No. 1 Villanova Wildcats vs No. 5 Xavier Musketeers Betting SpreadJosh Bailey
On Wednesday, Feb. 24, the top ranked Villanova Wildcats (24-3, 13-1 Big East) travel to Cincinnati, Ohio to battle their toughest foe in the Big East, the Xavier Musketeers (24-3, 12-3 Big East). The game takes place at the Cintas Center. Tip-off is at 7:00 pm EST.
Both Villanova and Xavier go into this game hot. The Wildcats ride a 7 game winning streak. Xavier goes into this game having won 3 straight. The Musketeers are 8 and 2 straight up in their last 10 games.
A Closer Look at How To Bet the No. 1 Villanova Wildcats vs No. 5 Xavier Musketeers College Basketball Line
The college basketball betting spread favors Xavier by 1.5-points to beat Nova. The Villanova Wildcats are only 13-12-1 this season. In away games, Villanova has gone 5-4-1 ATS. Xavier’s ATS record overall is 17 and 10. At home Xavier is only 7 and 7 ATS.
What: No. 1 Villanova Wildcats at No. 5 Xavier Musketers
When: Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Tip Off: 7:00 PM ET
Where: Cincinnati, Ohio
Stadium: Cintas Center
Spread: Xavier Musketers -1.5
Game Total: 145.5
Watch: FOX Sports 1
Stream: Fox Sports Go
Listen: Villanova vs Xavier
Bet The No. 1 Villanova Wildcats Because…
Villanova is playing its best basketball at exactly the right time. Although the Wildcats are 13-12-1 overall ATS, they’ve been hot in the sports book in their last few games. Villanova is a terrific 4 and 2 ATS in their last 6 games. One of the ATS losses was by only a point as Villanova beat Butler 76 to 66 as a -11 point home favorite. Much of Villanova’s ATS success can be traced back to a defense that allows an average of 61.5 points per game from 38% shooting from the field.
Bet The No. 5 Xavier Musketeers Because…
Like Villanova, Xavier is playing its best basketball at the right time. The Musketeers have been unstoppable in their three games since losing 56 to 70 to Creighton as a big road favorite on Feb. 9. Xavier dominated Butler in a terrific 74 to 57 road win. They beat up Providence 85 to 74. They destroyed Georgetown 88 to 70 in Georgetown. Xavier appears to be on a mission. With their fans behind them, the Musketeers could beat Villanova on Saturday.
Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction
This is one of the toughest games to handicap this week. Both of these squads are playing at an extremely high level. Xavier found a way to bounce back from the loss to Creighton. Villanova found a way to bounce back from the loss to Providence.
The one difference could be a question of sameness. Both of these teams play a three-guard starting line-up. Villanova’s Josh Hart, Ryan Arcidiacono and Jalen Brunson out played Xavier’s three-guard line-up of Myles Davis, Edmond Summer and Trevon Bluiett in the last game between these two. Villanova trounced Xavier 95 to 64 on Dec. 31.
Here’s the thing: if Hart, Arcidiacono and Brunson aren’t playing well, Villanova can lean on forward Kris Jenkins and big man Daniel Ochefu. Both Ochefu and Jenkins average double-figures in scoring. Who can Xavier lean on? Big James Farr is definitely a good player for the Musketeers but at best he equals Ochefu, he won’t surpass him.
This just feels like a bad matchup for Xavier. If they try to dump it into Farr, Ochefu will be there to stop him. If they lean on their three-guard line-up, Villanova’s guards have already proven to be superior. I’m backing Villanova.