The 2022 NCAA Basketball Championship continues with the South Region Elite Eight matchup, so we’re taking a closer look at Saturday’s clash from AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas, to get you the best Houston vs. Villanova betting pick and odds.
According to Bookmaker Sportsbook, Houston is a small 2-point fave with a total of 128.5 points. The Cougars meet the Wildcats for the first time since November 1991 when Houston demolished Villanova 79-49.
Houston shoots for its seventh straight victory
After winning the American Athletic Conference championship tournament with a 71-53 thrashing of the Memphis Tigers, the No. 5 Houston Cougars (32-5; 25-12 ATS) cruised through their first three outings in the 2022 NCAA Tournament. They beat No. 12 UAB 82-68 in the first round; No. 4 Illinois 68-53 in the second round, and No. 1 Arizona 72-60 in the Sweet 16.
Last Thursday, the Cougars upset the top-seeded Wildcats as 1.5-point underdogs. They held Arizona to 33.3% shooting from the field and 31.8% from beyond the arc. The Cougars shot 46.0% from the field and 45.0% from downtown, while sophomore guard Jamal Shead led the charge with 21 points, six assists, four rebounds, and a couple of steals.
Senior guard Kyler Edwards has been the Cougars’ best player so far this season, averaging 14.1 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game. Houston is a top-10 team in the country in both offensive and defensive efficiency. The Cougars tally 118.2 points per 100 possessions (8th) and surrender 89.9 in a return (10th).
Villanova rides an eight-game winning streak
The No. 2 Villanova Wildcats (29-7; 19-15-2 ATS) extended their winning streak to eight games following a 63-55 victory over the No. 11 Michigan Wolverines in the Sweet 16. They covered a 4.5-point spread, recording their fourth ATS victory in the last five outings at any location.
Senior forward Jermaine Samuels tortured the Wolverines for 22 points on 8-for-13 shooting from the field and 5-for-5 from the charity stripe. He also had seven rebounds and a couple of steals and blocks. Junior guard Justin Moore accounted for 15 points and four assists, while senior G Collin Gillespie added 12 points and six rebounds.
The Wildcats score 117.9 points per 100 possessions (9th in the country) on 43.7% shooting from the field (202nd) and 36.0% from beyond the arc (57th). On the other side of the ball, Villanova yields 93.0 points per 100 possessions (24th) on 40.8% shooting from the field (41st) and 30.7% from beyond the 3-point line (40th).
- 10-1 ATS in the last 11 games overall
- 5-0 ATS in the last five outings as favorites
- 1-4-1 ATS in the last six outings as underdogs
- 2-5 ATS in the last seven games played on Saturday
Houston vs. Villanova Pick
This should be a proper hard-fought battle between a couple of hard-working teams. Both Houston and Villanova are capable of playing terrific defense, and I lean the Cougars because of their physical advantage over the Wildcats.
Houston leads the country in the opponent field goal percentage (37.4%). Also, the Cougars rank eighth in offensive rebounds (13.3) and 14th in blocks per game (5.2).
Pick: Take Houston -2.0 at -110
I’ve mentioned how good these two teams are on the defensive side of things. They also love to play at a slow pace, so my best Houston vs. Villanova betting pick is the under on the totals. While the Cougars record 63.7 possessions per 40 minutes (338th in the nation), the Wildcats register 62.6 (345th).
The under is 5-1 in Villanova’s last six games overall. On the other side, the under is 8-2 in Houston’s last ten contests overall, and it is 7-2 in the Cougars’ previous nine outings as favorites.
Pick: Go under 128.5 points at -110