The 22nd-ranked Villanova Wildcats (13-4, 4-0 Big East) welcome the Xavier Musketeers (11-7, 3-2 Big East) to Wells Fargo Center. The Wildcats will try to lengthen their five-game winning streak. Action starts at 8:30 p.m. ET on Friday, January 18, 2019.
Xavier Musketeers at Villanova Wildcats Betting Odds
Both teams were triumphant in their last game. The Wildcats defeated the Creighton Bluejays 90-78, while the Musketeers edged the Butler Bulldogs 70-69.
Xavier played a nearly flawless game. They had a fantastic free throw rate of 0.339 (above their season average of 0.255) and an offensive rebounding percentage of 45.9 (above their season average of 30.8). For those same stats, Butler put up marks of 0.145 and 28.1, respectively. The Wildcats, on the other hand, knocked down 16 of their 19 free throws (84.2 percent) and had a turnover percentage of 13.1 (better than their season average of 16.2). Phil Booth played well for Villanova with 28 points and seven assists. Meanwhile, Paul Scruggs had a good outing for Xavier, recording 23 points, eight rebounds and six assists.
The Wildcats dominated this series last year, taking both contests. In the most recent game, Villanova won 95-79. Villanova had a much better turnover percentage (8.4 vs. 14.0). Xavier, meanwhile, did a terrific job of converting from the free throw line (19-22; 86.4 percent). This is the first time these teams will go head-to-head this year.
The Musketeers’ Scruggs has been playing well over his last five games, averaging 14 points,5.6 rebounds per game. Meanwhile, Booth has averaged 22 points,5.4 rebounds,4.6 assists during that same time frame for the Wildcats.
Half-court execution will be at a premium when a pair of the nation’s slowest-paced teams clash. Villanova currently ranks 312th in possessions per game (66.5) and Xavier is 277th (67.9).
Xavier Musketeers at Villanova Wildcats ATS Pick
Basketball Tip: SU Winner – Villanova, ATS Winner – Xavier, O/U – Under
- Villanova averages 28.7 three pointers per game, which ranks 13th in the nation. Xavier ranks 213th in three pointers allowed per game (25.1).
- The Wildcats are 36th in the country with 31.6 rebounds allowed per game while the Musketeers are 57th with 32.6 rebounds allowed per game.
- The Wildcats rank 120th in assists per game (13.9) while the Musketeers rank 188th in assists allowed per game (14.9).
- Villanova allows the 24th-fewest blocks per game (2.4) while Xavier ranks 53rd (2.8).
- During their last five games, the Wildcats have scored an average of 77.0 points per game (1.6 above their season average) and allowed an average of 66.8 points per game (0.1 above their season average).
- The Musketeers have been outscored by an average of 2.4 points in their last five games. On the season, Xavier has defeated opponents by an average of 2.9 points.