NCAA Tournament 5 Best Predictions Against The Spread: First Round Friday

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

NCAA Tournament 5 Best Predictions Against The Spread: First Round Friday

College Football Predictions

NCAA Tournament 5 Best Predictions Against The Spread: First Round Friday

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3. (5) Villanova vs (12) Winthrop

LINEVillanova -6.5
ATS PICK: Villanova
Bet on this, BetMGM latest line

I’m actually sort of surprised that the line has stayed this steady. It opened at Villanova -6 and only budged up a smidge.

Withrop is 25-1, and if the name seems sort of familiar, it’s because the 2007 version whacked Notre Dame by ten in the first round of the tournament, and then – you show me a crazy first round upset and I’ll show you a 75-61 second round loss – lost to Oregon 75-61 in the second round.

It’s a good, aggressive team that’s great on the boards, has just enough scoring punch inside and out to adapt to the game flow, and it’s got four upperclassmen – three seniors – who average over ten points per game.

And its best win was either against Campbell – who lost to NC State by 19 – or to Radford team that lost to Virginia Tech by 15 and suffered the indignity of losing to Vanderbilt.

Winthrop didn’t play any big name programs, and sort of like the Colgate problem of playing just a few teams, there were just 12 teams on the schedule.

The line is low partially because of the Winthrop record, and also because Villanova has hit the skids, losing three of its last four and four of its last seven.

However, under head coach Jay Wright, Villanova has only failed to get out of the first round once in 14 tries, and that was as a 9 seed against Kentucky back in 2006.

This isn’t a national championship-level Wildcat team, but it’s 14-1 this season when making 32% or more of their threes, and the only outlier was an overtime loss to Virginia Tech.

More than that, only two of those 14 wins were by fewer than seven points.

Winthrop has allowed teams to hit 32% or more of their threes 12 times in their 24 games, and none of those teams are Villanova.

NEXT: North Carolina vs Wisconsin

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