The Villanova Wildcats remain favored to win the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three seasons.
Before 68-team Big Dance began, the Wildcats were tabbed by oddsmakers to win it all. After a dominating shooting performance against Kansas in the Final Four and a perfect 5-0 record against the spread, Villanova opened as a 6.5-point favorite over No. 3 seed Michigan in Monday's national championship game in San Antonio (9:20 p.m. ET).
The line, which moved to seven points at most sportsbooks, was the largest spread since Duke was favored by seven over Butler in 2010.
The Wolverines, who ended Loyola-Chicago's Cinderella run Saturday, have covered in 11 of their past 14 games and have the No. 3 ranked defense, according to KenPom. Perimeter defense will be key to slow down the Wildcats, who knocked down 18 3-pointer against the Jayhawks Saturday.
KenPom projected a 74-68 Villanova win which would give Michigan bettors a cover and also go under the total, which closed at 146.
The spread for the first 20 minutes was minus-4 in favor of Villanova with an over-under of 67, per Bovada. Donte DiVincenzo and the Wildcats pulled away in the final 10 minutes before half to cover the first-half spread with a 37 to 28 lead, which was under the first-half total.
Oddsmakers tabbed the Wolverines plus-1.5 underdogs for the second half with the over-under total at 77. Can John Beilein make a game-winning adjustment at the break for a second straight game? A $100 bet on Michigan to win after trailing nine at halftime would net $525.