College basketball betting doesn’t get any better than it will when the top-seeded Villanova Wildcats and No. 5 Xavier Musketeers stage their huge Big East battle on Wednesday night. Both national championship title hopefuls will look to pick up the win in this affair and stay on track for a high seed in the annual March Madness.
How To Bet The No. 1 Villanova vs. No. 5 Xavier NCAAB Odds & TV Info
When: Wednesday, February 24, 2016, 7:00 PM ET
Where: Cintas Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
NCAAB Odds: TBA
Why Bet The Villanova Wildcats
Villanova (24-3 SU, 13-12-1 ATS) has won seven straight games including their 77-67 win over Butler on Saturday but narrowly failed to cover the college basketball betting line as an 11-point home favorite. Junior guard Josh Hart scored a game-high 22 points and added 12 rebounds while junior forward Kris Jenkins scored 20 points and added six rebounds. “It was a typical Villanova-Butler game, they are just always a tough matchup for us,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said. “Not pretty, but if you’re looking for pretty you’re not going to beat Butler. We’ll just take it and move on.”
Down by a bucket nine minutes into the second half, Hart and Jenkins combined for 16 consecutive points during a 16-6 run that put Villanova up 59-51. “We were just focused on playing Villanova basketball,” Hart said. “It wasn’t (that) we were going to do it for Ryan and Daniel … it was just, we were going to do this because this is what we do.”
Why Bet The Xavier Musketeers
Xavier (24-3 SU, 17-10 ATS) has won and covered the spread in three consecutive games including its 88-70 win over Georgetown on Saturday as a 2.5-point road favorite. Lightning-quick guard Edmond Sumner scored a team-high 22 points to lead the Musketeers to victory. “He was a roadrunner out there,” Xavier coach Chris Mack said of Sumner. “He is as fast as anyone in our league.”
Backup forward James Farr added 14 points in the win and guard J.P. Macura (12) contributed a dozen points off the bench as Xavier shot an insane 77 percent from the field in the second half. “He was very hard to defend in the second half,” Georgetown coach John Thompson III said of Sumner. “He is very fast, he is very, very fast. He is a good basketball player.”
Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction
While Villanova pounded the snot out of Xavier in its 95-64 home win as a 6.5-point home favorite on Dec. 31, it should be noted that the Musketeers lost their best player just two minutes into the game when Edmond Sumner took an ugly spill and ended up with a game-changing concussion that put his team in a hole they could never recover from.
Ryan Arcidiacono scored a season-high 27 points for Villanova and Xavier committed 19 turnovers without their floor leader. “They really pressure you and we didn’t handle it well,” Xavier coach Chris Mack said following that contest. “It wasn’t so much the shot selection because we didn’t shoot a bad percentage in the first half. We just didn’t shoot. We kept on giving them live ball turnovers.
Xavier has gone 12-2 since that loss, but Villanova has gone 13-1 over the same span. The Wildcats should be favored by about a basket in this affair and I’m going to back them to win and cover in hostile territory mostly because of their superior defense. Villanova has won six straight in this series with each victory coming by at least seven points and four wins coming by at least a dozen points.
The Wildcats are 25-10 ATS in their last 35 games following an ATS loss while the Musketeers have compiled an uninspiring 1-4 ATS mark in their last five home games. The Wildcats are 6-0 ATS in the last six meetings and the favorite is an even more encouraging 7-0 ATS in the last seven meetings.
Villanova wins an absolute thriller!
My final score prediction Villanova 80 Xavier 77