Last Updated Dec 26, 2021, 6:46 PM

Xavier Musketeers vs. Villanova WIldcats Picks, Predictions, Odds

Dec. 21, 2021
Dan Dobish
VI Betting Expert

The Xavier Musketeers (11-1, 1-0 Big East) travel to meet the Villanova Wildcats (7-4, 0-1) at Finneran Pavilion Tuesday for a Big East Conference matchup. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m., and the game is televised on FOX Sports 1.

Score Prediction

Villanova 69, Xavier 63

Best Bets

Villanova -5.5 (-110) at BetMGM

Under 138.5 (-110) at BetMGM

Xavier Musketeers vs. Villanova Wildcats Predictions

The Musketeers opened the conference slate with an 80-71 victory over Marquette at home on Sunday, but they failed to cover an 11-point number with a push against the total. Xavier shot 43% from the field, including an ugly 3-for-10 shooting night for G Colby Jones, who ended up with 11 points, eight rebounds and a steal. The good news was that the Musketeers were saved by G Dwon Odom, who scored a game-high 19 points off the bench, hitting all but one of his nine field-goal attempts while adding three steals. And F Jack Nunge added 13 points and 12 rebounds for the double-double, while also swatting a shot in his 30 minutes off the pine.

It's been tough sledding for the Wildcats lately. They enter this game on a two-game skid, although a loss on the road against top-ranked Baylor and a competitive Creighton team at Omaha is certainly nothing to be ashamed about. It's how they lost, dropping a low-scoring 56-37 loss to the Bears, while getting dusted by 20 against the Bluejays, which has some folks in Philadelphia concerned. This team does have a win over a ranked Tennessee team this season, a close loss to Purdue on a neutral floor, and an overtime setback at UCLA back in November.

Villanova is not that far away, and 'Nova will be much better. But they need a win badly, to head into the holidays on a positive note, and they'll get it against a very sound Xavier squad.

Xavier Musketeers vs. Villanova Wildcats Betting Odds

  • Xavier +180
  • Villanova -225
  • Xavier +5.5 (-110)
  • Villanova -5.5 (-110)
  • Over 138.5 (-110)
  • Under 138.5 (-110)

More Odds | Futures Odds

Xavier Musketeers vs. Villanova Wildcats Betting Resources

  • Matchup: Big East
  • Date: Tuesday, December 21, 2021
  • Venue: Finneran Pavilion
  • Location: Villanova, Pennsylvania
  • TV-Time: FS1 - 7:00 p.m. ET

Xavier Musketeers Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 11-1
  • ATS: 9-3
  • O/U: 5-6-1

Xavier has won 11 of its first 12 games, with a loss to Iowa State on a neutral floor back on Nov. 24 as the only blemish to date. The Musketeers have registered a nice win at home against Ohio State, a decent victory on the road against Oklahoma State, and a blowout win over rival Cincinnati as standout performances so far this season.

The Musketeers failed to pick up a cover against Marquette in the Big East opener on Sunday, snapping a 6-0 ATS run which dated back to Nov. 26. Overall, the Musketeers are a very impressive 9-3 ATS through 12 outings. This team has found its stride offensively, going for 77 or more points in six consecutive games, including 80 or more across the past four outings.

As far as the totals are concerned, the OVER is 2-0-1 across the past three outings. The OVER is 3-1-1 in the previous five outings for Xavier, while also going 3-1-1 in the previous five games following a straight-up victory.

Villanova Wildcats Betting Analysis

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 7-4
  • ATS: 5-6
  • O/U: 5-6

For the Wildcats, they have failed to cover in back-to-back games. The last time Villanova failed to cover, or at least push, in three or more consecutive games was an 0-5 ATS skid from Nov. 24-Dec. 14, 2019.

The Wildcats have dropped the past two games by an average of 19.5 PPG. Villanova allowed 79 points at Creighton on Saturday, its highest amount of points allowed since Nov. 21 in a neutral-floor battle against Purdue in Uncasville, Conn. They had an OVER result against Creighton, snapping a 5-0 UNDER run.

Villanova has posted four covers in the past five games at Finneran, while going 4-1-1 ATS in the past six games at home against a team with a winning road record. In this series, Villanova has covered six of the past eight meetings, including 4-1 ATS in the past five game at home against Xavier. The favorite has also hit in 14 of the past 17 games against the spread. 'Nova enters as a favorite by five points.

Inside the Stats - Xavier Musketeers

  • Record: 11-1
  • VI Ranking: 19
  • PS/G: 77.0 (82nd)
  • PA/G: 61.2 (47th)
  • ORtg: 108.1 (85th)
  • DRtg: 86.0 (22nd)

Inside the Stats - Villanova Wildcats

  • Record: 7-4
  • VI Ranking: 34
  • PS/G: 72.6 (170th)
  • PA/G: 63.1 (73rd)
  • ORtg: 111.4 (43rd)
  • DRtg: 96.8 (178th)

Key Players to Watch

  • XAV: Colby Jones - G (12.4 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 2.8 APG, 1.5 SPG)
  • XAV: Jack Nunge - F (13.0 PPG, 7.8 RPG, 1.7 BPG, 54.3 FG%)
  • NOVA: Collin Gillespie - G (16.2 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 3.3 APG, 1.5 SPG)
  • NOVA: Justin Moore - G (14.7 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 2.6 APG, 1.2 SPG)

Xavier Musketeers vs. Villanova Wildcats Betting Conclusion

This is a tough spot for Villanova. They return home after getting absolutely paddled by Baylor and Creighton on the road. The Wildcats come home to face an 11-1 Musketeers team with sky-high confidence. It will definitely not be an easy game. However, I also don't see Villanova losing three straight games. The last time Villanova lost three consecutive outings was Feb. 8-16, 2020, all inside the conference, against Creighton and Seton Hall at home, sandwiched around a trip to Butler.

Xavier has four players average double-digit points this season, and they're an above-average offense with so-so perimeter shooting. But what Villanova doesn't want to see if a strong defensive unit, and the Musketeers allow opponents to shoot just 37.9% from the field, and 61.3 PPG. This is going to be a defensive slog. Villanova is also a strong defensive club, allowing 57 or fewer points in five straight outings from Nov. 28-Dec. 12. The best play might be to go lightly on the line, as it's hard to trust Villanova right now, and go a little heavier on the UNDER, which is the better play.

Xavier Musketeers vs. Villanova Wildcats Betting Trends

  • Xavier is 6-1 ATS across the past seven games overall.
  • Xavier is 2-5 ATS in the past seven road games.
  • Villanova is 4-1 ATS in the past five home games.
  • The OVER is 3-1-1 in the past five games for Xavier.
  • The UNDER is 5-1 in the past six games for Villanova.
  • Villanova is 6-2 ATS in the past eight meetings vs. Xavier.
  • Villanova is 4-1 ATS in the past five at home vs. Xavier.
  • The favorite is 13-4 ATS in the past 17 meetings.

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