Villanova vs. Xavier - 1/10/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Xavier Musketeers (15-2) at Villanova Wildcats (14-1)
College Basketball: Wednesday, January 10, 2018 at 8:00 pm (Wells Fargo Center-PA)
The Line: Villanova Wildcats -9 -- Over/Under: 167 See the Latest Odds
One of the marquee college basketball matchups on Wednesday night pits the #10 Xavier Musketeers against the #1 Villanova Wildcats.
The #10 Xavier Musketeers will try to bounce back from their first conference loss of the year, an 81-72 loss to Providence in their last outing, snapping their 10 game winning streak. Kerem Kanter led the team with 24 points on 10 of 15 shooting with 12 rebounds, while Tyrique Jones and Trevon Blueitt each logged 12 points. Goodin shot 4 for 10 with a pair of threes, 5 rebounds and 4 assists in just 17 minutes, while Blueitt shot 4 for 13 with a pair of threes and 5 rebounds of his own. Quentin Goodwin added 10 points with 4 assists to round out the quartet of Musketeers to score in double figures in the loss. J.P. Macura added 9 points and 4 assists of his own as well in the losing effort. Blueitt leads Xavier in scoring with an average of 19.4 points per game, while Jones leads the team in rebounding with 5.9 rebounds per game and Goodin is the team’s top assist man with 5.6 assists per game this season. As a team, Xavier is scoring 85.6 points per game on 50.5% shooting from the field, 36.8% from the 3-point line and 78.3% from the foul line this season, the 8th-best free throw percentage in the country this season.
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The #1 Villanova Wildcats will look to build on their 2-1 conference mark after a 100-90 victory over Marquette in their last outing. Jalen Brunson led the team with 27 points on 8 of 15 shooting with a pair of threes and a 9 for 11 mark from the foul line to go along with a team-high 8 assists and a pair of steals. Eric Paschall came 2nd with 19 points on 5 of 6 shooting with a 3 for 3 mark from downtown and a pair of blocks, while Mikal Bridges came right behind with 18 points and a team-high 7 rebounds. Donte DiVincenzo added 14 points with 6 rebounds and 4 assists, while Phil Booth and Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree each added 10 points. Booth added 5 rebounds, 4 assists and a pair of blocks, while Cosby-Roundtree went a perfect 5 of 5 from the floor in just 15 minutes. Brunson leads the team with an average of 19.4 points per game along with 5.2 assists, while Omari Spellman is the team’s leading rebounder with 7.7 rebounds per game this season. As a team, Villanova is scoring the 7th-most points per game in the nation with 88.9 per game while shooting the 4th-best field goal percentage in D-I with 51.4% from the field this year. The Wildcats are also shooting 41.5% from behind the arc and 75.3% from the foul line this season.
Xavier is 10-3 ATS in their last 13 road games and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 conference matchups while the under is 5-2 in their last 7 games following a loss. Villanova is 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games overall and 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games following a win while the over is 4-0 in their last 4 home games. Xavier is 1-8 ATS in the last 9 meetings between these two teams and 0-5 ATS in the last 5 meetings at Villanova.
The Musketeers haven’t had much of any success against Villanova, but this just has the feeling of a tight game in the end, that could end up hanging around the number with free throws. All in all, Villanova is a tough place to play, but Xavier has the experience of playing in that environment and I think the Musketeers bag a cover so I’ll take the points.