NCAA Basketball Picks: Trust in Villanova (-15) to Dismantle Akron

David Lawrence

Sunday, November 22, 2015 3:03 PM UTC

Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015 3:03 PM UTC

The Zips pulled off an upset earlier in this NCAA basketball year, that upset was of a grade-B variety. If they pull off an upset Sunday they will have achieved a bigger level of satisfaction.

The Zips started their season with an easy win at home against lower-level competition, but Arkansas – a team which was the number five seed in the NCAA tournament last season – represented a very challenging opponent for Akron earlier this week. The Zips were unfazed, and they ran past the Razorbacks scored almost 90 points. This was a very encouraging development for a team which needs to learn how high its ceiling of potential really is. Akron has stepped into unfamiliar territory and managed to do very well. This is exactly the kind of knowledge a team and a coaching staff want to be able to bring to a game such as this one. Being able to play well, especially on offense, in a road environment carries the knowledge that if a good three-point shooting team such as Villanova gets on a little bit of a hot streak, Akron can keep pace for at least a little while. If Akron can ride out the storm thanks to the offensive firepower it displayed against Akron. The Zips won’t be able to withstand Villanova’s best level of play for 40 minutes, but if they can deal with the 10 to 15 minutes in which Villanova plays well and can drag down the Wildcats in the other 25 to 30 minutes, they will have a legitimate chance in this game.

Villanova is 3-0. The Wildcats have mowed down each and every team they’ve played this season. They crushed Nebraska in the second game of the season, and they were even more brutal in their stomping of East Tennessee State this past Friday by 35 points. The Wildcats are without Darrun Hilliard, who is now in the NBA with the Detroit Pistons, but they still have a deep team, with Ryan Arcidiacono, Daniel Ochefu, and new guard Jalen Brunson. They are still quick and long and athletic. They still shoot the three at a high level. They are still deep and are able to come at opponents in waves. This is a level of power and open-court explosiveness which Akron is not ready for. The Wildcats are playing the way they want to play, and they’re doing so consistently.


Home-Away Trends
Akron is playing its second road game of the season. Villanova won its third home game against East Tennessee State the other night.


Akron guard Noah Robotham is out indefinitely with a knee injury.

Villanova forward Tim Delaney is out indefinitely with a hip injury.


What’s The Pick?
Villanova opened -14.5 on the NCAA Basketball Odds. It is clear, though, that Villanova has set a high bar for Akron to clear. It would be a great shock if the Zips were able to get anywhere close to the Wildcats in this one. Take Villanova with your NCAA Basketball Picks. They should win by at least 20 if not more.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Villanova (-15) -110 at Pinnacle

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