Peterson: Best bet for Villanova vs. UCLA


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 %plussign% 4

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Greg Peterson
Greg, originally from Wisconsin and a UW Oshkosh alumnus, is widely recognized in the sports media industry, particularly for his expertise in college basketball, which earned him the nickname "Hoops" from Brent Musburger. He has worked with Vanderbilt and Oregon's flagship stations and joined VSIN in 2017. Greg contributes to various channels, hosting "The Baseball Betting Show" and "Coast To Coast Hoops" podcasts, and writes for DK Nation, building on his experience with over 500 articles for the New York Post. Known for his analytical approach, he produces daily spreadsheets for college basketball and MLB games, focusing on educating bettors about the importance of betting on numbers rather than teams.