Peterson: Best bet for Villanova vs. UCLA

By Greg Peterson  ( 

November 12, 2021 12:42 AM

The Villanova Wildcats make the trek west to face the UCLA Bruins in a highly-anticipated battle of top-five teams. This will be one to remember when March rolls around and the Selection Committee is going through the seeding process.

Villanova Wildcats at UCLA Bruins (-4.5, 138.5)

Both teams are coming off big wins by more 35 points in their season openers against over-matched foes. In the process, however, UCLA lost forward Cody Riley to a MCL sprain. He averaged 10 points and over five rebounds per game last season.

Villanova is led by fifth-year point guard Collin Gillespie, who is averaging 4.5 assists to 1.8 turnovers per game while making 36.4% of his 3-point shots since the start of the 2019-20 season. He had 13 points in the opener against Mount St. Mary's.

UCLA's ability to take care of the ball will be a key against Villanova, a team not normally known for generating tons of turnovers. The Wildcats had 13 steals in 63 possessions in their season opener against Mount St. Mary’s, the second-highest steals per possession rate of any team that played opening night.

Since the start of the 2017-18 season, Villanova is 17-10 against the spread versus ranked teams and will be counting on that same success in Westwood on Friday.

Pick: Villanova + 4

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