Ohio State and Villanova are similar. Both teams run slow-paced offenses reliant on individual shot-makers, and both are uber-efficient. Villanova, however, has been the better team all year due to their respectable defense.
Moreover, Villanova has a huge coaching advantage. Jay Wright is a two-time national champion while Ohio State’s Chris Holtmann has yet to make it past the second round in Columbus. Holtmann-led teams have historically been inconsistent on the defensive end.
But who has the edge against the spread in this
Villanova vs Ohio State Odds
Ohio State vs Villanova CBB gameday odds are provided by Caesars Sportsbook and are current as of Saturday, March 19 at 8 p.m. ET.
- Moneyline: Ohio State (+180), Villanova (-220)
- Spread: Ohio State +5.5 (-110), Villanova -5.5 (-110)
- Over/Under: Over 132 (-110) / Under 132 (-110)
- Implied Score: Villanova 68.75, Ohio State 63.25
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Villanova vs Ohio State Prediction
Ohio State’s defense looked dominant against Loyola-Chicago, holding the Ramblers to just 41 points. But that’s a little misleading.
Loyola couldn’t buy a layup or an easy shot, as everything was bricked. ShotQuality projected that Loyola should’ve scored 21 more points based on the quality of shots taken.
But Ohio State did outman the Ramblers down low, shooting 60% from inside the arc. It was the Buckeyes’ 1-for-15 mark from three that held down their point total.
Ohio State should have a similar advantage against Villanova. The Wildcats run a smaller-ball offense that is more guard-focused. The Buckeye frontcourt of EJ Liddell, Kyle Young, and Joey Brunk can take advantage.
However, Villanova’s interior defensive efficiency numbers are strong considering its size. Which gives me pause with the Buckeyes.
Villanova vs Ohio State Score Pick
Villanova 66, Ohio State 62
Villanova’s ability to play all-around basketball has me thinking the Cats will pull this out.
Villanova is also more experienced – especially in the backcourt – and better coached. This game will be slow-paced, and Villanova thrives down the stretch in games like that.
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Villanova wins a grinder through high-level shot-making by Collin Gillespie.
Villanova vs Ohio State Best Bets
Ohio State +5.5 (-110) at Caesars
WAGER: 1 Unit
The Buckeyes will be too comfortable in this style of game to get blown out.
Ohio State will be efficient in scoring the ball, and play to its advantage on the interior. Villanova will get enough stops to win, but it’ll be very hard for the Wildcats to get past five points in a low-possession grinder.
Moreover, the projections sites favor Ohio State. KenPom makes this spread Villanova -4, while Bart Torvik makes it Villanova -3.7. So, we’re getting a bit of value on this number.
Finally, NCAA tournament teams that hold their opponents to fewer than 60 points in their previous game and open as a dog in the next round cover at a 57% clip, per Sports Insights.
I’ll take the points and play the Buckeyes down to +5.
UNDER 132 (-110) at Caesars
WAGER: 1 Unit
This game is going to be slow-paced and will feature long possessions with lots of passes. Even if both teams are incredibly efficient and shoot a lot of threes, this game shouldn’t be played in the 70s or 80s.
The last time these two teams played each other was in 2019 when Ohio State picked up a huge win over Villanova. The game finished at 126 after the total closed at 132.
I’m expecting that to happen again.