The Villanova Wildcats take on the Maine Black Bears in a showdown of Colonial Athletic Association foes. Kickoff is set for noon on Saturday, April 3rd, inside Harold Alfond Stadium in Orono, ME.
Villanova Wildcats Betting Preview
Villanova is back on the turf three weeks after playing their last game. The Wildcats were scheduled to face New Hampshire last weekend, but that game was canceled. Villanova sits in fourth place in the CAA North standings.
The Wildcats won a low-scoring contest in their spring opener and followed up with an overtime shootout defeat. Villanova’s offense averages 26.5 points while their defense surrenders 26.5 points per game.
Over its first two contests, Villanova has featured a balanced offensive attack that averages 205.0 yards on the ground and 210.5 yards through the air. Leading the Wildcats offense is quarterback Daniel Smith, who’s completed 28-of-58 passes for 358 yards and one touchdown. Smith is also second on the team in rushing with 120 yards on the ground and one score.
Villanova has four rushers that have carried the ball 11 times or more this season. Highlighting the running back room is Justin Covington. Covington has 17 carries for 151 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
In the passing game, Rayjoun Pringle is the primary target outside. Pringle has hauled in ten receptions for 179 yards and one touchdown through two games played.
Maine Black Bears Betting Preview:
Maine is riding a two-game winning streak into Saturday’s matchup and coming off a bye week last week. The Black Bears are tied for second in the CAA North standings with three games left on their schedule.
The Black Bears averaged 24.3 points and 301.7 yards of total offense per game, while the defense holds opponents to 30.0 points and 339.3 yards per game. One of Maine’s biggest red flags on offense this spring season has been putting the ball on the turf. The Black Bears have fumbled the ball eight times, with three being recovered by the defense.
After being shutout in their spring opener, the Black Bears have rebounded nicely of offense to post scores of 38 and 35 over their last two games. Quarterback Joe Fagnano is the reason for the success, accounting for eight passing and two rushing touchdowns over that two-game stretch.
In the running game, the Black Bears turn to Elijah Barnwell to handle rushing duties. Barnwell has carried the ball 37 times for 111 yards. Through the air, keep an eye on wide receiver Andre Miller. The pass-catcher has tallied 19 receptions, 309 yards, and six touchdowns in three games.
Wildcats vs. Black Bears Betting Odds & Lines
According to BetOnline, the Wildcats are favored to win the Colonial Athletic Association showdown. Villanova is a 4-point (-105) road favorite. The total is 66.5 (-110).
BetOnline has the Black Bears as home underdogs. Maine is getting 4 points (-115).
Free Betting Pick
Villanova is going to come in rested and fired up after dropping their last game in overtime. The Wildcats enjoyed an off week, while the Black Bears will be playing their fourth game in as many weeks.
Maine’s offense needs to continue to progress if they want to take down the Wildcats, and a lot of that success hinges on the play of Fagnano. The Black Bears will also need to do a better job protecting the football and limiting turnovers.
How much will lack of game experience hurt or help Villanova in this one? Given the Wildcats haven’t played against an opponent since March 13th, we will side with the host and the hot quarterback play from Maine.