Ohio State vs. Villanova Odds, Picks: Your Betting Guide for Sunday’s NCAA Tournament Game

Ohio State vs. Villanova Odds, Picks: Your Betting Guide for Sunday’s NCAA Tournament Game article feature image

Emilee Chinn/Getty Images. Pictured: EJ Liddell.

Ohio State vs. Villanova Odds

Sunday, March 20
2:40 p.m. ET
Ohio State Odds
-110o / -110u
Villanova Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Ohio State vs. Villanova will shape up to be one of the more entertaining games of the second round. Jay Wright and Chris Holtmann run slow-paced offenses for their dominant shot-makers.

Look for Collin Gillespie vs. Malaki Branham in the backcourt. Then, look for EJ Liddell vs. Jermaine Samuels in the frontcourt.

Holtmann has yet to make it past the second round of the Big Dance, so there's a lot on the line in this game. But can Holtmann pull off the outright upset as a five-point dog?

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Ohio State Buckeyes

I'm surprised Ohio State managed to get by Loyola Chicago. The Rambler offense was rolling, and the Rambler defense was reinvigorated after Arch Madness.

However, Loyola laid an egg in its 41-point performance. The Ramblers couldn't buy a layup or make their easy shots. ShotQuality projected that Loyola should've scored 10 more points at the rim, nine more points on 3-pointers and four more points on free throws.

🔺 Actual Score: Loyola Chicago 41-54 Ohio St.
🔺 ShotQuality Score: Loyola Chicago 65-62 Ohio St.
Based on the quality of shots taken:
🔺 Loyola Chicago wins 58% of the time
🔺 Ohio St. wins 42% of the time pic.twitter.com/xU9TenXBXM

— ShotQuality (@Shot_Quality) March 18, 2022

Loyola's defense didn't play well, either. Ohio State shot 60% from inside the arc, with Branham and Liddell combining for 30 points on 9-for-13 shooting in that range.

Instead, Ohio State scored just 54 points because of a 1-for-15 shooting performance from 3.

What do we make of this? Two things.

First, Ohio State has to make its 3s against Villanova. The Buckeyes will get plenty of opportunities against a Villanova defense that allows a 43% opponent 3-point rate. But we also know the Wildcats will shoot the lights out from 3, and the Buckeyes not getting theirs is a death sentence.

Second, Ohio State will have advantages on the interior. Wright plays small-ball, and Liddell, Kyle Young and Joey Brunk could take advantage of that.

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Villanova Wildcats

How will Nova's small lineup fare against Ohio State?

Not terribly. The Wildcats finished above average in SQ PPP allowed in pick-and-roll situations, post-up situations and at the rim. The Cats are small but will play smart and hold serve.

Villanova's offense should roll. Holtmann-led defenses have never been particularly strong, and the Buckeyes fell out of the top 100 in defensive efficiency this season.

Ohio State also doesn't pressure the ball, finishing sub-330 in both defensive turnover rate and steal rate. Gillespie will not turn the ball over, and the Cats will put up plenty of shots.

If anything, Villanova is more well-rounded than Ohio State. The Wildcats are so strong and solid on both sides of the ball, and the roster is uber-experienced.

Image via @CBBAnalytics.

Ohio State vs. Villanova Betting Pick

KenPom makes this spread Villanova -4. BartTorvik makes it Villanova -3.7. ShotQuality actually makes the spread Ohio State -2, which is surprising.

Therefore, I think the value is with Ohio State.

Moreover, the Buckeyes have lit up one of our Action PRO systems, NCAA Tournament Defensive Teams. This encompasses teams in March Madness that allow less than 60 points in the game before and open as a dog in the next game.

These teams match up well with each other and play similarly slow styles. Both are going to be very comfortable, and I'm ready to believe in a very close, entertaining game.

I'll take the points.

Another thing in support of our Ohio State +5.5 play is the ShotQualityBets.com model making the Buckeyes -2.2 point favorites based on over 40 ShotQuality variables. For 10% off ShotQualityBets' March Madness Package, here's promo code: ACTION

Pick: Ohio State +5.5 (Play to +5)

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Daniel Preciado
May 27, 2024 UTC