Michigan vs Villanova Sweet 16 Picks: Wolverines Keep Clawing Away

Michigan vs Villanova Predictions, Odds & Picks

The Wolverines are finally piecing it all together after a season of falling short. Their success in March Madness shouldn’t be a huge surprise, and our Michigan vs. Villanova March Madness picks don’t see them falling apart in the Sweet 16, either.

The Michigan Wolverines surprised a lot of hoops fans already this month, defeating the Tennessee Volunteers in March Madness’ Round of 32. Now, they’ll now look to upset the Villanova Wildcats for a spot in the Elite Eight.

Will the Wolverines find a way to keep their underdog run alive? Check out our Michigan vs. Villanova March Madness picks and predictions for tonight, March 24 to find out.

Michigan vs. Villanova odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

The Wolverines were getting 5 points when this line first became available, but that number is beginning to go down to 4.5. As for the total, the number opened at 135.5 and it’s down to 134.5 in some spots.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until tip-off and be sure to check out the full college basketball odds before placing your bets.

Michigan vs Villanova predictions

Predictions made on 3/22/2022 at 11:45 pm ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Michigan vs. Villanova game info

Lease: AT&T Center, San Antonio, TX
Date: Thursday, March 24, 2022
tip-off: 7:29 p.m. ET
TV:TBS

Michigan vs. Villanova betting preview

insults

Michigan: DeVante’ Jones G (Questionable).
Villanova: Jordan Longino G (Questionable).
Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

Michigan is 9-1-1 against the spread in its last 11 games as a neutral-court underdog. Find more NCAA betting trends for Michigan vs. Villanova.

Michigan vs Villanova picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Spread analysis

Michigan might seem something like a Cinderella team this year, but that doesn’t tell the real story. This was the sixth-ranked team in the country before the season started, and that was in both the AP and Coaches Polls. This Wolverines squad is loaded with talented basketball players, but it didn’t put things together throughout the regular season. Now, Michigan has picked up steam and it shouldn’t really be a surprise to anybody.

Against a very good Villanova team, it will still be the presence of Hunter Dickinson that makes Michigan a problem. Dickinson averaged 18.7 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.5 blocks per game during the regular season, and he’s averaging 24.0 points per game through two NCAA Tournament games thus far.

Not many teams have the size to bang with Dickinson in the paint, and the Wildcats don’t either. With that in mind, he should really be able to give this Wolverines team an advantage in this game. Those jump hooks will be there all night, and he’ll also find his teammates for open shots when Villanova inevitably decides to send help in his direction.

The play of Eli Brooks is also something to keep an eye on in this game. Brooks was rock solid for Michigan all year, but he has taken his game to another level in the tournament. Through two games, the senior guard is averaging 19.5 points, 5.5 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game for the Wolverines.

Brooks is likely going to be matched up with Villanova star Collin Gillespie in this game, but he’s not going to back down from that challenge. Look for him to really hold his own there, which should give the Wolverines a chance of winning this one late.

Also, this Michigan team has really stepped up on the defensive end since the start of the tournament. The Wolverines have an adjusted defensive efficiency of just 96.5 on the year, but that number is down at 90.4 since the start of March Madness (per BartTorvik.com).

That second number would have been good for 12th in all of college basketball if it was stretched out over the course of the year. That’s a good sign for all Wolverines bettors, as this Wildcats team was eighth in the nation in adjusted offensive efficiency this year (per KenPom.com).

Prediction: Michigan +5 (-110)

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Over/Under analysis

While the Over has hit in each of Michigan’s last four games, the Under is 4-1 in the last five Villanova games. Only 13 teams in all of college basketball play at a slower pace than the Wildcats, and Jay Wright’s team is going to be able to dictate the tempo in this one.

Also, it’s not like the Wolverines are going to want to speed things up all that much, as they’re just 202nd in adjusted tempo this year. That’s part of playing primarily through a center in half-court situations, and you should just expect this one to drag a bit — even if neither team is particularly special on the defensive end.

The Under is also 3-1-1 in the last five games in which Michigan has played as an underdog in the NCAA Tournament, and it’s 7-1 in the last eight games that Villanova has played as a neutral-court favorite. The Under is also 4-1 in the last five games that the Wildcats have played as favorites, in general.

Prediction: Under 135.5 (-110)

best bet

The Vols did everything they could to attack Dickinson when they were on the offensive end last game, but Michigan was able to figure out a way to keep him out there and not get killed. Villanova will surely look to do the same thing, with this team being loaded at guard and on the wings.

However, what Dickinson gives the Wolverines on the offensive end will outweigh whatever limitations he has on the other end of the floor. And ultimately, the fact that the Wildcats don’t have a center to battle with him is going to be the reason the Wolverines have a shot in this one.

It also doesn’t hurt that Michigan is 9-1-1 against the spread in its last 11 games as a neutral-court underdog. The Wolverines are also 4-1 ATS in their last five NCAA Tournament games, and they’re 4-1 ATS in their last five games against opponents with winning percentages of .600 or higher.

This might be the end of the line for Juwan Howard’s team, but the Wolverines are going to go down swinging. This should be decided in the final few possessions, where the Wildcats have a small edge but not enough to cover this big of a spread.

pick: Michigan +5 (-110)

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