After an unforgettable first weekend, it’s on to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament. The regional semifinal action tips off on Saturday with four games across both the Midwest and South Regions. The second matchup on Saturday features the top seed in the South Region against a highly successful program as the Baylor Bears take on the 5-seed Villanova Wildcats. The college basketball betting oddsmakers have tabbed the Bears as sizable favorites ahead of the game.
The following offers a comprehensive breakdown and betting preview of Saturday’s NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 showdown. Read on for vital game information, team statistics, trends and predictions for the Baylor vs Villanova matchup.
Villanova vs Baylor Sweet 16 Game Info
Villanova Wildcats (18-6, 11-4 Big East) vs. Baylor Bears (24-2, 13-1 Big 12)
Date: Saturday, Mar. 27, 2021
Start Time: 5:15 p.m. EST
Venue: Hinkle Fieldhouse — Indianapolis, IN
Villanova vs Baylor Betting Odds
Odds courtesy of Bovada Sportsbook
Moneyline: VIL: (+265) | BAY: (-330)
Spread: VIL: +7.5 (-105) | BAY: -7.5 (-115)
Total: 141.5 — Over: (-115) | Under: (-1105)
NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 | College Basketball Betting Overview
Villanova Basketball Outlook
Betting against Jay Wright and the rock-solid program that he has built at Villanova should be done at your own risk. Despite losing Big East Co-Player of the Year and second-leading scorer Collin Gillespie, the Wildcats are once again playing in the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament. 12-seed Winthrop was a trendy upset pick in the First Round but Villanova hardly seemed to break a sweat in dispatching the Big South champions. The Wildcats caught a bit of a break in the Second Round after North Texas upset Purdue. Wright and his coaching staff simply don’t make the kind of gameplan mistakes that might leave them vulnerable to suffering a similar fate.
With Gillespie out for the rest of the year, Villanova has had to find offense from other players. Forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl takes over as the team’s clear-cut top scorer after averaging 16.0 points per game this season. He was joined in double figures in the Wildcats’ win over North Texas by Jermaine Samuels and Justin Moore (15 points apiece) and Caleb Daniels (11). With that said, Baylor figures to require a lot more attention on the defensive end than the Mean Green did in the preceding round. Can Villanova score enough to keep up with the mighty Bears’ offense?
Villanova KenPom Ratings
- Overall Efficiency Margin: +23.53 (No. 11 in NCAA)
- Offense: 119.8 (No. 6 in NCAA)
- Defense: 96.3 (No. 72 in NCAA)
- Tempo: 64.6 (No. 332 in NCAA)
Baylor Basketball Outlook
Baylor has widely been considered to be one of the only teams capable of challenging undefeated Gonzaga for the NCAA Tournament championship this season. After only picking up one loss in the regular season, the Bears bowed out of the Big 12 Tournament early with a loss to NBA Draft lottery pick Cade Cunnigham and Oklahoma State. Baylor rebounded nicely on the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament. After cruising past 16-seed Hartford in their opener, the Bears little trouble in earning a double-digit Second Round win over Big Ten foe Wisconsin.
One of the reasons why many analysts have fallen in love with Scott Drew’s team is because of the depth Baylor has. One could argue that MaCio Teague had an off game against Wisconsin in the Second Round, yet the Bears still cruised to victory thanks to their other playmakers. Matthew Mayer stepped up to double up his season scoring average with 17 points while standouts Jared Butler and Davion Mitchell each supplied 16 apiece. Baylor is superbly talented and experienced. The Bears fancied themselves contenders in the shortened season last year. Counting them out in 2021 would be a huge mistake.
Baylor KenPom Ratings
- Overall Efficiency Margin: +29.75 (No. 2 in NCAA)
- Offense: 122.8 (No. 3 in NCAA)
- Defense: 93.1 (No. 37 in NCAA)
- Tempo: 68.5 (No. 157 in NCAA)
Villanova Baylor College Basketball Betting Trends
- Villanova 2020-21 Betting Trends: 13-10-1 ATS; 13-11 to the Over
- Baylor 2020-21 Betting Trends: 16-10 ATS; 16-10 to the Over
- Villanova is 4-0-1 ATS as an underdog in their last five games against teams with a winning percentage of .600 or higher.
- Baylor is 8-3 ATS in their last 11 neutral site games.
- Baylor is 0-4 ATS in their last four games following an ATS win.
- The over has hit in 12 of Baylor’s last 14 games.
- The total has gone under in five of Villanova’s last seven games as an underdog.
Villanova vs Baylor Stats
- Villanova is averaging 75.8 PPG this season (No. 55 in NCAA)
- Villanova is surrendering 66.7 PPG (No. 65 in NCAA)
- Baylor is averaging 83.8 points per game (PPG) this season (No. 3 in NCAA)
- Baylor is surrendering 65.8 PPG on the season (No. 51 in NCAA)
Villanova vs Baylor Prediction
Consider me to be firmly in the camp of believing that Baylor is the superior team in this Sweet 16 matchup. The Bears dominated a Big 12 Conference that was arguably the best in the country from top to bottom. In hindsight, perhaps coming up short in the Big 12 Tournament was a blessing in disguise for Baylor. While they may not have come away with a conference title, good luck getting another one past them in the real tournament that matters: March Madness.
While I have the utmost respect for Jay Wright and the Villanova program, I’m just not convinced that this year’s version of the Wildcats can hang with one of the top teams in the country. Offensively is the area of greatest concern given that Villanova has been left without one of their top two scorers. The Wildcats were fortunate to see two mid-majors on the opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament. Baylor is far from a mid-major. In a down year for the Big East overall, Villanova will have all they can do to keep the final margin of this Sweet 16 matchup in the single digits, let alone have any shot of winning the game.
Pick: Baylor -7.5 (-115 at Bovada Sportsbook)