Villanova vs. Western Michigan - 11/17/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Western Michigan Broncos (1-1) at Villanova Wildcats (2-0)
College Basketball: Thursday, November 17, 2016 at 11:30 am (TD Arena)
The Line: Villanova Wildcats -23 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
TV: ESPN 2
The Western Michigan Broncos and 3rd ranked Villanova Wildcats will square off at TD Arena in the Gildan Charleston Classic this Thursday morning.
The Western Michigan Broncos fell to 1-1 on the season after being defeated by the Oakland Golden Grizzlies, 77-60, this past Monday. Western Michigan struggled offensively throughout the game and allowed the Golden Grizzlies to go on a 17-4 early in the 2nd half to put this game away for Oakland. Western Michigan shot just 35.5% from the field and 20.0% (3-15) from beyond the arc in the loss. Leading the way for the Broncos was Seth Dugan who had 9 points and 15 rebounds. On the season, Western Michigan has been led by Tucker Haymond (16.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 3.5 apg, 2.0 spg), Thomas Wilder (12.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.5 apg, 2.5 spg), and Brandon Johnson (12.0 ppg, 9.5 rpg). Western Michigan has one of the better one-two punches in Haymond and Wilder however, will miss Connor Tava who decided to graduate-transfer to Boston College. Early indications look as if big-man Seth Dugan is going to have more of an opportunity to play this season and the Broncos will hope that incoming freshman Reggie Jones will be able to provide a spark off the Broncos bench.
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The 3rd ranked Villanova Wildcats improved to 2-0 on the season after they were able to defeat the 15th ranked Purdue Boilermakers, 79-76, this past Monday. In an early season test for the Wildcats, Villanova was able to keep a lead over the Boilermakers throughout the majority of the 2nd half and got some key FT’s from Josh Hart towards the end to help secure the victory. Villanova shot 48.2% from the field and 41.2% (7-17) from beyond the arc in the victory. Leading the way for the Wildcats was Josh Hart who had 24 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals, and an assist. On the season, the Wildcats have been led by Josh Hart (18.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.0 apg, 2.0 spg), Jalen Brunson (13.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.5 spg), and Kris Jenkins (12.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.5 bpg). Villanova is primed to make another run for the National Championship with both Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins returning however, will need to hope that Jalen Brunson can help fill the void left by the departures of Ryan Arcidiacono (12.5 ppg, 4.2 apg) and Daniel Ochefu (10.0 ppg, 7.5 rpg). Jay Wright will hope that returning swingman Mikal Bridges and Fordham transfer, Eric Paschall can provide significant contributions for the Wildcats this season.
The Broncos are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games following a straight up loss however, just 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games. The Wildcats are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS win and 8-0 ATS in their last 8 games overall.
Western Michigan has some experience and talent in Tucker Haymond and Thomas Wilder, however, if these two struggle, the Broncos lack of depth could be a major problem for the Broncos this season. Villanova lost a few key pieces from last year’s National Championship team, however, is still loaded with talent and should one again be one of the better defensive teams in the country. This is a lot of points to cover in game in which Villanova might come out sluggish after the battle they had Monday, however, Western Michigan isn’t projected to really be that talented of a team in the MAC this season and as I think Jay Wright will put together a solid game plan in slowing down the Broncos limited weapons, I’m taking Villanova to cover this large spread. Take Villanova to cover.