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.

Odds as of Saturday morning and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.

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

[Bet now at DraftKings. NJ, PA, IN and WV only.]

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

[Bet now at DraftKings. NJ, PA, IN and WV only.]

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