Xavier Musketeers (6-3) vs Cincinnati Bearcats (8-1)Date : 12/08/2018
Time : 2:00 PM
Location : Fifth Third Arena
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Xavier Musketeers vs Cincinnati Bearcats
The Cincinnati Bearcats return home to Fifth Third Arena for their 2nd consecutive home game where they will welcome in fellow Ohio rival in the Xavier Musketeers, the opening tipoff is slated for 2:00 PM. The Bearcats look like a serious threat to make a run in the postseason while Xavier is trying to regroup after losing a ton of production.
Xavier Musketeers's Latest Performance :
The Xavier Musketeers are supposed to be going through a rebuilding year under 1st-year coach Travis Steele as they are missing most of their production from their 2017 team. Xavier showed the ability to rally from behind as they beat Ohio at home 82-61 after they trailed early in the 1st half. The Musketeers were led by sophomore guard Paul Scruggs as he was able to drop 21 points and grab 8 rebounds in the win. Scruggs has played nicely early on in the season as he is averaging 12.8 PPG, 4.8 RPG, and 3.9 APG. The leader of this team has been sophomore forward Naji Marshall and we saw that on display against Ohio as he dropped 17 points and grabbed 7 rebounds, Marshall is averaging 13.6 PPG and 7 RPG. The Musketeers 2nd half game plan included junior forward Tyrique Jones as they felt like they had an advantage down low. Jones was able to drop 15 points which is above his season average of 11.3 PPG but he was only able to grab 4 rebounds which is more than 50% below is season average of 8.7 RPG. The Musketeers are a young team but they have put some positive things on tape early on in the season.
Cincinnati Bearcats's Latest Performance :
The Cincinnati Bearcats may have lost some talent from 2017 but Mick Cronin has his guys playing at a high-level early on in the season as they have been gritty on the defensive side of things. The Bearcats are coming off a blowout victory over Northern Kentucky as they used a big first half in route to a 78-65 win. Cincinnati was led by junior forward Tre Scott as he was able to score 22 points and grab 10 rebounds. Scott has been solid in the starting role for the Bearcats this season as he is averaging 11 PPG and 6.4 RPG. Scott wasn’t the only Bearcats to produce against Northern Kentucky as 4 other guys were able to reach double-digit points. Leading scorer Jarron Cumberland was able to chip in 12 points and dish out 5 assists which are around his season averages of 14.9 PPG and 3.1 APG. Reserve forward Eliel Nsoseme had a nice game in his 22 minutes of playing time as he dropped 6 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. The sophomore hasn’t been able to crack the rotation early on in the season hence his 2.7 PPG and 4.8 RPG but with an outing like this, he may see more playing time.
How Xavier Musketeers & Cincinnati Bearcats Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Xavier is 3-5-1 ATS, 0-0 ATS on the road.
Cincinnati is 5-4 ATS, 3-3 ATS at home.
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
Xavier ranks 88th in the nation in team scoring as they score an average of 79.3 PPG while Cincinnati ranks 182nd as they score an average of 74.6 PPG.
Cincinnati ranks 5th in the nation in team defense as they hold opponents to an average of 57.4 PPG while Xavier ranks 202nd as they hold opponents to an average of 72.3 PPG.
Against The Spread Selection: Cincinnati Bearcats
My reason for the pick :
I am siding with the Bearcats in this matchup as they look like they are destined to make a deep run in March behind one of the top defenses in the nation. Xavier is a young team led by a bunch of sophomores and although they are talented they will struggle against the Bearcat pressure and be forced into turnovers. Jarron Cumberland has been in the Mick Cronin system for a few years now and I think he continues to grow and lead this team deep into the season. Xavier has shown they aren’t too good on defense and I think Cincinnati has enough offense to pull away.
Betting trends for Xavier Musketeers:
- Xavier is 1-3 ATS with 2-3 days off this season.
Betting trends for Cincinnati Bearcats:
- Cincinnati is 5-2 ATS after a win this season.