April 2, 2016 (11:50 AM ET)
There is one play today.
It is an above average 4% pick that was released back on Thursday, two days in advance!
March was an incredibly profitable month (38 units) and is just the beginning. After all, SPS has averaged 9 winning months and 3 losing ones per year, resulting in lucrative annual returns. Long-term clients will also recall that we put together 7 consecutive winning months between April 2015 - October 2015 and can do so again this year!
Take Villanova -2 spread against Oklahoma for 4% of the bankroll.
There is no question that these two teams are among the best in the country so it stands to reason that there are not many faults to find with either, however this is a matchup that we do believe favors the Wildcats. While there is no question that Buddy Hield has been making noise all season long and has been the driving force of Oklahoma's success this season. This is certainly not a knock on Hield as he is an amazing player; however, it's always a dangerous proposition to have a single player shoulder a bulk of the offensive load for a team at this point in the tournament. While Hield certainly has role players around him, he is ultimately the player who will have the ball in his hands as much as possible. Meanwhile, Villanova is a team that gets something from every player on the floor, and there isn't one star who has to be accounted for at all times. The Wildcats are balanced, have good length, don't make many mistakes with the ball and that makes them arguably the most consistent team in the country. The same can't be said about Oklahoma.
Guard Josh Hart is Villanova's top scorer and he is seemingly at his best when he is aggressive with the basketball. He can rebound and is a disruptive defender, with his quick hands creating a lot of live-ball turnovers, which could be an issue for the Sooners in this contest. Guard Ryan Archidiacono is a steady ball handler who doesn't try to do too much but always seems to be in the right position. He is the unquestioned a leader of this team on the court and head coach Jay Wright has gone to the media many times to say that Archidiacono is an extension of himself and knows what he has to do on the court. He has a knack for drawing fouls, which creates foul problems for opponents in the backcourt. Forwards Daniel Ochefu and Kris Jenkins are a strong frontcourt with different skill sets. Ochefu is a physical player, the muscle inside who gets to the boards and finishes through contact. Jenkins is more of a slasher in the paint, but he can knock down the open jumper and uses his length well on the defensive end.
Villanova has perfected the role of wearing down teams not only physically, but mentally as well. As we previously stated, they are extremely balanced but they are also patient as well. Their ball movement is top notch and they are always positioning defenders and moving the ball to find the open man. They are not a grind-it-out team by any means, but their patience in ensuring they take high percentage shots sets the team apart. They are also a team that plays tight, disciplined defense which allows them to control the tempo as we saw in their victory over the red-hot Kansas Jayhawks. They are also extremely proficient at forcing opponents to make mistakes and when they are at their best, they knock their opponents off their game and rattle them, which could be the difference maker in this contest against a jump shooting team like Oklahoma.
Oklahoma isn't a team that has lost many games this season, however when they do lose, there's no mystery about what went wrong. They are primarily a jump-shooting team, and when shots aren't falling or Hield is having a tough night, the team struggles to adjust. The Sooners' also lack a consistent post scorer, which we believe is going to be an issue in this contest against the guards of Villanova. OU also can be a bit loose with the ball at times and the lack of a rim protector on the defensive end can be a problem vs. teams that like to get to the bucket as Villanova has shown that they can. Villanova is simply the more diverse team on the offensive end and we believe that is going to show in this matchup.
There has yet to be a team that has been able to slow down Buddy Hield, but we believe Nova will be up to the task. We have seen at times this season that when Hield gets into foul trouble or the guards are too sloppy with the ball, it creates a lot of problems for Oklahoma. Length and pressure have been issues for the Sooners this season as well and when Oklahoma has to depend on its bigs to make an impact, it has usually spelled trouble for Lon Kruger's team. This is also a big time revenge game for the Wildcats. Villanova has only tasted defeat 5 times this season and their worst loss of the season was to these same Oklahoma Sooners, 78-55 back on December 7th. In that contest, Villanova struggled mightily from beyond the arc going just 4 of 32 (12%). It was by far their worst shooting performance of the season as they just continued to shoot from distance. We expect a much different gameplan from Jay Wright in this matchup. There is no question the Wildcat players will be looking to atone for that performance and will be at their best in this contest. We certainly don’t expect another poor shooting performance like that once again, this team is simply too efficient on offense for that to happen. This will no doubt be an entertaining battle between two top-notch programs; however we feel that Villanova is the more complete team at this point in the season and should punch their ticket to their first National Championship game since 1985!
Other notable facts to consider:
- Wildcats are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 neutral site games.
- Sooners are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games.
- Wildcats are 34-15-2 ATS in their last 51 non-conference games.
- Sooners are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 NCAA Tournament games.
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