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How Justin Moore’s Injury Impacts Villanova’s Final Four, Championship Chances — and Creates Value On Kansas

How Justin Moore’s Injury Impacts Villanova’s Final Four, Championship Chances — and Creates Value On Kansas article feature image
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Maddie Meyer/Getty Images. Pictured: Villanova guard Justin Moore

Less than 40 seconds before Villanova sealed its Elite Eight win over Houston to advance to the Final Four, the Wildcats suffered a brutal loss.

With a 48-44 lead in the final minute, junior guard Justin Moore slipped while driving to the basket and had to be helped off the court. It was later revealed Moore tore his right Achilles and will need to undergo surgery, sidelining him from the remainder of the Wildcats’ NCAA Tournament run.

With Moore and Collin Gillespie, Villanova has one of the best backcourts in college basketball. Jay Wright relies on his stars to create quality shots instead of pushing tempo, so the loss of Moore will be a significant challenge for the Wildcats.

Moore is their second-leading scorer, averaging 14.8 points per game, and leads the Wildcats in minutes with an average of 34.6 this season.

So how did Moore’s injury impact Villanova’s chances of advancing tto the final and winning the championship? We used the college basketball power ratings created by our Director of Predictive Analytics, Sean Koerner, to compare the Wildcats’ projected chances before vs. after Moore suffered his injury.

Here are the results:

How Justin Moore Impacts Villanova’s Final Four & Championship Chances

Projected Chances With Moore Without Moore Difference
To Make Final 44.6% 37.5% -7.1%
To Win Title 23.8% 17.0% -6.8%

Without Moore, Villanova will be easier to slow down, so the difference in our expert’s before vs. after projections make sense. Sportsbooks have been even more aggressive than our expert when adjusting odds for Moore’s injury, though.

Our expert projected Kansas as a 1-point favorite against a Villanova team with Moore, but a 3.5-point favorite against a Villanova team without him — a full point lower than sportsbooks, which now have the Jayhawks as 4.5-point favorites (compare real-time Final Four odds here).

Sportsbooks haven’t necessarily adjusted championship odds enough, though. At +180, Kansas’ odds to win the title could have potential value.

The Jayhawks are second to Duke (+160) on the championship oddsboard, but our expert projects the spread for that hypothetical final matchup close to a pick’em. And if UNC upsets Duke as a 4.5-point underdog, then our expert would project Kansas as a -3.5 favorite.

Our expert projects Kansas’ chances to win the championship at 36.1%, which is 3.4% higher than the vig-free 32.7% implied probability of the Jayhawks’ +180 odds at FanDuel.

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