Villanova Strong Favorite in Its NCAA Tournament Opener Against Delaware

Villanova Strong Favorite in Its NCAA Tournament Opener Against Delaware
By Lou Monaco
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

A very familiar program again gives fans of Pennsylvania sports betting a lot to consider during March Madness.

Coming off its fifth Big East Conference Tournament title in the last seven years on Saturday, second-seeded Villanova is preparing for another NCAA Tournament run. The Wildcats’ journey seeking their third recent NCAA championship and fourth overall starts on Friday against a virtual neighbor, 15th-seeded Delaware, in the first round of the South Region in Pittsburgh (CBS, 2:45).

The winner of Friday's game will advance to the second round Sunday and will face the winner of seventh-seeded Ohio State and 10th-seeded Loyola Chicago. The winner advances to the Sweet 16 in San Antonio, Texas on March 24 and 26.

Villanova (26-7) is the lone Pennsylvania representative in the NCAA Tournament, so let’s take a look at the odds from two mobile sportsbooks for the Wildcats in their first-round matchup and the tournament overall.

If you are interested in getting out to a Pennsylvania casino to watch March Madness, here is a look at some specials being offered.


A Look at the Odds from 2 Sportsbooks

Caesars Sportsbook has Villanova as a 15.5-point favorite over Delaware (22-12) and at a +1600 moneyline to win the national championship.

WynnBET opened with the Wildcats as a 16.5-point favorite over the Blue Hens but that now has dropped to -15. The Blue Hens are +800 on the moneyline and the game’s over/under total points has been posted at 133.

Villanova is at +2500 to hoist the trophy in New Orleans, with 4.5% of the handle and 3.1% of the tickets held on WynnBET.


Villanova vs. Delaware Over the Years

Villanova is 15-0 in its history against Delaware, with the last meeting on Dec. 14, 2017 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. This will be the first time that the schools will meet in the tournament.

Delaware came from the fifth seed to win the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament. The Blue Hens beat North Carolina-Wilmington, 59-55, in last Tuesday’s final and knocked off Drexel and top-seeded Towson along the way.Delaware is coached by Martin Ingelsby, the son of Tom Ingelsby, a star on the Villanova team that lost to UCLA in the 1971 title game.

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More on the Recent Champions

Villanova has played NCAA Tournament games in Pittsburgh once before, in 2018. The Wildcats were the No. 1 seed and went on to take their second national title in a span of three years.

This is the seventh time since 2010 that Hall of Fame head coach Jay Wright has the Wildcats as a two seed or higher in the NCAA Tournament. Villanova went 16-4 in the Big East regular season and won three consecutive battles in conference tournament action last week over St. John’s, Connecticut and Creighton.

The Wildcats have reached the NCAA Tournament for the 16th time in the last 17 seasons and the ninth season in a row (not including the 2020 tournament, which was cancelled). Villanova finished with a No. 7 ranking in the NET and owns eight Quad 1 victories on the year, with its overall resume bolstered by 14 victories at road and neutral sites.

Numbers Expected from State This Week

It is expected that Pennsylvania will release its handle and revenue numbers later this week.

It will be interesting to see how the February numbers shape up after a record report in January.

Total sports betting handle in the Keystone State came close to the $800 million mark, posting a record $793.72 million in January. That breaks the old record of $776.28 million, which was set in October 2021.

January online sports betting jumped to a record $737.44 million, up 6.4% from December’s $693.27 million and 27.2% better than January 2021 ($579.94 million). The new record topped $714.09 million, also set in October. Mobile betting ticked upward to 92.9%, up a modest 0.5% up from December’s 92.4% mark.



Lou Monaco had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene with emphasis on NJ and PA. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media ( in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.

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