Good Betting Value on Michigan +4.5 vs. Villanova for NCAAB

Joe Catalano

Tuesday, November 25, 2014 3:44 PM UTC

Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014 3:44 PM UTC

Two top 25 teams clash in the Progressive Legends Classic as the #12 Villanova Wildcats (4-0) square off agains the  #19 Michigan Wolverines. This should be a highly competitive matchup as both teams styles mirror eachother. See who we like as our betting pick to stay undefeated.

Tip-off is scheduled for 10:00 pm ET tonight at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. This game can be seen on ESPN 2.

According to most NCAA basketball odds, the Wildcats are a 4 point betting favorite and the total for the game is listed at 132. I would've expected the odds to be even tighter considering the offensive punch that the Wolverines provide.

Both teams are coming off of legitimate wins as Villanova crushed a good Virginia Commonwealth team, as I predicted, and Michigan is coming off of a solid win over the Oregon Ducks as Caris LeVert saw the foul line a total of 13 times. Not only will one team walk away undefeated from this game, but they will also leave with the tournament championship.


Offensive Threats
A good basketball team needs that definitive go to guy when the game is on the line and that's where Michigan has the advantage offensively as they have two options in guard/forward Zak Irvin and guard Caris LeVert. Both carry great size as they stand around 6 foot 6 apiece and with guard Derrick Walton Jr (14.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg), this trio forms a fairly unstoppable back court.

Zak Irvin is the leader of the bunch and his efficiency rate has been very high. He's shooting 53.8% from the field and 51.9% from beyond the arc. Irvin, who averages slightly above 20 points per game, will be heavily tested as he faces the pride of the Big East Conference with one of the best defenses in the country. This game should be close down the stretch and expect to see the rock in the hands of #21 as he's the model of consistency that can shoot the lights out.

Although he's gotten off to a rocky start shooting-wise, Caris LeVert is a multi-faceted player and his size enables him to snatch rebounds and he's a great passer. LeVert is also shooting over 80% from the free throw line which makes Michigan a tough team to foul for the Wildcats if they fall behind in this game. I look for Michigan to play well as Zak Irvin will be the catalyst on the offensive end.


A Big Win
Villanova is coming off of a huge 77-53 victory over VCU as senior JayVaughn Pinkston came home to Brooklyn and delivered in a major way.

Pinkston led the way for Villanova with 15 points and 7 rebounds in 28 minutes. Pinkston might not have the offensive game that Zak Irvin has, but he basically has the home court advantage with the experience included as he's a Brooklyn native. Look for Pinkston to provide another solid effort in the finals tonight.

Both Daniel Ochefu and Dylan Ennis weren't big factors in last night's game, but Ochefu's offense wasn't really needed as he cleaned up on the glass and Ennis simply had a poor game. Ennis has surprisingly led the Wildcats offensively and it will be interesting to see how he fare's against another top rated team. As for Ochefu, expect him to look for his offense more. He only put up 3 shots against VCU and in order to win this game, the Wildcats will need much more of a contribution from the 6 foot 11 junior who was averaging 10 points per game before last night's victory.


Picking Villanova has worked well for me, but they don't have the go to guys on the offensive end to run away with this game .The game will be close and I'll gladly take the 4.5 points in this situation for my NCAA basketball picks.

NCAA Basketball Picks: Michigan +4.5 at 5Dimes

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