Expert 2018 March Madness Betting Preview: First Round

How to Bet Villanova at Xavier NCAAB Odds & Expert Pick

Written by Eric Williams on Wednesday,January 10, 2018 12:18, EDT

The Villanova Wildcats are back to being the No. 1 team in the AP national rankings this week with a bunch of top teams falling the past week, including previously No. 1 ranked Michigan State. Now, Jay Wright’s team and NCAAB odds favorite will look to hold it down in chilly Philly when they host another legitimate national championship title hopeful in the 10th-ranked Xavier Musketeers.

If you want to know which team is offering the best value in this matchup of top 10 teams, let’s get to me expert analysis and prediction right now!

Musketeers vs. Wildcats NCAAB Odds & Expert Pick

  • When: Wednesday, January 10, 2018, 8:00 PM ET
  • Where: Wells Fargo Arena, Philadelphia, PA
  • TV: FS1
  • Radio: 550 AM (Xavier) / 97.5 FM (Villanova)
  • Live Stream: Fox Sports Go
  • NCAAB Odds: Villanova Wildcats -9.5 (Over/Under at 165 points)

Team Records

  • All: Xavier Musketeers 15-2 / Villanova Wildcats 14-1
  • Home: Xavier Musketeers 12-0 / Villanova Wildcats 9-0
  • Away: Xavier Musketeers 3-2 / Villanova Wildcats 5-1
  • As Favorite: Xavier Musketeers 14-2 / Villanova Wildcats 14-1
  • As Underdog: Xavier Musketeers 1-0 / Villanova Wildcats 0-0
  • ATS: Xavier Musketeers 12-5 / Villanova Wildcats 9-5-1
  • Over/Under: Xavier Musketeers 11-6 / Villanova Wildcats 11-4

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Recent Head to Head (Last 10 Games)

  • Record: Villanova Wildcats lead 8-2
  • Score: Xavier Musketeers 65.70 / Villanova Wildcats 78.90
  • Field Goal Percentage: Xavier Musketeers 40.77 / Villanova Wildcats 49.65
  • Rebounds: Xavier Musketeers 32.70 / Villanova Wildcats 31.90
  • 3 Point Shots: Xavier Musketeers 61-204 / Villanova Wildcats 108-263
  • Steals: Xavier Musketeers 4.20 / Villanova Wildcats 5.70

Why Consider the Musketeers NCAAB Odds?

Why consider betting on No. 10 Xavier in this contest? Because they’re about as elite as any team in the country and they have a legitimate superstar leading them, plus some motivation after losing the last time out.

No. 10 Xavier had their 10-game winning streak come to an abrupt halt in their humbling 81-72 loss to Providence on Saturday. The Musketeers committed 21 turnovers in the loss as star point guard Trevon Bluiett scored 12 points and went scoreless in the second half while shooting just 4 of 13 from the field. Kerem Kanter led Xavier with 24 points and 12 rebounds.

“Well, it certainly wasn’t our day,” Xavier coach Chris Mack told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “You give those guys a lot of credit. That’s not easy when (Providence) drop a home game and turn around and play another team within 48 hours, but so is the Big East and so is our league, so we have to be able to turn the page.”

Team Statistics

Offense

  • Total Score: 85.65
  • Field Goal Percentage: 50.51
  • Three-Point Percentage: 36.84
  • Free Throw Percentage: 78.30
  • Total Rebounds: 40.00

Defense

  • Total Score: 72.18
  • Field Goal Percentage: 40.13
  • Three-Point Percentage: 32.57
  • Free Throw Percentage: 73.13
  • Total Rebounds: 31.71

Why Consider the Wildcats NCAAB Odds?

Why consider betting on No. 1 Villanova in this Big East battle? Because they’ve got way more depth than the Musketeers and are playing at home against a quality opponent they’ll definitely take seriously.

Villanova bounced back from their only loss of the season against Butler to beat Marquette 100-90 on Saturday to give head coach Jay Wright his 400th career win at the now, perennial powerhouse.

“This was a good step for us,” Wright said. “We had a long week after getting our butts kicked at Butler. This was a step in the right direction, as bad as that looked at times. They are hard to guard. Trying to prevent their 3s is really difficult. I know this sounds crazy, but holding them to 11 3s is pretty good.”

As No. 1, Villanova is the betting favorite at the NCAAB Odds against Xavier.

Point guard Jalen Brunson had 27 points and eight assists to lead six players in double-digit scoring in the win. Eric Paschall added 19 points while Mikal Bridges chipped in 18 and freshman Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree added 10 off the bench while shooting 5-of-5 from the field.

“Dhamir was awesome,” Wright said. “He works so hard, is a great kid. It’s hard to come into this program as a freshman big. I thought he did a great job offensively and defensively tonight.”

Team Statistics

Offense

  • Total Score: 88.93
  • Field Goal Percentage: 51.41
  • Three-Point Percentage: 41.46
  • Free Throw Percentage: 75.34
  • Total Rebounds: 35.27

Defense

  • Total Score: 69.80
  • Field Goal Percentage: 43.67
  • Three-Point Percentage: 33.94
  • Free Throw Percentage: 68.12
  • Total Rebounds: 33.07

Latest College Basketball Betting Trends

  • Xavier is 9-3 ATS in its last 12 games on the road
  • Xavier is 10-1 SU in its last 11 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 4 of Xavier’s last 5 games on the road
  • Villanova is 6-3 ATS in its last 9 games
  • Villanova is 14-1 SU in its last 15 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 5 of Villanova’s last 5 games

Expert Analysis and Prediction

For this Wednesday night matchup, I like Villanova to hold it down at home in the City of Brotherly Love just because they’re way deeper than Xavier. Just two players average double figures for the Musketeers while five players average double digits for Villanova.

The Wildcats are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games while the favorite in this Big East rivalry has gone 9-1 ATS in the last 10 meetings.

Last but not least, the Musketeers are 1-8 ATS in the last 9 meetings. Villanova wins and covers the chalk!

Pick: Villanova Wildcats 88 – Xavier Musketeers 77