Xavier vs. Villanova Prediction and Odds for Wednesday, Jan. 3 (Trust Villanova at Home)

Nov 29, 2023; Villanova, Pennsylvania, USA; Villanova Wildcats forward Eric Dixon (43) reacts
Nov 29, 2023; Villanova, Pennsylvania, USA; Villanova Wildcats forward Eric Dixon (43) reacts / Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

Xavier travels to Villanova in Big East action on Tuesday night.

The Wildcats look to bolster its NCAA Tournament standing by taking care of business as a home favorite. I believe the team draws a favorable matchup against a transition-reliant Musketeers team, but is it enough to cover a big number? Here's my best bet:

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Xavier vs. Villanova Odds, Spread and Total

Villanova vs. Xavier Betting Trends

  • Villanova is 8-5 against the spread (ATS) this season
  • Xavier is 8-5 ATS this season
  • Villanova is 6-5 ATS as a favorite this season
  • Xavier is 3-1 ATS as an underdog

Xavier vs. Villanova How to Watch

  • Date: Wednesday, January 3rd
  • Game Time: 8:30 PM EST
  • Venue: The William B. Finneran Pavilion
  • How to Watch (TV): FS1
  • Xavier Record: 7-6
  • Villanova Record: 9-4

Xavier vs. Villanova Key Players to Watch


Quincy Olivari: The Rice transfer has been outstanding in his first year in Sean Miller's up-tempo scheme, posting an effective field goal percentage north of 60% and getting to the free throw line at a high rate. Against a disciplined Villanova defense, Olivari is going to need a big game.


Eric Dixon: Dixon is a tough ask for any defense to handle. The 6'8", 255-pound senior can stretch the floor and also clean the glass at a high rate. Dixon is shooting 37% from beyond the arc this season on a healthy volume, which can open up driving lanes for the likes of TJ Bamba and Jordan Longino to get inside.

Xavier vs. Villanova Prediction and Pick

This is a matchup nightmare for Xavier, who wants to play in the open court and attack defenses before they are set, but there are few more disciplined defenses in the country than Kyle Neptune's Wildcats, who do a great job of getting back on defense, ranking inside the top 100 in terms of potential quick points off breakaway steals per 100 possessions per Haslametrics and transition rate per SQ.

Xavier's offense is around the national average in terms of effective field goal percentage, and I can't trust the group to find answers against a compact Villanova defense that forces teams to shoot threes. The Muskies would much prefer to generate looks inside around its penetration, but Villanova's length and gap defense should slow that down.

Nova is in good shape to grab a win at home, and this game can get away from Xavier, who is struggling to score in the half-court.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

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