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Villanova vs Kansas Final Four Picks: Jayhawks Punch Ticket to Finals

Villanova and Kansas have battled all season to get to this point, with just two wins separating them from college basketball glory. See why we're rolling with the Jayhawks to cover the spread in our Final Four picks and predictions.

Last Updated: Apr 2, 2022 3:07 PM ET Read Time: 4 min

The Final Four tips off tonight with the Villanova Wildcats taking on the Kansas Jayhawks.

The Jayhawks are second on the March Madness odds board and college basketball betting lines opened with them as 3.5-point favorites before shifting to -4.5. That said, it won't be too simple for the Jayhawks to topple Jay Wright and the Wildcats, who have taken two of the last five national championships.

Here are our free March Madness picks and predictions — in addition to our favorite player prop picks — for Villanova vs. Kansas in March Madness action on April 2. 

Villanova vs Kansas odds

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

This line hit the board with Kansas at -3.5 with the Over/Under at 132.5. As of Wednesday afternoon, early money has come in on Kansas shifting its line to -4.5 while the total has ticked up to 133.

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.

Villanova vs Kansas predictions

Predictions made on 3/30/2022 at 1 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Villanova vs Kansas game info

Location: Caesars Superdome, New Orleans, LA
Date: Saturday, April 2, 2022
Tip-off: 6:09 p.m. ET
TV: TBS

Villanova vs Kansas betting preview

Injuries

Villanova: Justin Moore G (Out), Jordan Longino G (Out).
Kansas: Bob Pettiford G (Out).
Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Under is 8-1 in Villanova's last nine neutral site games. Find more NCAA betting trends for Villanova vs. Kansas.

Villanova vs Kansas 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

The Wildcats have won nine games in a row and are fresh off a 50-44 victory against Houston where they won outright as 3-point dogs. That was a defensive battle with neither side shooting better than 30% from the floor and it was a costly win for the Wildcats who lost Justin Moore to a torn Achilles tendon in the final minute of the game. 

Moore was second on the team with 14.8 points per game and was also an extremely valuable defender. Losing him is just as much of a punch in the gut as losing point guard Collin Gillespie was last year just before March Madness. 

What makes Moore's absence even worse is Nova's lack of depth. Caleb Daniels was a fantastic sixth-man but he'll be pushed into the starting lineup and nobody else on the bench has averaged more than 10 minutes per game.

Jordan Longino (1.8 points and 8.6 mpg) had been one of their most-used reserves but also suffered a season-ending injury in the tournament. 

Now it'll be up to Bryan Antoine and Chris Arcidiacono to step up and considering that they have combined for 19.1 mpg and 3.0 ppg on just 25% shooting I'm not convinced that they'll be of any help. 

Kansas on the other hand has some of the best depth in the country. While the Jayhawks had been stringing together wins in the tournament, they had been doing so despite subpar performances from Big 12 Player of the Year Ochai Agbaji and big man David McCormack.

Well, both of those guys broke out of slumps in the Elite Eight with Agbaji dropping 18 points and adding four steals and McCormack scoring 15 points while going 6 of 7 from the field. 

Kansas overcame a six-point halftime deficit in that contest and ended up destroying the Hurricanes by outscoring them 47-15 in the second half. I think the Jayhawk's depth pays off again and they come on strong down the stretch to cover this spread. 

Prediction: Kansas -4.5 (-110 at FanDuel)

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Along with our March Madness best betting sites, check out the best bonuses available for the tournament.

Over/Under analysis

The Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games went a commanding 11-1 to the Under and while this total is sitting at a very low 133, we're still leaning towards the Under.

The absence of Moore will hurt Villanova's offense, especially with Gillispie struggling. Gillispie is averaging just nine points and 1.5 assists per game in the last two games and most concerning is that 14 of his 20 field goal attempts came from beyond the arc. 

Only one other Power Six conference team took a higher percentage of their shots from 3-point range. That sort of 3-point dependency could be bad news for Nova against a Jayhawks team that ranks 17th in the country by holding opponents to 29.6% shooting from long range.  

The Wildcats scored just 50 points on 29% shooting from the field against Houston and they weren't much better offensively in the Sweet 16 where they put up 63 points on 37% shooting versus Michigan. 

Now they take on Kansas which has limited opponents to just 61.3 ppg since the end of the regular season. 

That said, the Wildcats match up very well defensively with the Jayhawks. Nova does a great job of preventing penetration and also keeps teams out of transition, both areas their opponent excels in. 

On defense, expect Wright to try to force Kansas into as many half-court sets and mid-range shots as possible while on offense, the Wildcats will try to soak up the clock with one of the highest average length of possession times in the nation. 

With Villanova 6-1 to the Under in its last seven games and the Jayhawks going 7-2 to the Under in their previous nine contests against teams with a winning percentage above .600, we're taking the Under here.

Prediction: Under 133 (-110 at DraftKings)

Best bet

Any time you have these scenarios with key players sidelined you have perceived betting value versus actual value.

It's tough to know just how much Moore matters to the spread or whether this line is a bit of an over-reaction until we see the Wildcats without him. So we'd prefer to take that factor out of the equation as much as possible. 

Daniels isn't actually a massive dropoff from Moore in the starting lineup but the domino really hurts their bench since they typically play six-deep. That said, Villanova should be able to keep up in the early going especially with Wright likely running sets that Kansas might be less prepared for.

The Wildcats have gotten off to good starts lately. They have won the race to 20 points in each of their previous three games with the closest being a 20-15 start versus the Wolverines. 

Meanwhile, the Jayhawks haven't really played a complete game all tournament and came out very flat against Miami. Kansas might be able to separate in the second half but we like Nova to hit the 20-point plateau first. 

Pick: Race to 20 points - Villanova (+130 at bet365Bet365)

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