Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#755 Missouri 136 vs.
#756 Xavier -5
Tuesday, November 12, 2019 at 7:00pm EST
Written by Daniel Benjamin

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#755 University of Missouri
#756 Xavier University
2-0
2-0
15-14-3
17-17-1
15-16-1
15-20
67
72
67
70

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In an SEC-Big East showdown, the Missouri Tigers visit the No. 21 ranked Xavier Musketeers on Tuesday. Both teams are unbeaten through two games, although this matchup will be each program's first high major opponent this season. Missouri's 71-56 victory last year snapped a four-game skid to Xavier. The Musketeers lead the all-time series 5-3.

Tigers relying on its defense

Missouri is off to a 2-0 start to its campaign for just the third time since 2013. Missouri has victories over Incarnate Word and Northern Kentucky thanks to its staunch defense that is ranked as the 12th stingest in the nation as they are holding its opponents to 49 points a game. The Tigers defense is holding their opponents to 35.2% shooting from the field, which ranks 35th in the nation, and just 24.4% from beyond the arc. They are also keeping its opponents off the offensive glass and forcing 16 turnovers a game.

6-10 forward Jeremiah Tilmon is making an impact on both ends of the court. Tilmon leads the way for the Tigers with 14.5 points, on 12 of 15 shooting, along with six rebounds and 3.5 blocks. Xavier Pinson (11.5 points, three rebounds, 5.5 assists) is the only other player scoring in double figures, although six others are averaging at least five points. Mark Smith (9.5 points, five rebounds, four 3-pointers), who scored all 19 of his season points against Northern Kentucky, is among the Tigers' other top scorers.

Missouri is averaging 76.5 points on 44.9% shooting from the field and 26% from beyond the arc, as well as, 73.9% from the charity stripe. The Tigers are averaging 10.5 offensive rebounds, 15 assists, and 13 turnovers.

Xavier looking to remain unbeaten at home

Xavier is amid a four-game homestand to start the season. Like Missouri, Xavier has taken care of its business so far as the Muskateers have defeated Jacksonville and Siena. Naji Marshall (20 points, seven assists) and Tyrique Jones (20 points, eight rebounds) combined for 40 points on 15 of 30 shooting to lead Xavier to an 81-63 over Siena on Friday. Xavier shot 42.9% from the field along with 31.6% (six of 19) from the 3-point line and held Siena to 37.5% shooting from the field and just 21.1% from long distance.

Jones and Marshall lead the way for the Musketeers through two games as both are averaging 18.5 points. Jones, who has made 15 of 20 shots this year, leads the squad with 8.5 rebounds a game while Marshall tops the team with 5.5 assists and is second on the team with 7.5 rebounds. Paul Scruggs is the only other player in double-figures producing 12.Xavier is averaging 78.5 points on 45.5% shooting from the field, although the Musketeers are just shooting 23.8% from beyond the arc. They are hauling in 41 rebounds a game with 11 coming on the offensive end. They are averaging 13.5 assists and 11 turnovers a contest.

Defensively, Xavier has been solid. The Musketeers are allowing 60 points a game as they are holding their opponents to 39.3% shooting from the field and 22.5% from the 3-point line, which ranks 39th in the league. They are allowing seven offensive rebounds while forcing 15.5 turnovers.

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This should be a fantastic contest. The matchup to watch is Tilmon versus Jones. Tilmon had his way against the Musketeers a season ago, posting a double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds along with three blocks. Jones, who struggled with turnovers and fouls in the meeting last year, will have his hands full with Tilmon, but he seems to be up to the challenge as he ranks fifth in the Big East in defensive rebound percentage at 26.4% and sixth in block percentage at 8.1%. There is some concern that Scruggs who missed the Musketeers' last game with a knee injury may have to sit out Tuesday's contest as well. If Scruggs is indeed unable to go, it may be a game-changer.

Prediction: Missouri +6

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I expect this game to be a defensive battle. Both teams are similar as they like to dig in defensively and bang on the offensive end. While Missouri is a little more likely to fire up a 3-pointer, neither squad has shown the ability to knock those attempts down consistently. Missouri ranks 14th in defensive rating at 67.1, and Xavier is 73rd at 80.1.

The under is 4-0 in Xavier's last four home games and 11-2 in the Musketeer's last 13 non-conference contests overall. The Under has also hit in four of the Tigers' last five non-conference matches.

 

Prediction: Under 136
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Written By Daniel Benjamin

Daniel Benjamin is extremely passionate about sports particularly all things basketball. He loves crunching numbers and providing in-depth analysis. Prior to joining our staff here at Winners & Whiners and StatSalt, Daniel has written sports for a variety of outlets. He has covered the NBA, college basketball, NFL, college football, WNBA, soccer, and MLB since 2010.