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USATSI

Teams that have seen a lot of recent March Madness success meet up in the Elite Eight on Saturday when the No. 5 seed Houston Cougars take on No. 2 seed Villanova in the 2022 NCAA Tournament. The Cougars, who have won multiple games in four straight NCAA Tournaments, made a run to the Final Four last year. Jay Wright has now led Villanova to at least the Elite Eight five times, and the Wildcats are looking for their third championship since the 2015-16 season.

Tipoff is set for 6:09 p.m. ET in San Antonio. Caesars Sportsbook lists the Cougars as three-point favorites in the latest Villanova vs. Houston odds, while the over-under for total points is set at 128. Before making any Houston vs. Villanova picks, be sure to check out the college basketball predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's proven computer model.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past five-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated an impressive profit of over $1,300 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Villanova vs. Houston and revealed its coveted picks and predictions for the NCAA Tournament 2022. You can head to SportsLine to see all of the model's college basketball picks. Here are several college basketball odds and trends for Houston vs. Villanova:

  • Houston vs. Villanova spread: Cougars -3
  • Houston vs. Villanova over-under: 127 points
  • Houston vs. Villanova money line: Cougars -160, Wildcats +140
  • HOU: It is 12-4 ATS in non-conference games this season.
  • NOVA: It is 8-5 ATS in its games against non-Big East foes. 

Why Houston can cover

Houston has been exceptional against the spread this season, going 25-12 ATS. The Cougars' cover percentage goes up even more when playing away from home as they've covered 70 percent of the time in that scenario. And while this is a neutral-site setting, the Cougars should have the crowd edge playing just a few hours away from their campus.

Houston's defense is elite and it just shut down a powerful Arizona offense. Villanova brings a strong 3-point attack into this one, but Houston's pressure should keep the Wildcats from easily getting into their sets and finding clean looks. With 10 covers in their last 11 games, the Cougars have been continually underestimated, and they'll look to keep that trend going with a trip to the Final Four on the line in this one. 

Why Villanova can cover

Villanova is 19-16-1 ATS this season but has covered in four of its last five. It put on a strong defensive performance Thursday night, winning despite poor shooting, as it held Michigan to 34.4 percent from the field. Jermaine Samuels was a big part of that, blocking two shots and getting two steals and challenging Wolverines shots. He had 22 points and seven rebounds and is averaging 11 points and six boards this season.

The Wildcats went 7-5-1 ATS this season against ranked opponents, and they finished sixth in the Associated Press poll while the Cougars were 15th. They hold opponents to 40.8 percent shooting overall (36th in Division I) and 30.7 from 3-point range (38th). Opponents average 62.7 points per game (21st in nation), and Villanova outscores foes by almost 10 points (19th). Collin Gillespie is the leading scorer at 15.3 per game, and he hits 41.5 percent of his 3-point attempts, making more than 100 this season. He hit four Thursday night to finish with 12 points and six rebounds.

How to make Houston vs. Villanova picks

SportsLine's model is leaning over on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 138 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits well over 50 percent of the time. You can only see the model's pick at SportsLine.

So who wins Villanova vs. Houston? And which side of the spread hits well over 50 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its college basketball picks, and find out.