One of the biggest college basketball games of the regular season takes place Wednesday night when No. 10 Xavier travels to No. 1 Villanova in a battle for Big East supremacy at 8 p.m. ET. The Wildcats are favored by nine points, unchanged from the opening line. The Over-Under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 164.
Before you lock in any picks for Xavier-Villanova, you need to see what SportsLine’s Advanced Projection Model has to say.
This model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, completely crushed its top-rated college basketball picks last season, returning a profit of almost $6,600 on $100 bets for anybody who followed them. On Tuesday, it also nailed Texas A&M covering as 4.5-point underdogs against Kentucky in another game featuring a ranked team.
Now it has simulated Xavier vs. Villanova 10,000 times and came up with some surprising results.
We can tell you the model is calling for 158 total points in this game, making the Under a safe pick. It also has locked in a top-rated against the spread pick, saying you can bank on it well over 60 percent of the time. It’s available only over at SportsLine.
The computer knows that Xavier is coming off a surprising and crushing loss at Providence that knocked the Musketeers out of the top five in the national polls.
And this is an extremely tough spot for Xavier to have a bounce-back game. Villanova has been dominant at home, winning every game by at least nine points. The Wildcats have earned their top ranking thanks to a lethal offense that is seventh nationally in points per game with 88.9.
Jalen Brunson (19.4 ppg) and Mikal Bridges (17.8 ppg) are the top offensive catalysts, but Villanova is balanced. The model projects that six players will score in double-figures for the Wildcats on Wednesday.
But just because Villanova is loaded on offense and tough at home doesn’t mean it will be able to cover a nine-point spread against a talented Xavier squad.
The Musketeers have a strong track record on the road so far this season. They have big wins at Marquette and at Wisconsin, and they’re 4-2 against the spread away from home as well. Overall, Xavier is a blistering 12-5 against the spread this season.
Will Xavier go on the road and pull off an upset, or at least stay within the spread, or will Villanova protect its home court with a huge top-10 conference victory and cover? The SportsLine Projection Model’s picks are in. Visit SportsLine now to see which side of Villanova-Xavier you can bank on well over 60 percent of the time, all from the model that has absolutely crushed college hoops, and find out.