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Villanova vs. Xavier 2022: Preview, how to watch, odds

The Wildcats hit the road to battle the Musketeers.

Creighton v Villanova Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

The Villanova Wildcats have raced out to a fast start. The Wildcats are 4-1 in Big East play and have racked up four consecutive wins in a row entering play on Wednesday. A sturdy test lies ahead of them in the form of the Xavier Musketeers. Xavier is 2-1 in Big East play right now but is only playing for the second time in 2022. The last time we saw them, they won by 15 on the road against Butler on Friday night. Villanova meanwhile has already earned a win over Xavier and is looking for a quick season sweep of their adversaries from Cincy.

How to watch Villanova vs. Xavier

Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
Watch Online: Fox Sports App

Betting Odds

(via DraftKings Sportsbook)

Spread: Xavier -1 | Villanova +1
Total: 137.5
Moneyline: Xavier -120 | Villanova +100

Both teams come into this game boasting pretty strong records and numbers. These are the second- and third-ranked teams in the Big East in Avg. Scoring Margin, with Xavier holding a mark of +13.6 while Villanova has one of +11.5. They also have pretty strong defenses, Xavier holding a pretty serious edge in that department. It’ll be one Villanova must account for in this one or they could be in for a lot of stifling and agitation Wednesday night.

But what’s definitely true is that Villanova is red-hot. Their Avg. Scoring Margin over their last three games is a gaudy +18.3. They’re scoring 75.7 points per game and allowing just 57.3 points per game in this three-game run. Comparatively speaking, Xavier has been less impressive. Their showings have been sparse, but in their last three, they’re outscoring teams on average 75.0 to 71.3, good for a mark of merely +3.7. ‘Nova has been near impeccable at the free throw line, shooting 88.2 percent in this three-game run. The Cats have been great at the line, considerably better than their foe Wednesday night, so if it turns to a free throw game? Advantage ‘Nova.

Much like with our other game this evening, Xavier holds a mighty edge at home this year. They’ve outscored opponents +21.6 at Cintas Center this season while ‘Nova has a +3.8 edge on the road. Granted that’s still a really good number that puts them in the upper quadrants nationally in this statistic. But obviously, Xavier overwhelms them at home in this stat. But the one weakness that Xavier has at home is turnovers. They are averaging 13.6 per game at home while Villanova commits just 9.6 per game on the road. Xavier forces turnovers at a high rate on the road, which could help them. But only, of course, if their mistakes don’t cause Villanova to make them pay.

This should be a really fun game and a great way to start the slate this evening.