The Xavier Musketeers (16-4, 11-8-1 ATS, 14-5 O/U) battle the Connecticut Huskies (16-5, 13-7-1 ATS, 13-8 O/U) in a Big East battle on Thursday night. The Musketeers posted a blowout home win against Georgetown on Saturday. The Huskies clobbered Butler in their previous action. Xavier recorded an 83-73 home win against UConn last month.
Xavier Collects Eighth Conference Win
The Xavier Musketeers are seeking a ninth Big East win of the season. They stand at 8-1 in conference play fueled by a dominant offense. They were stunned in a 73-72 loss to DePaul last week and replied by earning a 95-82 home win against Georgetown on Saturday but did not cover the enormous 17-point spread. Xavier’s other two defeats occurred against strong opponents in Indiana and Duke. The Musketeers have covered in three of their last four road games.
Souley Boum has cooled down a bit, scoring only four and 10 points respectively in his last two games. The senior guard continues to collect several assists and is averaging 16.6 PPG and 5.1 APG. Jack Nunge continues to shine, recording three double-doubles in his last four games. The senior forward has improved his season average to 14.5 PPG along with 8.1 RPG. Adam Kunkel has scored double-digits in three consecutive bouts. The senior guard has filed an average of 10.6 PPG on 47% shooting.
Jack Nunge with the nice footwork in the paint. pic.twitter.com/PI3HtVwJno— Xavier Basketball (@XavierMBB) January 21, 2023
The Musketeers are positioned 22nd in DI in Ken Pomeroy’s ratings and dipped five spots to 13th in this week’s edition of the AP Top 25. Xavier has been stellar on the road where they are 4-1. The lone defeat was at DePaul. Xavier is scoring an average of 84.1 points, ranking them eighth. They are conceding an average of 75.4 points, pegging them 325th.
UConn Rebounds in Win vs. Butler
The Connecticut Huskies are glad to be in the win column. They had a disastrous three-game losing streak that came as a surprise considering how good they looked in non-conference play. UCONN snapped the three-game slide with a dominating 86-56 home win against Butler on Sunday to cover the large 15-point spread. The Huskies have lost six of their last seven games to fall to 5-5 in conference action. They have covered the spread only three times in Big East play.
Adama Sanogo is one of the better players in the conference. The junior forward has connected on over 60% of his field goals in two of his last four games and is averaging 17.2 PPG and 7.1 RPG. Jordan Hawkins scored 31 points in the loss to St. John’s last week and 20 on Sunday. The sophomore guard is having an outstanding season, posting 15.5 PPG and is shooting 39% from beyond the arc. Alex Karaban collected 15 points on Sunday. The freshman forward has reported an average of 10.1 PPG on 46% shooting.
The Huskies are ranked sixth overall in Ken Pomeroy’s ratings and dipped four spots to #19 in the AP Top 25. They are 11-1 at home with the home blemish coming against St. John’s earlier this month. UConn is scoring an average of 79.3 points on the season, marking them 34th. They have been inconsistent defensively in conference play and are limiting opponents to 63.5 points, good for 38th in the country.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Xavier Musketeers look like national contenders while the Huskies have been disappointing in conference play. Xavier has won all but one Big East game this season while the Huskies have been poor, dropping five out of their last seven games.
Furthermore, Xavier continues to dazzle offensively. They have netted at least 80 points in six out of their last seven games and are averaging 117.7 points per 100 possessions compared to 116.7 by UConn. The Huskies' defense has been shaky in conference action. They surrendered 80 points against Xavier in the first meeting and over 80 in recent losses against Marquette and St. John’s.
Full-Game Total Pick
This one will have a barrage of scoring. These combatants played in a high scoring 83-73 decision in the first meeting where the over easily cashed. Xavier connected on 54% of their field goals in that one. They have now reached the 80 points mark on 15 of their 20 games on the year.
In addition, the Huskies are one of the best offensive squads in DI, ranking ninth in adjusted offensive efficiency. They have netted an average of 75 points in their last four games. Xavier will give up points. They have squandered 76 or more points in four out of their last five clashes. The over is also a convincing 8-1 in their last nine home games.