Sixth-ranked Villanova is on the verge of repeating as outright Big East regular-season champions and today, standing in their way, are the 3-point underdog Xavier Musketeers when they host the Wildcats in NCAA men’s basketball betting action.
This won’t be a cake-walk for Nova as Xavier already has four wins over Top 25 foes and has only lost two conference games at home this season making the Cintas Center crown a nasty advantage for the Musketeers.
“I think we have a chance (of being a No. 1), but we still have a lot of basketball to play to do that,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said. “We are still trying to concentrate on our regular season. It is hard but that is what we are trying to do.”
A Closer Look At The Villanova at Xavier Betting Spread, My ATS Pick & How To Watch
Matchup: (6) Villanova Wildcats at Xavier Musketeers
Date: Feb. 28, 2015
Start Time: 2:00 p.m. ET
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Stadium: Cintas Center
TV Info: FOX
Stream: FOX Sports Go
Radio: Villanova Vs Xavier
Point Spread: Villanova Wildcats -3
Villanova Will Cover the 3-point Spread If
The Wildcats are hot from the field and from behind the arc like they were in the first game.
In the first game between these two, the Wildcats were ridiculous from the field and from behind the three-point line. ‘Nova’s offense was good even though their top offensive player, Darrun Hilliard, was kept in check. Hilliard usually averages 14.4 points per game. Versus Xavier the first time, Hilliard scored only 10 points. He was good on 3 out of 10 from the field and 1 out of 5 from behind the arc. If Hilliard hadn’t made all 3 free throws, he’d be staring at 7 points.
Even with Hilliard having an off day, Villanova still managed to score 88 points. As a team, the Wildcats shot 45.9% from the field when making 28 out of 61 shots. ‘Nova made 15 out of 34 three-point shots for 44.1%. Shooting like that in the rematch should lead to another Wildcats’ cover ATS.
— Villanova Equipment (@NovaEquipment) February 27, 2015
Villanova’s Projected Starting Lineup: JayVaughn Pinkston (F), Daniel Ochefu (F), Darrun Hilliard II (G), Dylan Ennis (G) Ryan Arcidiacono (G).
Xavier Will Cover the 3-Point Spread If
Xavier can be more effective from behind the three-point line.
Xavier did score 75 points in the 88 to 75 loss to Villanova in the first matchup between these two. It’s not like the Musketeers didn’t play well at all in that game. In fact, Xavier was better from the field than Villanova when shooting 47.6%. The Musketeers made 30 out of 63 shots.
— Tom Eiser (@EiserXUSports) February 27, 2015
What stopped Xavier from making the game closer and winning against the spread versus the Wildcats in that first contest, was Xavier’s three-point shooting. The Musketeers made only 7 of 22 three-point shots for 31.8%. Xavier usually shoots at 35.1% from the three-point line. Most of the three-point misses occurred in the first half when Villanova ran out to a 45 to 27 lead. Xavier doesn’t necessarily have to make their three-point shots in the rematch. They just don’t have to miss them, which means not taking the three and looking for a higher percentage shot could give them a victory against the spread.
Xavier’s Projected Starting Lineup: Matt Stainbrook (C), Trevon Bluiett (F), Dee Davis (G) Remy Abell (G), Myles Davis (G).