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NCAA Tournament #11 Michigan vs #2 Villanova Betting Preview

Can the Run Keep Going for Wolverines?

The Michigan vs Villanova betting matchup on Thursday features two teams making their second consecutive trip to the Sweet 16. Jay Wright’s Villanova squad expected to be here as the #2 seed, but there were some who thought the #11 Wolverines not only shouldn’t have been in the tournament at 17-14, but also prone to  an upset from David Roddy and Colorado State in the first round.

UM not only took down honorable mention All-American Roddy and #6 Colorado State in the first round, but then eliminated #3 Tennessee 73-68 over the weekend as +6.5 underdogs. The Wildcats should be familiar with the Big Ten style of play though, beating Ohio State 71-61 on Sunday to cover the -5 point number. Will ‘Nova go two for two against the B10?

Michigan Needs to Keep Feeding Dickinson

Villanova did a good job of containing Ohio State’s EJ Liddell in the round of 32, holding the Buckeyes big man to a manageable 17 points and 6 rebounds. Michigan’s Hunter Dickinson hopes to put up much bigger numbers than that after going for 21/6 and 27/11 over the first two games of the tournament. Villanova doesn’t have a player over 6’9″, so the 7’1″ Dickinson should be able to be a force in this one.

For as impressive as Michigan has been in the first weekend of the tournament, they’ve also gotten to the Sweet 16 with starting PG Devante’ Jones playing just 11 minutes due to a concussion. Jones missed the Colorado State game, but suited up for Tennessee finishing with 2 points. Having another week of recovery has to have improved Jones’ condition, and combined with fellow Senior Eli Brooks (who averaged 18.5 ppg last weekend) the Wolverines backcourt is dangerous.

Villanova Feels Underrated

The Wildcats are the #2 seed after a 26-7 season and a Big East Championship, but it still doesn’t seem like they are being considered a legitimate national championship contender. Villanova is tied with #3 seed Texas Tech and #4 seed UCLA as +1400 to win this year’s title, the 6th lowest odds available (Michigan is +5000).

There’s obviously a lot to like about Villanova, starting with two-time Big East POY Collin Gillespie who had 20 points to lead the win over Ohio State last weekend. One area of concern is that 2nd leading scorer Justin Moore (15.3 ppg) had just 8 vs. the Buckeyes, but also dropped 21 in the round 1 win over Delaware.

Michigan vs. Villanova Betting Info

The Wildcats are a -5 point favorite here, and should be able to put up some points with their #8 unit in adjusted offensive efficiency going up against a Michigan squad ranked 77th in adjusted defensive efficiency. Villanova had a couple of double digit wins over the first weekend, but Michigan also just took down one of the hottest teams in the country in #3 Tennessee who were fresh off an SEC Tournament win and victories in 13 of 14 overall.

Michigan vs Villanova Betting Pick

This is a rematch of the 2018 National Championship that Villanova won 79-62. Does the Michigan program get revenge on Thursday night? The Wolverines do have the tools to cash in the  upset, starting with big man Dickinson, an experienced back court, and the wild card in freshman Caleb Houstan who got his NCAA tourney feet wet last weekend (and was held scoreless against Tennessee).

Free Pick: Michigan +5

Carl Taylor

Every loss is a chance to learn a lesson. That being said, wins are so much more enjoyable. Follow along to tap into the wisdom I've learned from 20 years as a sports bettor. Follow along on Twitter for more picks and DFS news @dailydogsports.

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