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Villanova Wildcats vs. Xavier Musketeers Pick-Odds-Prediction 2/3/14

Xavier Musketeers (15-6) at Villanova Wildcats (19-2)

College Basketball: Monday, February 3, 2014 at 7:00 pm (Villanova Pavilion)

The Line: Villanova Wildcats -11 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: Fox Sports 1

The Xavier Musketeers visit the Villanova Wildcats Monday night at 7PM on Fox Sports 1.

Xavier enters this contest a few games back of Villanova and Creighton after letting Seton Hall come into town and take the win Saturday 68-60.  The Musketeers took a one point lead to the break in this one but were overwhelmed by the Seton Hall offensive attack in the second half as the Pirates used a late run to pull away.  Matt Stainbrook was rock solid down low with 16 and 14 and Semaj Christon added his usual 20 plus points with 21, but no other Musketeers picked up any slack and the Xavier offense stalled late.  Xavier got just 7 points off the bench despite 5 players seeing action.  The Musketeers now face a must win to keep pace in the conference race at Villanova -- we will find out quickly if they were just caught looking ahead against the Hall.

Villanova Wildcats vs. Xavier Musketeers Pick-Odds-Prediction 2/3/14

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Villanova used this weekend to step out of conference and dominate city rival Temple 90-74 Saturday evening.  The first half was a back and forth contest with a few lead changes.  In the second half, the defenses rested and Villanova’s potent offensive attack paced them to the win.  The Wildcats scored 53 second half points and had five players score in double figures with James Bell’s 19 leading the way.  Bell hit 5 threes in the contest and the Wildcats finished 12-29 from behind the arc for the game.  Jayvaughn Pinkston was his usual productive self with 13 points and 7 boards.  The win gets Villanova to 19 total for the year before they step back into conference play for the stretch run.

A few weeks ago I would have predicted the Musketeers to be a narrow dog in this one but given their play the past week and a half or so, I like the Wildcats to get the best of this matchup via their depth and defense.  Look for Bell and Pinkston to have big contests and the Wildcats to not be blindsided after learning their lesson against Creighton a few weeks back.  Villanova with the cover at home.

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