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Villanova vs UConn Game Preview, Odds, Picks & Predictions

Wildcats Continue Road Show in Big East Matchup

UConn Takes 12-2 Home Record into Rematch

No team in the Big East has more road wins than Villanova, including a five-point victory against the Providence team that hadn’t lost at home all season, and that will make the Wildcats a popular pick for those who bet online. Now, the Wildcats are looking to take down another of the Big East’s top contenders.

A sold-out XL Center will be awaiting the preseason conference favorites as UConn looks to improve to 11-2 at home. Leading scorer R.J. Cole was huge in the first game against Villanova and will be asked to produce early and often again.

Villanova vs UConn Game Preview, Odds, Picks & Predictions
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images/AFP

Villanova (-175) has pulled ahead of Providence in the odds to win the Big East title. Villanova (+1800) also has the top odds among Big East teams to win the national title according to the March Madness odds. UConn checks in at +8500.

Villanova’s Dixon Looking to Flex Muscles Again

It is impossible to reflect on the first meeting of the season between Villanova and UConn without focusing on the dominating play of Eric Dixon.

Dixon headed into the early February matchup averaging eight points over his previous four games. However. he went off for 24 points on 10-of-15 shooting to go with 12 rebounds and four assists as Villanova led by as many as 23 points before a spirited comeback by UConn made things interesting. It was a 10-point game with 2:07 left to play, and although the Wildcats only made one more basket, Villanova won 85-74.

It was the first UConn game since 2007 to have a total under 130 and the teams had no problems blowing the 128½-point total out of the water.

The game seemed to get Dixon rolling, as he has averaged 13.6 points over the last five games, all Villanova wins.

He is one reason why Villanova was listed as a No. 3 seed when the NCAA selection committee revealed the top 16 seeds with the tournament about a month away from starting. This is the type of game Villanova needs to win to fit on the No. 3 line on the March Madness brackets.

Dixon’s ability to score in the lane will be a key in Tuesday’s game. He outrebounded UConn’s entire starting frontcourt. The first UConn matchup was one of the first times that Dixon emerged from the shadows. He is fifth on the team in minutes played as well as fourth in field-goal attempts and points scored.

The Las Vegas odds total has gone over in four of Villanova’s last six games

UConn Focused on Rematch

UConn coach Dan Hurley came into the season wanting to see the Huskies have one of the top defensive teams in the country. At times that was happening as UConn held its first four opponents under 40 shooting. Seton Hall was the only team to make more than 50 percent of its shots against the Huskies in the first 20 games of the season.

That all changed when Villanova torched the Huskies for 59.2 percent shooting. Villanova scored so effortlessly inside that the Wildcats attempted an uncharacteristically low 11 3-point attempts.

Other than in a loss to Xavier, when the host Musketeers connected on 49.1 percent of its field goal attempts, UConn’s defense has tightened up. It has helped that the Huskies had most of its top players available, which wasn’t the case earlier in the season. Adama Sanogo and Tyrese Martin missed four games each and Akok Akok was out for six games.

Akok hasn’t played since Feb. 1 but he is considered to be a game-time decision.

Even without Akok, one of three Huskies averaging more than one blocked shot per game, UConn has held two of its last three opponents under 40 percent shooting.

UConn is just 2-6 against the college basketball spreads in its last eight games.

Villanova at UConn Head-to-Head

Villanova has won the last five games, including an 11-point win on Feb. 5 as a four-point favorite at home. The previous two games in the series were decided by single digit,s including a 2020 matchup when UConn covered in a 61-55 loss as a 9½-point underdog.

The last win by UConn was a pretty important one, coming in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. The Huskies would ultimately win the national title.

The most recent meeting went well over the 128½-point total snapping a run four consecutive meetings that finished under the total.

According to the March Madness predictions, Villanova (+500) has the best odds to reach the Final Four among Big East teams while UConn (+2400) ranks third.

Villanova at UConn Game Information

  • Game: Villanova (21-6) at UConn (19-7)
  • Location: XL Center, Hartford, CT
  • Day/Time: Tuesday, 8 p.m. ET
  • Television: TBS.com

Villanova at UConn Betting Lines

Villanova at UConn Prediction

UConn’s track record in close games has not been a good one, as the Huskies dropped their first five games decided by five points or less. That streak ended with a three-point win against St. John’s. This could very well end up being a one or two-possession game and the question is will the home-court advantage help UConn deliver in late-game situations?

Villanova’s starting backcourt of Justin Moore and Collin Gillespie is going to be an issue for anybody playing the Wildcats the rest of the way.

The total is a little higher than in the first meeting but at 137, it seems like the game is trending to finish over that number.

Pick: Over 137

Pick: Villanova Wildcats +2

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