Winthrop vs Villanova March Madness Odds, Picks and Predictions March 19

Updated: March 15, 2021

Jared Hochman

Clock Icon Mar 15, 2021 – 9:56 AM ET

There’s no matchup that’s more trendy for March Madness picks than taking a 12 seed to upset a No. 5 in the first round, and the South Region has arguably the juiciest of such matchups with floundering Villanova facing frisky Winthrop.

March Madness odds saw the Wildcats open as 6.5-point favorites, but can they cover without their star player against an Eagles team that lost just one game all season?

See our thoughts below in our free college basketball betting picks for Winthrop vs. Villanova on Friday, March 19, with tip-off at 9:57 p.m. ET.

Winthrop vs Villanova odds

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The line opened at Villanova -6.5, with the total at 139.5. Early action favored the trendy Eagles, shifting the line to -6, while the Over/Under has held firm. Check back later for a full report from Patrick!

Check out the full line movement for this game

Winthrop Eagles vs Villanova Wildcats betting preview


Winthrop: None.
Villanova: Collin Gillespie G (Out), Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree F (Out).
Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Under is 5-0-1 in the Eagles’ last six games overall. Find more NCAA betting trends for Winthrop vs. Villanova.

Against the spread (ATS) pick

Villanova was the class of the Big East basically all season, but things have fallen apart at the worst possible time. The Wildcats are just 5-5 SU (4-6-1 ATS) over their last 10 games and enter the NCAA Tournament having dropped two in a row, including a Big East Tournament quarterfinal loss to Georgetown where ‘Nova blew an 11-point lead with 11 minutes to go.

Compounding matters for the Wildcats is that those two most recent losses came without star guard Collin Gillespie, and the team won’t have the Big East Co-Player of the Year for the duration of the tournament after he tore his MCL.

The Wildcats were a strong offensive team this season, ranking ninth in KenPom’s adjusted offensive efficiency, but losing their primary playmaker will be difficult for a team that plays at a slow, halfcourt-oriented pace, ranking 320th in the nation in adjusted tempo.

Also making things tough for the Wildcats is their opponent, as 12th-seeded Winthrop is a tough matchup for them. The Eagles went 23-1 this year, steamrolling to the Big South Conference title and winning by an average margin of victory of 21.7 during the tournament.

The validity of the Eagles record is in question, as they rank 309th in strength of schedule and were just 13-11 ATS on the year, but they matchup extremely well with Villanova: They love to run, ranking 11th in adjusted tempo and averaging 14.9 seconds per possession, they have their star point guard, 6-foot-7 Chandler Vaudrin, healthy and they dominate the glass. Winthrop is 12th in the country in grabbing 35.7 percent of available offensive rebounds and 11th in total rebounds per game, with six players that grab at least three boards a game. Compare that to a ‘Nova squad that is 231st in the nation in rebounding and that’s where you can see the path for the upset to happen.

Villanova is 30th in the nation in 3-point attempts per game, and the deep ball has been a big decider in the Wildcats success: in their last five wins they’ve shot  41.8 percent from deep…but in their last five defeats they’ve shot just 24.1 percent.

They will be chucking them up against Winthrop, but if they aren’t falling, don’t expect many offensive rebounds against the Eagles, while Winthrop will attack early in the glass and get plenty of second-chance looks—and points. This is just a bad matchup for Villanova, so despite the weak schedule and mediocre ATS record, we’re going to jump on board with the trendy pick train and take the Eagles to not just cover…but also win outright.

PREDICTION: Winthrop +6 (-110)

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Over/Under Pick

Both these teams have been strong Under plays recently, with Villanova coming Under the total in four of its last six games (and both contests without Gillespie) while Winthrop is 5-0-1 to the Under in its last six games.

As mentioned above, the Wildcats play at a slow pace, averaging 18.4 seconds per possession, and will live and die by the 3-pointer—not a great recipe against an Eagles team that is 70th nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency, holds opponents to just 32.4 percent shooting from deep, and doesn’t give up many second-chance points.

Winthrop isn’t near as slow offensively, but it also does not attempt as many threes, instead often going to the rim and relentlessly attacking the glass…but as you know twos ain’t getting you Over. The Eagles are 30th in the nation in points per game, but Villanova – while not a defensive powerhouse – is a lot better defensively than what the Big South has to offer.

Maybe this ends up as a 3-point barrage, but we think that’s highly unlikely, so we’re backing the Under in this contest.

PREDICTION: Under 139.5 (-110)

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Team total pick

Yes, Villanova still has leading scorer Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, plus three other players that averaged in double figures during the regular season. But how does a team, that’s without its top playmaker and senior leader, will rely heavily on the three-ball and should get outworked on the glass, go over its team total?

You go to the free-throw line and ge—oh wait. The Wildcats are shooting just 62.2 percent from the line over their last two games and have missed at least eight free throws in three of their last five contests.

They’re struggling to even convert the easy points, so how do they get Over their team total of 72.5 points?

They don’t.

PREDICTION: Villanova team total Under 72.5 (-105)

Winthrop vs Villanova betting card

  • Winthrop +6 (-110)
  • Under 139.5 (-110)
  • Villanova team total Under 72.5 (-105)

March Madness parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed today’s March Madness Winthrop vs. Villanova picks, you could win $61.16 on a $10 bet?

Use our March Madness parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

Where can I bet on March Madness odds?

March Madness is one of the most popular times of the year for sports bettors, which of course makes it one of the busiest times of the year for online sportsbooks. Every betting site will offer March Madness odds but the top sites are safe and secure, offer a wide range of banking options, and give you a ton of markets for each game. Check out the best March Madness betting sites in your region.

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