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NCAA Basketball Villanova vs Xavier Predictions, Odds & Sports Betting Picks Feb 21 2023

NCAAB Betting Tips · 02/21/2023 - 6:30 pm · Cintas center

Publish Date: 02/21/2023
Fact checked by: Allan Howe

Villanova vs Xavier Game Preview

The Wildcats' first year of Kyle Neptune's Villanova tenure hasn't gone according to plan. The Wildcats' Big East record is below.500 due to late-game losses, injuries, and a lack in depth and consistency.
They now travel to Xavier Tuesday night.
Sean Miller's first year at Xavier has been beyond all expectations. The Musketeers, despite losing Zach Freemantle due to injury, have maintained or close to the top of conference standings. They are currently projected as a top four seed.
Xavier boasts one of the most experienced rosters in Division I, as well as a fantastic home court advantage. Most pundits would consider this a routine win for the Musketeers at home.
Villanova was not at its best in Providence on Saturday. However, the Wildcats have shown improvement in the two weeks since Justin Moore returned to the team.

Recent form analysis

Can Villanova pull off the upset?

Villanova saw an absolutely dismal shooting performance in Providence on Saturday from both Caleb Daniels and Moore, and yet Villanova was still down just four points at the under-four media timeout.
Moore, Daniels and Cam Whitmore shot a combined 1-of-19 from beyond the 3-point arc, and the Wildcats shot just 27.6% from deep as a team.
Providence has a solid perimeter defense and a considerably better one than the Xavier defense that the Wildcats will face on Tuesday night. Not only is Xavier just 84th in adjusted defensive efficiency, but the Musketeers are poor at guarding the 3-point line. Opponents are making 35.7% from deep against them in conference play.
The Musketeers are 357th in ShotQuality allowed on catch-and-shoot 3-pointers, which is a major source of offense for the Wildcats. Villanova ranks sixth in the country in 3-point attempt rate, and it has multiple shooters making shots at a considerably worse clip than they were last season — Daniels and Moore especially.
It makes more sense that Moore has struggled for efficiency since returning from a torn Achilles.
He’s slowly working his way back to productive outings, though. He’s scored 13 points in four of the last five contests. If he finds his perimeter shot again — and Xavier is the perfect matchup to do so — Villanova’s offense will be much better than the market thinks and the efficiency ratings say.
Villanova has made just 32% from 3 in the league this season, but given the pedigree and quality of its shooters, more shots should be falling.

Xavier battles for Big East title?

In a game that was never close, Saturday's match between DePaul and Xavier was a win for Xavier. DePaul couldn't answer Xavier’s elite offense, as the Musketeers held a lead of 10-plus points in the game's final 27 minutes.
A team must try to stop Xavier from getting too aggressive if it wants to slow them down.
Although the Musketeers may not be an elite rebounding team, they still score 30% more points than their opponents off rebounds. The Musketeers will have a difficult time finding second-chance opportunities against Villanova. Only Creighton is better at defensive rebounding than the Wildcats during league play.
Another challenge is to keep Xavier from transitioning, which can be deadly and very effective. Villanova is a solid defender and won't let it go easily. This could slow down Xavier and allow the Musketeers to play in the half-court.
It's not difficult to stop Xavier at the half-court, but the Musketeers have an elite post-up offense and ball-screen offense.
Villanova's ball-screen defense is solid because it can switch everything. However, the Wildcats are not as good in the post-up defense. They are below average, according to Synergy, which is why Freemantle won such a huge game in their first meeting.
Freemantle had 29 points and 11 rebounds last time against Villanova, but his absence means that the Wildcats will only need to play Jack Nunge. Although playing without Freemantle will be challenging, it hurts Xavier’s ability to dominate the matchup's biggest advantage on paper.

Villanova vs Xavier Head-to-Head this season

Freemantle had 29 points and 11 rebounds last time against Villanova in a 88-80 Xavier road win a month ago. Fremantle is out, but Jack Nunge will still be a force that the Wildcats will need to reckon with,

Points

Daniels-Vill

15.9  PPG

42.4 FG%

85.4 FT%

Boum.- X

16.2 PPG

45.6 FG%

86.2 FT%

Rebounds

Dixon- Vill

6.7 RPG

5.7 DRPG

1.0 ORPG

Freemantle - X

8.1 RPG

6.2 DRPG

1.9 ORPG

Assists

Dixon- Vill

2.3 APG

1.5 TOPG

31 MPG

Boum - X

4.7 APG

2 TOPG

34.9 MPG

Our Betting Pick for Today - Betting on the Game (Xavier -5)

Villanova is 2-6 on the road this year, while Xavier is 14-1 at home. -5.5 points is a no-brainer pick. I know Xavier is banged up for this one but even with missing players the Musketeers are the better team and will win this game by more than the -5.

Over Under Villanova vs Xavier(148.5)

With the over under in this game at 148.5, I look back on the previous matchup this season. The previous matchup saw 146 points scored; Xavier is an elite offense, but won’t be as dangerous without Freemantle. Still, Xavier will be able to score points. I would still bet the over in this game.

Villanova vs Xavier How to Watch 🏀

📅 Date: Tuesday, February, 21

🕚 Game Time: 6:30 pm EST

📺 How to Watch: Fox Sports 1 TV

🏀 Where: Cintas Center

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