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West Virginia vs Villanova Betting – Mountaineers get past cold-shooting Wildcats

Posted by Washington Tucker on 3/5/2010 3:21:40 PM

NCAA basketball odds: Pick West Virginia

Good luck making an online betting choice in the Big East tournament next weekend.
The Big East has five teams in the top 25, another two that probably could be, and the No.1 team in the country. Two top-10 teams will go at it on Saturday as West Virginia heads to Villanova, and the Wildcats have had problems shooting the basketball lately. Look for West Virginia to take advantage of that to exact some revenge for an earlier loss.

  • What: NCAA Betting
  • When: Saturday, March 6, 12:00 PM ET
  • Where: The Pavilion, Villanova, PA
  • KeyStats: West Virginia has won six of their last 10 against Villanova

The Storyline: West Virginia vs Villanova Betting Odds

The No.10 Mountaineers (23-6, 12-5) rolled to an 81-68 win over Georgetown that wasn’t even that close, sending senior Da’Sean Butler out on a high note in his last home game. The No.9 Wildcats (24-5, 13-4) have lost three of their last five, but they pulled out a 77-73 win at Cincinnati. The Wildcats won 82-75 at West Virginia in a top-five showdown on February 8th, and both have byes heading into the Big East tournament, so this is all about pride and revenge.

Offensive Matchups: West Virginia vs Villanova Betting Odds

Butler scored 22 points in his final home game at West Virginia, and he had been slumping heading into the game. With Butler and Devin Ebanks, the Mountaineers have one of the best forward duos in the country, and they’ll be the keys to West Virginia’s NCAA Tournament chances. West Virginia also takes excellent care of the ball.

The Villanova offense has started to struggle at the wrong time of the season, but that’s not on Scottie Reynolds, who is doing his best to keep the Wildcats in the hunt. The game against Cincinnati was one of their best recent performances as they shot 47.7% from the field, including 10-of-21 from three-point land, and they were aggressive with 35 free-throw attempts

Betting Edge: Villanova

Defensive Matchups: West Virginia vs Villanova Betting Odds

Sportsbook players know that rebounding is huge at this time of year, and the Mountaineers are one of the best rebounding teams in the country. Butler, Ebanks and Kevin Jones are all averaging at least 6.1 rebounds per game. But the Mountaineers can get down when the opposition gets hot, especially on the road, so they have to be able to weather the storm when Villanova starts raining threes.

The Wildcats harass teams, but due to their pace, they give up a lot of points. The perimeter defense is tough with Reynolds, Reggie Redding and Corey Fisher, but you can get the Wildcats into foul trouble easily. All five Villanova players go to the glass, making the Wildcats a much better rebounding team than they should be, given their size.

Betting Edge: West Virginia

Coaching Matchup: West Virginia vs Villanova Betting Odds

Bob Huggins has been trying to get this team to play tougher all season, especially on the boards, and it seems to be working. He puts a lot of pressure on Butler, his senior leader, and he prides himself on his team’s ability to take care of the ball. Huggins hasn’t lost much since prowling the sidelines at Cincinnati through the 1990s, and he’d love to take his alma mater on a deep run into March

Jay Wright is going to need all of his coaching skills right now, because the Wildcats are lacking in confidence. Like Huggins has Butler, Wright has Reynolds to be his coach on the floor, so he’ll depend heavily on his leader on Saturday. But you can’t argue with Wright’s track record, though: five straight NCAA appearances, four trips to the Sweet 16 or further, including last year’s Final Four

Betting Edge: Draw

Betting Prediction: West Virginia vs Villanova Betting Odds

The Wildcats should be the home favorites in this contest, as they are 13-1 at the Pavilion this year. The Mountaineers lost by 22 points in their last trip to Villanova in 2008, and they’ve been inconsistent away from home this year. They have to continue to take care of the ball, and they have to slow the game down, pounding the ball in the post for high-percentage shots. Villanova is a team that depends on falling shots, and that’s not happening right now. Look for West Virginia to get their revenge this Saturday.

Washington's Pick: : West Virginia

For more sports betting tips and articles, check out the Betting Edge at BetOnline.

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