College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions for Villanova vs. Saint Joe’s

College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions for Villanova vs. Saint Joe’s article feature image

Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images. Pictured: Cam Whitmore (Villanova)

Villanova vs Saint Joe's Odds

Saturday, Dec. 17
4 p.m. ET
CBS Sports Network
Villanova Odds
-110o / -110u
Saint Joe's Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Villanova and Saint Joe's will meet on Saturday for the 79th addition of the Holy War.

This inter-state rivalry dates back to January 15, 1921 in which Villanova came out victorious by a final score of 33-22.

Villanova has won the last 10 meetings and leads the all-time series, 53-25.

With only eight miles separating these two campuses, it's fair to say these are two teams that are familiar with one another.

After losing five of its first seven games, Villanova may have finally found some consistency, rattling off three straight wins.

During this three-game winning streak, the Wildcats were able to hold their opponents to just over 60 points per contest, a promising sign for a team that has struggled defensively.

On the other side, Saint Joe's will be looking to find some consistency after dropping two of its last three games, including an embarrassing home loss to Fairleigh Dickinson, 97-80.

This will be Saint Joe's toughest test since its season-opening loss to No. 5 Houston, 81-55.

Villanova Wildcats

So far this season, Villanova's impressive offensive play has been over-shadowed by its shortcomings on the defensive end.

The Wildcats have four players averaging double figures, led by senior Caleb Daniels. In his third season with Villanova, Daniels has played 87.7% of the Wildcats' total minutes due in large part to his 117.5 offensive rating.

With Daniels at the helm, the Wildcats have been effective on the offensive end. Through 10 games, Villanova ranks 12th nationally in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency (114.3).

Villanova has achieved this level of offensive success by taking care of the basketball and converting at the free-throw line.

The Wildcats rank fourth nationally in both categories, turning the ball over at just a 13.6% rate and converting 81.9% of their free throws.

This matchup with Saint Joe's is a dream for a Villanova team that has scored 38% of its points from distance (34th nationally), as Saint Joe's gives up 36.6% of its points to the long-ball (48th nationally).

Villanova will have to match this offensive success with consistent defensive play to extend its winning streak.

The Wildcats rank outside the top 230 in effective FG%, 3P%, 2P% and Block% on defense.

Most notable is their inability to guard the deep-ball. The Wildcats are allowing teams to shoot 36.5% from beyond the arc, which has resulted in their opponents scoring 38.9% of their total points from the 3-point line (22nd nationally).

Saint Joe's will test this ability early and often on Saturday, as the Hawks shoot 46.3% of their total shots from 3 (27th nationally).

For Villanova to take home their 11th straight Holy War victory, it will need to extend its defensive presence.

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Saint Joseph's Hawks

Fourth-year head coach Billy Lange has his work cut out for him with a Saint Joe's team that averages just 1.59 years of D-I experience (246th nationally).

In addition, Saint Joe's has not performed well in the Holy War in recent years. The Hawks have lost by an average of 23.6 points in their last three Holy War appearances.

Similar to Villanova, the Hawks are led by their guards, most notably sophomore Erik Reynolds II.

Reynolds has played 86% of Saint Joe's total minutes this season, racking up an assist rate of 19.8%.

Erik Reynolds II showed a bit of the three-level scoring ability that make him a must track long-term prospect vs Houston (17PTS, 6-11 FGA, 1-5 3PA). With the loses of Jordan Hall & Taylor Funk, I’m looking forward to seeing how he grows as the offensive focal point & lead guard

— Jam Hines (@jamontheboards) November 12, 2022

Outside of Reynolds, Saint Joe's offense has struggled as a whole this season. The Hawks rank 227th in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency due to their reliance on getting to the free-throw line.

Saint Joe's accounts for 24.8% of its total points from the charity stripe, which is the 10th-highest rate in the country.

These free-throw attempts will not come easily against a Villanova team that has given its opponents just 15.3% of their total points from the free-throw line (290th nationally).

Additionally, Saint Joe's has been reliant on outside shooting success to get on the scoreboard. The Hawks have scored 35.2% of their points from deep despite shooting just 33.2%.

Look for Villanova's improved defensive play to limit these two aspects that Saint Joe's heavily relies on.

Villanova vs. Saint Joe's Betting Pick

Although Villanova's season got off to a rocky start, it has come into form in its last three contests.

Most notable is the Wildcats' improved play on the defense end. Two of their last three opponents (Oklahoma and Penn) ranked inside the top 50 in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency.

This is a game in which Villanova will be highly motivated to make a statement given the history and close proximity of both schools.

I will gladly back a highly-motivated Villanova team that's trending in the right direction.

Pick: Villanova -10 (Play to -11.5)

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