The Villanova Wildcats are 5-point betting favorites over Kansas in a Final Four matchup between the only two top seeds remaining.
The Villanova Wildcats (34-4) entered the 2018 NCAA Tournament ranked second in the country by pollsters but as the favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com to cut down the nets for the second time in three years.
The East Region champion Wildcats hope to move one step closer to that goal Saturday when they take on the Midwest's Kansas Jayhawks (31-7) as 5-point betting favorites in a Final Four matchup between the only two top seeds that made it past the first four rounds of the Big Dance.
Villanova is the lone surviving team that has won each of its first four games by double digits, going a perfect 4-0 against the spread, according to the OddsShark College Basketball Database. Going back even further, the Wildcats are riding a nine-game winning streak (7-2 ATS), which is the second-shortest of the remaining schools, with the Jayhawks sitting at seven in a row (5-2 ATS) heading into the Final Four.
While it is not a surprise to see Villanova in San Antonio, the same cannot be said of Kansas despite being a No. 1 seed. The second-seeded Duke Blue Devils and third-seeded Michigan State Spartans were both getting more love in the Midwest from oddsmakers and bettors alike, but the Jayhawks ultimately proved to be underrated in advancing to their first Final Four since 2012 and 15th in school history overall.
The Jayhawks improved to 6-1 straight up and ATS in their last seven games as underdogs by upsetting the Blue Devils 85-81 in overtime last Sunday in the Midwest Regional Final.
Both of these teams like to run up and down the floor and shoot three-pointers, so the one with the better defense figures to be playing for the national championship on Monday. Even though the Wildcats struggled from behind the three-point arc in the East Regional Final - sinking only 4-of-24 shots (16.7 percent) - they still found a way to win 71-59 and cover as 6-point favorites on Sunday.
Villanova, the even-money betting favorite on the updated 2018 NCAA Tournament odds, also managed to upset Kansas 64-59 as a 2-point underdog two years ago in the South Regional Final en route to winning the national title while making just 4-of-18 from three-point range (22.2 percent). The Wildcats are 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings, and their defense may be the key again.