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Last Updated Mar 18, 2022, 19:21 PM

Delaware Blue Hens vs. Villanova Wildcats Picks, Predictions, Odds

The Delaware Blue Hens (22-12) will take on the Villanova Wildcats (26-7) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Friday’s tipoff is scheduled for 2:45 PM ET at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA and can be viewed on CBS. 

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Score Prediction

Villanova 75, Delaware 63

Best Bet

Delaware +15.5 (-110)

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MARCH MADNESS BETTING RESOURCES

DELAWARE BLUE HENS vs. VILLANOVA WILDCATS PREDICTIONS

Delaware defeated UNC Wilmington 59-55 in the CAA championship game and covered as 2-point favorites. The Blue Hens covered in all three of their conference tournament games and allowed their opponents just 55.6 PPG throughout the tournament. While the defense played great, the offense struggled, averaging 64.6 PPG compared to their season average of 73.8 PPG. This the first time Delaware has made the tournament since 2014, which ended in a first-round loss to Michigan State 93-78.  

Villanova won the Big East Tournament after defeating Creighton in the finals 54-48, but failing to cover as 7-point favorites. The Wildcats finished the Big East Tournament with an ATS record of 1-2. Villanova’s defense has been great all season, but even more so in the Big East Tournament, allowing opponents 57.6 PPG compared to their season average of 63.1 PPG. The offense was a bit concerning as they did not score more than 66 points in any of their conference tournament games, well below their season average of 72.6 PPG.  

Both teams are coming off a low-scoring conference championship game. I think Delaware gets a slight edge in this one when it comes to momentum. Prior to the CAA Tournament, the Blue Hens had lost three straight and then went on to beat two of those three teams in the tournament. I do think Villanova wins this game, but I have to take the points and the Blue Hens here. 

DELAWARE BLUE HENS vs. VILLANOVA WILDCATS BETTING ODDS

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DELAWARE BLUE HENS vs. VILLANOVA WILDCATS BETTING RESOURCES

  • Date: Friday, March 18, 2022
  • Matchup: No. 15 vs. No. 2
  • Region: South
  • Venue: PPG Paints Arena
  • Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • TV-Time: CBS - 2:45 p.m. ET

DELAWARE BLUE HENS BETTING ANALYSIS

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 22-12
  • ATS: 15-17
  • O/U: 18-14

Delaware has struggled covering the spread this season with an ATS record of 15-17. They have struggled in the past when facing Villanova, posting a 3-6 ATS in their last nine meetings. Going against this trend, the Blue Hens 4-2 ATS in their last six games playing as the underdog. The total has gone over in 18 of Delaware’s 32 games this season, but has gone under in eight of their last 10 games.  

The Blue Hens offense is led by Jameer Nelson Jr who averages 13.7 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 2.2 APG, and 45.4 FG%. As a team, Delaware averages 73.8 PPG, 46.9 FG%, 35.2 3PT%, 12.7 APG, and 32.8 RPG. Aside from Jameer Nelson Jr, this team shares the ball very well with seven players averaging 7.0 PPG or more and four players averaging over 10.0 PPG.  

Delaware's defense is the reason they made the NCAA Tournament after holding opponents to just 55.6 PPG throughout the CCA Championship. On the season, the Blue Hens have been allowing opponents 69.9 PPG, 42.8 FG%, 34.9 3PT%, while averaging 6.6 SPG, and 3.7 BPG. They will need to be at their best in this one going against a Villanova team that plays great team basketball.  

VILLANOVA WILDCATS BETTING ANALYSIS

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 26-7
  • ATS: 16-15-2
  • O/U: 16-16-1

Villanova has posted an ATS record of 16-15-2 this season. In their last 10 games the Wildcats have gone 9-1 SU, 3-5-2 ATS, and had an O/U record of 5-4-1. The total has gone over in 16 of Villanova’s 33 games this season including in four of the last six games against Delaware. In their most recent game against Delaware (2019), Villanova won 78-70, but failed to cover as 14-point favorites.

The Wildcats offense is led by senior guard Collin Gillespie who averages 15.9 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 3.3 APG, and 44.3 FG%. Gillespie was a part of the 2018 National Championship team, so he knows what it will take to get there again this year. As a team, Villanova averages 72.6 PPG, 43.7 FG%, 35.9 3PT%, 12.1 APG, and 35.0 RPG. The Wildcats offense likes to control the pace of the game and run a set-offense. I would expect the game-plan to be no different in this one.  

Villanova’s defense is one of the best in the Big East. Entering this matchup, they are allowing opponents 63.1 PPG, 43.7 FG%, 35.9 3PT%, while averaging 6.2 SPG, and 2.3 BPG. They were great in the Big East Tournament, allowing teams just 57.6 PPG in their three matchups. 

Delaware has scored 59 points or more in 30 straight games when playing during the daytime. (AP)

INSIDE THE STATS - DELAWARE BLUE HENS 

  • Record: 22-12
  • PS/G: 73.8 (107th)
  • PA/G: 69.9 (198th)

INSIDE THE STATS - VILLANOVA WILDCATS

  • Record: 26-7
  • PS/G: 72.6 (138th)
  • PA/G: 63.1 (26th)

KEY PLAYERS TO WATCH

  • DELA: Jameer Nelson - G (13.7 ppg, 5 rpg)
  • DELA: Ryan Allen - G (11.8 ppg)
  • NOVA: Collin Gillespie - G (15.9 ppg)
  • NOVA: Justin Moore - G (15 ppg, 5.1 rpg)

DELAWARE BLUE HENS vs. VILLANOVA WILDCATS BETTING CONCLUSION

These teams are very similar on the stat sheet and that should show on the court too. Delaware may give Villanova a bit of trouble, especially if the Nelson magic runs in the family. However, Villanova should win this one, but I like Delaware here at +15.5.  

MARCH MADNESS PICK RESOURCES

DELAWARE BLUE HENS vs. VILLANOVA WILDCATS BETTING TRENDS

  • Delaware has lost five straight NCAA Tournament games.
  • Delaware has covered the spread in three straight games.
  • Delaware has gone UNDER the point total in four straight games.
  • Villanova has gone UNDER the point total in three straight games. 
  • Villanova has won 13 of its last 15 games.
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