Villanova Wildcats vs Baylor Bears Sweet 16 Betting Picks, Odds, & Lines
The Baylor – Villanova matchup could easily be the most exciting Sweet 16 betting game in Sweet 16. The Wildcats and The Bears are both coming off two double-digit wins in the first two rounds.
Villanova fans are hoping that history will repeat itself. The last two times the school reached this stage of the NCAA Tournament in 2016 and 2018, they went on to win the championship. This season, the Wildcats are 18-6, covering the spread 14 times. With two convincing wins in the opening rounds, they managed to bounce back from two straight defeats prior to March Madness. Villanova lost to Providence in the last game of the regular season. In the Big East Tournament, they were knocked out in the quarterfinals by Georgetown.
Baylor (24-2 SU, 16-10 ATS) also ran into trouble in their Conference Tournament. They were stopped in the Big 12 semifinals by Oklahoma State. However, next to Gonzaga, they played the best basketball in the NCAA tournament so far. They dominated in the first two rounds against Hartford and Wisconsin.
Villanova Wildcats vs Baylor Bears Sweet 16 Betting Line Movement
Baylor opened as a -6.5 Sweet 16 betting chalk when the lines came out. With most of the early money going their way, the line moved to -7.5. The total surged from the opening 138.5 to 141.5 where it stands at the moment. You can even find it as high as 142 at some sportsbooks.
Notes On The Villanova Wildcats
Villanova breezed through the first two rounds even without the star guard Collin Gillespie. But, it should be noted that it was against teams from Big South and Conference USA. In Sweet 16, they’ll face the elite opposition for the first time in the tournament. To get anything out of Saturday’s game they’ll have to continue their hot shooting streak. The Wildcats hit 15 threes against North Texas and shot 41.8% from the deep in the first two games combined. However, they’re shooting only 35.8% from the three-point line for the season. Expect them to struggle against Baylor’s aggressive perimeter defense.
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and Justin Moore stepped up in Gillespie’s absence in the opening Sweet 16 betting games. However, Baylor’s defense is a whole different proposition. Especially for Justin Moore who will go against one of the best on-ball defenders in the nation, Davion Mitchell.
Interesting Article: Baylor Odds-On Favorite to Go to Final Four: March Madness South Region
Notes On The Baylor Bears
Over the last weekend, the bears looked like a legit championship contender. They easily disposed of Hartford and Wisconsin mainly thanks to their suffocating defense. They managed to keep the No. 9 seed Wisconsin to below one point per possession. On offense, they’re a danger from all sides and angles and are currently in the hot shooting form. The Bears went over 40% from the deep in the last seven games. Overall, they rank 4th in the nation in scoring with 83.8 points per game.
Baylor has a deep and experienced Sweet 16 betting roster starting five upperclassmen. In the game against Wisconsin, the Bears got some unexpected production from the bench with Matthew Mayer scoring 17 points. Still, most of the offense revolves around Jared Butler. The junior guard is the 7th-best player in the country per KenPom, averaging 16.9 points, 4.8 assists, and 2.1 steals.
Villanova Wildcats vs Baylor Bears Sweet 16 Betting Pick: Baylor -7.5
Even with the inflated Sweet 16 betting line, Baylor should be too much for Villanova in this matchup. The Bears had issues covering the spread earlier in the season, but they ended the ATS skid in a dominant win over Wisconsin. Villanova will feel the absence of their star player and have a lot of trouble scoring.