Let’s be honest: This is the game everyone wanted to see in the Big East semifinals. But it wasn’t an easy ride for both of these teams to get here.
The Villanova Wildcats were trailing St. John’s Red for most of yesterday's quarterfinal. Of course, Villanova took the lead with seconds left and demoralized a St. John’s group that played its tails off. On the other hand, UConn took control against Seton Hall and never looked back in a comfortable 62-52 win.
Now we’ve got a college basketball betting rematch of a February 22 contest where the Wildcats squeaked by the Huskies at home.
Will tonight’s game see a different result? Get our thoughts with our college basketball picks and predictions for Villanova vs. UConn in the Big East semifinals on Friday, March 11.
Villanova vs UConn odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
The Wildcats opened as -4 favorites but have now dropped to -3 at most outlets, with some even showing a 2-point spread, at the time of writing. The total, however, hasn’t moved from 131.5.
Villanova vs UConn predictions
Predictions made on 3/11/2022 at 8:13 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Villanova vs UConn game info
• Location: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
• Date: Friday, March 11, 2022
• Tip-off: 9:00 p.m. ET
• TV: FS1
Villanova vs UConn betting preview
Villanova: Nnanna Nkoku F (Questionable), Jermaine Samuels F (Questionable).
Connecticut: Jordan Hawkins G (Questionable).
Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Wildcats are 1-4-1 ATS in their last six games against teams with a winning record. Find more NCAA betting trends for Villanova vs. Connecticut.
Villanova vs UConn 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.
It’s been a long time coming for UConn fans but they’ve finally got a team to cheer for again with the Huskies in the conference semifinals.
UConn has been dominant on the offensive glass this year, grabbing about 38% of offensive rebounds. The Huskies don’t have the best effective field goal percentage but because the offense gets a ton of second chances — and shoots 35.3% from beyond the arc — the offense stays productive.
They will be in tough against Villanova, however, as Wildcats clamp down on the perimeter in allowing foes to shoot just 31.7% from three. 'Nova does limit foul shots but won’t dominate the defensive glass — leaving UConn's best chance at winning being by exploiting the offensive glass.
But here's the thing: Villanova is even better than the Huskies on the offensive end. The Wildcats shoot 36.4% from deep, also pound the offensive glass and commit fewer turnovers than the Huskies.
The biggest difference, however, will be that Villanova will get to the line more often — and when the Wildcats get to the line, it’s game over. Villanova is shooting 82.6% from the foul line this year, which is the best in the nation, while the Huskies have fouled at an above-average rate and don’t defend the three well, with opponents sinking 34.6% of 3-point attempts.
Last night wasn’t fun for 'Nova but the Wildcats got by — and now have a chance to breathe, regroup and win tonight.
Prediction: Villanova -2 (-110)
The Wildcats love to shoot the three-ball, sitting 44th in the nation at 25.6 attempts per game, and are right around the Top-50 schools in 3PT%. Combined with the Huskies giving up the second-highest opponent 3-point percentage in the Big East this year, 'Nova should be able to convert a lot of triples tonight.
On top of that, the Huskies' current foul trend — second most opponent free-throw attempts per game in the conference — continues, the Wildcats will be poised to feast at the line, adding plenty of free points.
Now, as mentioned above, UConn isn’t the most efficient offense but the Huskies will get plenty of opportunities to score courtesy of that No. 3-ranked offensive rebounding unit that should again provide plenty of second-chance points.
Villanova is a slow, but efficient, offense. We know they’ll convert at a high rate, while UConn will just pound the glass to keep this close.
We'll lean with the Over.
Prediction: Over 131.5 (-110)
Villanova needs two things to work in its favor to win this game — get hot from three when given open looks and get to the foul line and convert as it has all season.
If the Wildcats can limit UConn's trips to the charity stripe and just slightly contain the Huskies' prowess on the glass, Villanova will pull away and win this game.
Many will look at yesterday's game and get scared off — but the Wildcats are getting another chance to regroup and should do just that under one of the best coaches in the nation in Jay Wright.
Pick: Villanova -3 (-110)
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