Villanova vs. La Salle NCAA Basketball Preview and Best Bet

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The Villanova Wildcats mascot "Will D. Cat". Tom Pennington/Getty Images/AFP

Can Villanova continue to limit turnovers and hit the three-point shot at a high rate against La Salle, on the road? Let’s break down this match and make our college basketball pick at top sportsbooks.

Villanova Wildcats vs. La Salle Explorers

Sunday, November 28, 2021 – 6:00 PM EST at The Palestra

The Villanova Wildcats have had a tough schedule to start the season. Things are going to calm down for a little bit. The Wildcats already defeated Tennessee and lost to UCLA and Purdue. They’ll take on Baylor and Syracuse later in the season but for now, they’ll head out on the road to take on the La Salle Explorers in The Palestra.

Villanova is one of the best offenses in the nation. The Wildcats have an adjusted offensive efficiency of 117.8, which is third in the nation, and also have an effective field goal percentage of 56.6 percent. What stands out most for the Wildcats has been the limited turnovers.

The Wildcats have turned the ball over under 10 percent of possessions this season and are the number one team in the nation in limiting turnovers on the offensive end. When you’re able to get shots up, more points can be scored. That’s the case for Villanova. The Wildcats are shooting 43.7 percent from downtown and 80.7 percent from the foul line. They’ve also hit 48.8 percent inside the arc. Villanova has plenty of scorers including Justin Moore, Collin Gillespie, Brandon Slater, and Jermaine Samuels. All four of these players average over 14 points per game and over 30 minutes of action per game.

Slater is currently ranked as the best offensive player in the nation via KenPom with an offensive rating of 168.3. However, the defense hasn’t been nearly as good. The Wildcats are allowing a 53.3 percent effective field goal percentage while giving up 31.8 percent offensive rebounds. On top of that, Villanova is allowing teams to shoot 35.1 percent from deep and 54.5 percent from inside the arc.

To make things really interesting, the Wildcats have watched teams shoot 80.6 percent from the foul line, which is just extremely unlucky. However, La Salle is turning the ball over 20.9 percent and will easily be losing the turnover battle. The Explorers are just an average offense, shooting 32.7 percent from three and 48 percent from inside. There’s a chance La Salle can win some battles on the offensive glass, however.

Defensively, La Salle is aggressive and fouls plenty. However, the Explorers have been able to force 22.2 percent turnovers. It’ll be much more difficult against Villanova to force turnovers but it’ll be interesting to see if La Salle can continue ball-hawking.

Prediction

As long as Villanova continues to limit turnovers and shoot at a really high rate from behind the arc, the Wildcats will cover this game. I mentioned earlier that Villanova has watched teams shoot 80.6 percent from the foul line against them.

La Salle, on the other hand, has shot 64.8 percent from the line. Those extra foul shots that don’t fall could be the difference between covering and not covering. I’ll ride Villanova here and believe the Wildcats win by 20 or more, covering the spread.

NCAAB Pick: Villanova -18.5 (-110) via BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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