College Basketball Betting: UNC-Asheville vs. Villanova

College Basketball Betting:  UNC-Asheville vs. Villanova

Big East representative Villanova is a team that is perpetually on the ‘upset candidate’ list of ersatz wiseguys. And to be fair, the Wildcats have an ugly history of early NCAA tournament flameouts. The NCAA selection committee doesn’t want to see that happen again this year so they’ve given ‘nova a made to order matchup in hopes that they won’t screw things up.

This matchup should also underscore the fact that lower profile teams get it coming and going. They get a low seed which will give them a tough matchup in any case and the NCAA selection committee will often ‘twist the knife’ to make sure they’re put in with an opponent that can attack them precisely where they’re the weakest.

For whatever reason, this Villanova team has been especially focused when facing overmatched opponents. They went 7-2 as a double digit favorite during the non-conference portion of the schedule which makes us more inclined that usual to lay the lumber with a big first round chalk. That suggests a killer instinct which first round NCAA favorites often lack. This team has actually been very good in every non-conference setting over the past few years with a 26-12 ATS mark. They’re also 48-25 ATS against opponents with winning records.

The confluence of these pointspread mark suggests a team that is the ‘worst nightmare’ for mid major tournament aspirants such as UNC-Asheville. Asheville isn’t a bad defensive team but not at the level the VCU’s or Wichita State teams that we usually love to bet on. They don’t really have the size to contend with Villanova’s athletes.

The Wildcats by the way are a pretty solid defensive side themselves. They’ve got a nasty interior defender named Daniel Ochefu who has been playing fewer minutes due to injury. Villanova hasn’t lost a step, however, and were a formidable defensive presence during the Big East Tournament.

We don’t lay points lightly in the first round of the NCAA tournament but this isn’t a matchup that facilitates an underdog cover. Not sure how Villanova fares going forward in the NCAA tournament but with their many early round dismissals they need to take care of business here.