UCLA-Villanova Betting Odds

As we dive into the Villanova-Tennessee betting odds, I think the most important thing to note right off the bat is the simple fact that we know so much about what this Villanova team is and we have almost no idea what this iteration of Tennessee truly is.

That’s not an insult, mind you.

Villanova is old. They are who they are. They are led by a pair of fifth-year seniors and are consistently as old as any program in college basketball. Collin Gillespie is still around. Jermaine Samuels is still around. Jay Wright is still around. We know what we need to know about this group.

Tennessee, on the other hand, added the piece that they were missing last season — a superstar point guard — but in the process, they lost some of their most important pieces from last year’s group. As good as Kennedy Chandler has been, we still have not seen Tennessee get tested this season, and we do not necessarily know what these pieces are at this point.

So where should be investing on the Villanova-Tennessee betting odds?

Longtime college basketball writer Rob Dauster, the co-founder of The Field of 68 Network is here to break down the Hall of Fame Classic game between Villanova and Tennesseeall.


GAME TIME: 1:00 p.m. ET on ESPNNews
MONEYLINE: Villanova -146 ML, Tennessee +122 ML
SPREAD: Villanova -3
TOTAL: 146


Right off the bat, I think that the most important thing to mention here is that we’ve seen Villanova play at their best.

They should have won at UCLA.

On the first Friday of the college basketball season, Jay Wright’s team went into Westwood and led the Bruins 60-50 with eight minutes left in a raucous Pauley Pavilion, but the combination of a bench that was too green to play in a game like that and a tip that came at 11:30 p.m. ET, the Wildcats ran out of gas by the time we hit 2 a.m. back East.

Tennessee, on the other hand, has looked terrific with Kennedy Chandler running the show. He is the initiator that they have been missing. The Vols had a roster full of finishers last season. The same can be said about this year’s group. What they needed was someone that could create that first disturbance in a defense, someone that could get a paint touch, draw a help defender and create a close-out situation for a teammate. Chandler is that guy, and with the likes of Justin Powell, John Fulkerson and Josiah Jordan-James on the roster, there are pieces that can be a threat here.

Now, here’s my take: I think the Vols are still flying a bit under the radar. They were an elite roster that was missing a point guard last season, and due to the fact that they collapsed down the stretch, people are overlooking what they could end up being this season. But this line is currently sitting at Villanova (-3) at Bet Rivers. The line on KenPom is Villanova (-5), and that’s about where I make it as well. How much would Villanova be favored if they had won a game they played at after midnight their time on the road, a game they led by 10 with eight minutes left?

A lot more than three points.

So the value here is on Villanova, and that is the side that I will be backing.