Outkick Bets: Betting Villanova/Xavier

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We’ve broken down a lot of games together and on Outkick Bets: the Show and this was easily one of the most difficult college basketball bets of the year for me. But, we don’t fear anything because scared money don’t make money.

Villanova is clearly a powerful force in the Big East and part of that has been on the Musketeers’ backs. It was even evidenced in the previous meeting between these two when ‘Nova stormed back, locked down the perimeter of Xavier and ran away with a 71-58 win late. The final score was not indicative of the game, it was a worthy watch. It’s now time to head back home for the rematch with and for Xavier, that home-court is helping crown them as -1.5 point favorites tonight.

If that’s going to happen, we have got to see Zach Freemantle step up. He averaged 16 points a game last year and since battling back from foot surgery and being slowly reinserted into the starting lineup, he hasn’t been the same while averaging half of last year’s output. He’s yet to play 30 minutes in a game yet (he’s been close) and I suspect if he gets there tonight plus he’s tossing in 10-15 points, Xavier will be in this game for the long haul.

Villanova is bringing in Colin Gillespie (16.9ppg) and I am almost positive he’s been in college for a decade. That experience, plus some more with reigning Big East Player of the Week Justin Moore (scored 17 last game), will make it a hell of a haul for the home team. Villanova will shut you down in a hurry and especially from beyond the arc. They allow teams to shoot 30.6% from the three and in the previous meeting between the two, forced fourteen consecutive missed threes to end the game.

It’s that ‘Nova defense too that gets me excited about their chances to win. In their 11 wins, the Wildcats have averaged allowing just 56.7 points per game. Whew! Defense, as a wise man once said, travels and I have a tendency to trust a really good defense plus a couple of proven offensive threats (Gillespie/Moore) when I have them. Villanova has also covered their two most recent road spreads. I like what I am seeing. Give me the Villanova moneyline at +102.

Written by Arky Shea

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