The Xavier Musketeers (17-8, 7-7 Big East) visit the Gampel Pavilion Saturday to take on the No. 24 UConn Huskies (18-7, 9-5). Tip-off is scheduled for noon ET. Below, we look at the Xavier vs. UConn odds and lines, and make our expert college basketball picks, predictions and bets.
The Huskies have won 2 straight games but failed to cover both, most recently beating Seton Hall by 70-65 as 5.5-point home favorites.
They’re just 11-14 against the spread (ATS) on the season and they average 76.7 points per game (PPG) to rank 55th in the country.
They did not cover as 1-point road underdogs in their first matchup with the Musketeers, a 74-68 Xavier win Feb. 11 with the Over of 138.5 hitting.
While Xavier covered that game, it is just 3-7 ATS in their last 10 outings, yet is 13-12 ATS on the season. Xavier’s 73.1 PPG ranks 130th, while they allow 65.9 PPG to rank 86th. UConn yields 65.2 PPG, ranking 69th.
Rankings courtesy of the Ferris Mowers Coaches Poll powered by USA TODAY Sports.
Xavier at UConn odds, spread and lines
Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 4:33 a.m. ET.
Money line: Xavier +250 (bet $100 to win $250) | UConn -320 (bet $320 to win $100)
Against the spread: Xavier +6.5 (-105) | UConn -6.5 (-120)
Over/Under (O/U): 139.5 (O: -110 | U: -110)
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Xavier at UConn odds, lines, picks and predictions
UConn 78, Xavier 70
Xavier won the first time around, and while I expect UConn to come out on top in this one, I wouldn’t bet a -320 money line. Laying the points will be the more preferred way to play a team-specific bet.
Against the spread
LEAN UCONN -6.5 (-120).
Home-court advantage in college basketball matters, and given Xavier’s struggles over the past few weeks, especially against the spread, I’d side with the Huskies.
Xavier is just 2-4 ATS against ranked opponents. While UConn is just 6-8 ATS against conference opponents, Xavier sits at the bottom of the Big East at just 4-10 ATS in Big East play.
With three 6-foot-9 forwards that play consistent minutes, the Huskies should be able to neutralize C Jack Nunge, a 7-footer who leads Xavier in scoring (13.5 PPG).
That said, Xavier is too streaky to back here and hasn’t proven itself on the road against conference opponents.
BET OVER 139.5 (-110).
The two teams went Over in their first meeting and I expect another high-paced battle.
While UConn hasn’t been great against the spread this season, it has been terrific at cashing Over tickets. The Huskies are 16-9 O/U this season and are 6-4 O/U over their last 10.
Both teams average over 73 points per game. While Xavier is just 11-13-1 O/U, it has hit the Over in 3 straight games.
Of 358 teams, UConn ranks 103rd in possessions per game. The Huskies like to move the ball and get up and down the court, helping the Over consistently hit, making it my BEST BET in this game.
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