Villanova-Saint Mary’s Betting Odds: Opening Spread, Analysis for 2019 NCAA Tournament

Villanova-Saint Mary’s Betting Odds: Opening Spread, Analysis for 2019 NCAA Tournament article feature image

Vincent Carchietta, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Jay Wright

#6 Villanova vs. #11 Saint Mary’s NCAA Tournament Betting Odds

  • Spread: Villanova -6
  • Over/Under: 129
  • Date: Thursday, March 21
  • Time: 7:20 p.m. ET
  • Location: Hartford, Conn.
  • TV: TBS

Villanova’s Statistical Profile

The defending national champions returned with a new look this season. The Wildcats lost three starters from last year, and struggled a bit out of the gate, losing two of their first four games to Michigan and Furman.

By the time Big East play started, though, Villanova had caught its stride. The Cats won their first 10 conference games, and despite a poor end to the regular season, still finished on top of the Big East regular season standings at 13-5, and ultimately won the Big East Tournament as the 1-seed.

Led by Phil Booth, Villanova had the 15th-ranked offense in the country per KenPom, but its adjusted defensive efficiency came in at 78th.

This marks Villanova’s sixth-straight tournament appearance, and 14th since 2005. Over that span, the Wildcats have been a decent bet in the Big Dance going 22-16 against the spread in our Bet Labs database.
— Danny Donahue

  • Record: 25-9
  • Adj. Efficiency Rank: 26
  • Adj. Offensive Efficiency Rank: 15
  • Adj. Defensive Efficiency Rank: 78
  • Tempo Rank: 334

All advanced metrics via KenPom as of Friday, March 15

Saint Mary’s’s Statistical Profile

Looking for a possible bracket buster? Don’t be surprised if it’s Saint Mary’s. Their 22-11 record (11-5 in conference play) may not wow you, but they’re peaking at the right time. The Gaels missed the Dance last year, but they’re back after stunning top-ranked Gonzaga 60-47 to win the WCC Championship. The analytics absolutely love St. Mary’s. They rank 31st in adjusted efficiency, including 22nd in offensive efficiency and 56th in defensive efficiency, which means they are incredibly balanced on both sides of the ball.

On offense, they’re very top heavy, with only two scorers in double-figures (Jordan Ford 21.3 PPG and Malik Fitts 7.6 PPG). The Gaels also play a very slow, grind-it-out pace (347th in tempo). Saint Mary’s was kind to under bettors this season (15-10, +3.68 units). Combine their defensive prowess with the high-pressure, neutral court environment of the Tournament and wiseguys are licking their chops to sweat St. Mary’s unders in the tourney. — Josh Appelbaum

  • Record: 22-11
  • Adj. Efficiency Rank: 31
  • Adj. Offensive Efficiency Rank: 22
  • Adj. Defensive Efficiency Rank: 56
  • Tempo Rank: 347

All advanced metrics via KenPom as of Friday, March 15

Villanova vs. Saint Mary’s NCAA Tournament Betting, Bracket Pick

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