The Villanova Wildcats have not made a deep NCAA tournament run since 2009, where they were eliminated by North Carolina in the Final Four. They have since faced a string of disappointing first- and second-round tournament exits. The No. 3-ranked team in the nation, however, is looking toward the 2016 tournament as an opportunity to bring home the school's first national title since 1985 and fifth Final Four appearance in the program's history.
Earlier in the season, the Wildcats reached No. 1 in the AP Top 25 poll for the first time in the school's history, and a deep run in this week's Big East Tournament could earn the team a No. 1 seed in the upcoming NCAA bracket. Let's take a closer look at Villanova's conference and NCAA tournament odds and figure out the best way to wager on the team heading into the postseason. All odds come from Bovada.
2016 Villanova Wildcats National Title Betting Storylines
Villanova ended the regular season winning 10 of 11 matchups and by dominating Georgetown with a 13-point blowout during the final game of the year. Regular-season dominance is nothing new for the Wildcats, and the most important challenge still awaits the team-making a deep NCAA Tournament run. The Big East champions have not made it out of the opening weekend of the tournament in six seasons and have two one-and-done exits along with two second-round eliminations. The first step in that process, however, will be winning a second straight Big East Tournament, which begins on March 9. We will see Villanova enter as a solid favorite to hoist the conference trophy once again.
The Wildcats are led by standouts Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins, who average 15.3 and 12.7 points and 7.2 and 3.8 rebounds, respectively. But without a traditional superstar the team has relied on a mix of ball movement, unselfishness and timely 3-point shooting (a trend that the best teams in the professional and college ranks seems to be following). Villanova also boasts one of the better defenses in the nation, as the squad is ranked 17th in fewest points allowed.
2016 Villanova Wildcats Tournament Odds, ATS Record and Tournament History
Title Odds : +1400
Big East Odds : +110
ATS Record : 14-15-1 (7-8 home)
The No. 3-ranked Wildcats have a shot at earning a top seed in the NCAA Tournament, and all it would take is a Big East title game appearance. An early exit in the conference tournament could drop Villanova to a No. 2 seed, but either way the squad will be in excellent position to make a deep postseason run. Taking the team to cover the spread might not be a great idea as it ended the year with a sub-.500 ATS mark and managed to cover only two of its last seven matchups. However, most of those non-covers were double-digit lines in the 14- to 20-point range, so you can't really fault the Wildcats.
2016 Villanova Wildcats National Title Odds and Predictions
The Wildcats have struggled during the postseason over the last five years, and that trend may continue during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. Pedigree plays a huge role in college basketball, and certain schools simply to do not win national titles or make deep runs. Villanova hasn't hoisted a championship in over 30 years, and unfortunately this season may not change that. The strongest play to make here is taking Villanova to win another Big East title and skipping over the NCAA tournament futures. Don't be surprised to see the Wildcats make another early exit.
Read more articles by George Monroy
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