Villanova at Xavier Odds & Betting Pick: Wildcats Due for Shooting Regression
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images. Pictured: Collin Gillespie and Romeo Weems
Villanova at Xavier Odds
- Odds: Villanova -1 [In PA? Bet Now]
- Over/Under: 137.5
- Time: 2:30 p.m. ET
- TV: FOX
Xavier started conference play slow, but has since picked it up and has a great opportunity to pick up a resume-boosting win against Villanova on Saturday afternoon.
Can the Musketeers get it done? Our staff agrees on the side to play, so let’s dive in.
The Musketeers aren’t getting a ton of attention across college basketball, but they’ve covered five straight games while winning four of them outright.
After falling at Villanova straight-up while pushing ATS (+6) on Dec. 30, look for Xavier to come out motivated — with a shot to improve its NCAA Tournament hopes and seeding after racking up just three Quadrant 1 wins thus far.
Not only do the Musketeers matchup size wise, but they should be able to control the pace via the glass, as Villanova has tallied the second-lowest offensive rebounding rate in Big East play. On the flip side, Travis Steele’s crew has generated the second- and fourth-highest offensive and defensive rebounding rate, respectively, in their conference slate.
Xavier also boasts the 22nd-ranked perimeter defense (29.5%) across college hoops, matching up well vs. a Wildcats team that’s notched the eighth-highest 3-point scoring rate.
After shooting 56.5% on 3s over their past two games, expect Villanova to regress at the Cintas Center. — Eli Hershkovich
Villanova Due for Regression
I’ll pay for Villanova to beat me by shooting 18-26 from 3-point range again like it did this week against DePaul.
I ultimately trust a very experienced Xavier team that’s been trending up to take care of business at home in a massive game for its tournament hopes. The Musketeers also defend the perimeter at an elite level, holding opponents to 29.5% from beyond the arc (22nd nationally) — which is a must against a Villanova team full of shooters that benefit from outstanding ball movement.
Villanova’s defense also doesn’t force many turnovers, which is an area the Xavier offense struggles with at times. I think Xavier comes out inspired in front of a crazed Cintas Center and controls the glass en route to a huge revenge victory.
Let’s just hope X doesn’t miss a billion free throws, which is always a worry. — Stuckey