Villanova exploded on Kansas Saturday, which explains in part why the Wildcats are favored by so much for Monday night’s NCAA championship game against Michigan in San Antonio (9:20 pm ET, TBS). Are we giving the points with our free NCAA tournament betting pick, or taking ’em?
Most NCAA championship game odds opened Villanova at -6.5 over Michigan, with an over/under of 145, and both numbers were holding steady in early betting.
Bettors thinking the Wolverines might win this game outright could get around +260 on the moneyline.
Villanova is back in the national championship game for the second time in the last three seasons, after crushing Kansas Saturday 95-79. The ‘Cats pounced out to a 22-4 lead on the Jayhawks and later pushed that advantage to 22 points in the second half on their way to a surprisingly easy victory and the cover at -5.
‘Nova shot a hot 55 percent from the floor on the night and hit 18 of 40 from 3-point land.
The Wildcats earlier tournament wins came by 26 points over Radford, 23 over Alabama, 12 over West Virginia and 12 over Texas Tech.
Michigan, meanwhile, is back in the championship game for the second time in the last six seasons, after coming from behind to beat Cinderella Loyola-Chicago Saturday 69-57. The Wolverines trailed the Ramblers by 10 about six minutes into the second half, but rocked a 38-16 run to end the game for the win and the cover at -5.
Michigan only shot 42 percent from the field Saturday, but held what was a hot Loyola outfit to 43 percent.
The Wolverines’ earlier tournament victories came by 14 points over Montana, one over Houston, 27 over Texas A&M and four over Florida State.
Free NCAA Championship Game Pick
The Big Ten is 0-6 in NCAA championship games since Michigan State won it all back in 2000, and we’re guessing the Big Ten will come up short again Monday night. Villanova is simply the best team in college basketball, and most importantly owns the advantage in the front court match-up. That’s where games like this are won and lost, right? The Wildcats also shoot 78 percent from the free-throw line, which helps tremendously when it comes to covering spreads late in the game. The ‘Cats probably won’t make 18 threes again Monday night, but 9 or 10 might be enough. We’re giving the points with Villanova.