The Xavier Musketeers and Villanova Wildcats headline the NCAA basketball schedule on Tuesday night. It provides an opportunity for Xavier to show that they’re for real.
As far as Villanova is concerned, this is a chance for the Wildcats to gain momentum going into Christmas. Villanova was a pre-season top-5 team, but they’ve been slow out of the gate with a record of 7-4.
??????? at the FINN ✌️ pic.twitter.com/SKHAs3Jgpa
— Villanova MBB (@NovaMBB) December 21, 2021
The Wildcats and Wolverines have been two early disappointments. The good news is that it’s early, with runway left to get on track.
Villanova is back home after a tough schedule to open the season. They’ve been home for only one of their last eight games.
In that assignment, the Wildcats took care of business with an 81-52 win over Saint Joseph’s on December 4. The Wildcats followed up with a 67-53 win on a neutral court versus the Syracuse Orange a few days later.
However, Villanova has found it tough in their last two attempts, as they didn’t belong on the same court with Baylor on December 12. The Bears showcased why Villanova has a lot of room to grow before March arrives.
Baylor’s tight defense clamped down on Villanova to hold them to just 36 points in a 57-36 final. That looks like a middle school game final score and not something you expect from Villanova.
Villanova failed to bounce back at Creighton, with the Bluejays pulling away for a 79-59 win. It was another game where the Villanova offense didn’t show up.
✈️ | CVG ➡️ PHL.#LetsGoX
— Xavier Basketball (@XavierMBB) December 20, 2021
Xavier has confidence on their side tonight, with seven straight wins and a record of 11-1. They’ve beaten some big names, including the Ohio State Buckeyes, 71-65, and Oklahoma State Cowboys on the road, 77-71.
The Musketeers look for real in my book, though if Villanova wakes up this evening, they could be staring at their second loss. Head below for our free Xavier vs. Villanova pick on December 21, 2021.
Xavier Musketeers vs. Villanova Wildcats Betting Odds and Team Statistics:
The following odds are courtesy of BetUS:
|Xavier Musketeers||+5.5 (-110)||+195||Over 136 (-110)|
|Villanova Wildcats||-5.5 (-110)||-235||Under 136 (-110)|
|Team Data||Xavier Musketeers||Villanova Wildcats|
|Points Per Game||77.0||72.6|
|Points Against Per Game||61.3||63.1|
|Field Goal %||45.6||41.7|
|Three Point %||34.5||36.2|
Xavier vs. Villanova Prediction:
Villanova did not put an easy season together through their first 11 games. They may have a quality basketball program, but seven of eight games on the road is not easy.
While Villanova can play better basketball for their talent level, their mediocre start can be attributed partially to this tough schedule. Are we talking about Villanova at 7-4 if they didn’t have this brutal schedule?
No, we’d be talking about how good of a team the Wildcats are and if they’re going to be a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Following a few days off and back home tonight, expect Villanova to come out in good form.
In their three attempts at home, Villanova won by an average of 29.3 points per game. The Wildcats scored 90.7 points per game while conceding 61.3 points a game.
I’m confident in Villanova getting back to basics at home in this one. After a couple of rough spots on the road, the Wildcats will be ready for a good Xavier squad.
Xavier Musketeers vs. Villanova Wildcats Betting Trends:
- 6-1 ATS in their previous seven games
- 8-3 ATS in their previous 11 games as an underdog on the road
- 7-3 ATS in their previous ten games after failing to cover the spread
- 2-5 ATS in their previous seven games on the road
- 2-10 ATS in their previous 12 games on a Tuesday
- 7-3 ATS in their previous ten games as the betting favorite
- 4-1 ATS in their previous five games at Villanova
- 4-1-1 ATS in their previous six games versus a team with a winning road record at Villanova
- 12-0 overall in their previous 12 games at Villanova
- 7-0 ATS in their previous seven games versus Xavier at Villanova
Xavier has looked good this season. Their only loss is against the Iowa State Cyclones on a neutral court, 87-70.
Since that loss, Xavier has won seven straight attempts. They’re coming off a 77-71 win at home versus Marquette. Their past four straight outings were at home, with only one true road game in 2021-22.
The Musketeers are a solid team; they’re for real. That said, they are running into a Villanova team that will likely come out guns blazing tonight.
Conversely, Xavier failing to come up with their usual effort before Christmas break wouldn’t be surprising. In a game where Villanova outworks the Musketeers, expect an 8 or 9-point win and cover.