The No. 17 Longhorns will look to slow down the Wildcats’ impressive 3-point attack behind five-star freshman Greg Brown.
- BJ Cunningham breaks down why he is targeting the game total when betting this top-25 matchup.
Villanova vs. Texas Odds
|Villanova Odds||+2 [BET NOW]|
|Texas Odds||-2 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||133 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Sunday, 1 p.m. ET|
After stumbling out of the gates this season, Villanova looks to get its first resume-building win in Austin on Sunday against No. 17 Texas.
The Longhorns are off to a red-hot start after beating North Carolina and Indiana en route to winning the Maui Invitational. This is huge for head coach Shaka Smart, whose job status was uncertain entering the season. The Longhorns were in danger of missing the NCAA Tournament for the third time in the last four years before play was halted in March due to COVID-19. Smart brings back 12 players from that roster, so don’t expect Texas to drop off any time soon.
Jay Wright’s Villanova squad was set up to be the Big East’s premier team and be in the top five nationally. However, question marks are being raised after an early loss to unranked Virginia Tech. Wright lost just only one main contributor from last season in Saddiq Bey so despite the early season loss, don’t fret too much about the No. 12 Wildcats.
It seems cliche to say that Villanova lives and dies by the 3-point shot, but it’s actually true. Last season, 40.6% of the Wildcat’s points came from behind the arc, which was the ninth-highest rate in college basketball according to KenPom. When you shoot almost 36% from behind the arc, that kind of volume is warranted. However, Bey was Villanova’s best 3-point shooter from last season.
On Sunday, the Wildcats will be facing one of the best 3-point defenses in the Big 12. Just 23.2% of Texans’ opponents’ points this season have come from beyond the arc.
For Villanova to win on the road, it is going to have to keep the Longhorns off the offensive glass. Last season, the Wildcats were 247th in defensive rebounding percentage, and they will be facing one the best frontcourts in the country.
The strength of this Longhorns team can be found on the defensive end of the floor. Last season, Texas was in the top 25 in defensive efficiency and is likely going to improve, as KenPom has it projected as the No. 2 defense in the country in terms of efficiency. The Longhorns bring back their entire starting lineup and added five-star hometown product Greg Brown.
Offensively, it’s a different story for Texas, which ranked dead last in the Big 12 in offensive efficiency, offensive rebound percentage and free throws per game last season. Adding Brown to the starting lineup has already helped improve those numbers, but Texas is likely going to rely on its defense to win this season.
Texas also plays at a snail’s pace, ranking 292nd last season, per KenPom. That will play right into the hands of Villanova, which plays at an even slower pace.
Betting Analysis & Pick
I think this game is going to be a defensive struggle. These two are projected as top-30 squads in defensive efficiency so unless both offenses catch fire, I think we’ll see a slow, grind-it-out game with both playing at a pretty slow tempo.
I have the total projected at 128.54 for this game, so I think there is value on Under 133. However, I would only play it down 132.5.
Pick: Under 133. Play down to 132.5.