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Connecticut Huskies vs. Xavier Musketeers Betting Preview

Enjoy a battle of top 25 Big East teams on Friday as the No. 24 UConn Huskies (16-6, 7-4 in Big East) take on the No. 25 Xavier Musketeers (16-7, 6-6 in Big East). The Musketeers will host this one at the Cintas Center with tipoff scheduled for 7:00 pm ET.

Connecticut comes into this one on the heels of a big home victory over No. 18 Marquette, 80-72. This was actually the second time that the Huskies defeated the higher-ranked Golden Eagles this season.

In the win, Adama Sanogo led all scorers as he recorded a double-double with 24 points and 15 rebounds. Tyrese Martin also had a double-double as he added 18 points and another 15 boards.

For Xavier, they are trying to get back on track after dropping back-to-back games against unseeded teams. After losing at home to DePaul (69-65), they lost to Seton Hall 73-71 on Wednesday.

In the loss, Jack Nunge and Paul Scruggs combined for 43 points, 12 rebounds, and seven assists, but no other player had more than eight points. Xavier will look to bounce back at home Friday.

Xavier opened as the favorites playing at home. They are -125 to win while the Huskies’ moneyline sits at +105. The spread features UConn +1.5, while the over/under sits at 140.5.

More Odds

Connecticut has the better odds of the two to win the Big East. They are +5000 to win the conference while Xavier is +50000.

In terms of the National Championship, Connecticut is +8000 while Xavier is +10000 to win it all.

By The Numbers

Connecticut has had the better offense to date. They currently rank 23rd in scoring averaging 78 points per game (74.3 on the road). Xavier ranks 99th averaging 73.1 points (75.2 at home).

Defensively, these two are neck-and-neck. Xavier ranks 51st in scoring defense as they are allowing opponents an average of 65 points per game (61.5 at home). UConn comes in 53rd, allowing opponents 65.1 points per game (70.7 on the road).

Connecticut Looks To Get Back On Track

After dropping games to both unranked Creighton and No. 15 Villanova, the Huskies were able to get back in the win column at home against Marquette. On Friday, they will look to keep the momentum going and get back on track versus an inconsistent Xavier team.

Leading the way for UConn is senior guard R.J. Cole. This season, Cole is averaging 16 points per game despite shooting just 39.6%. Cole is also chipping in 3.8 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 1.5 steals per game.

The Huskies have two others averaging double digits in forward Adama Sanogo (15.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.1 blocks) and Tyrese Martin (13.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists).

Xavier Tries To Stay Solid At Home

After two straight bad losses, Xavier has dropped to just .500 in the Big East. Trying to pick up another signature win, the Musketeers hope to use take advantage of playing at the Cintas Center, where they are currently 11-3.

Junior forward Jack Nunge has led the Musketeers in scoring this season. He is averaging 12.7 points to go along with 7.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game.

Other contributors for Xavier include Paul Scruggs (12.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.5 steals), Colby Jones (10.5 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.5 steals), Nate Johnson (9.7 points, 2.6 rebounds), and Zach Freemantle (9.6 points, 4.9 rebounds).

Take Connecticut To Win And Cover

While UConn has suffered from its own inconsistencies, Xavier is just not a team that is very trustworthy right now. They have lost four of their last six games and two of their last three at home.

With a solid defense, Xavier could give UConn some fits as they have allowed 69 or fewer points in four of their last five games, but Xavier’s offense has not exactly set the world on fire this year either.

When the dust settles, expect UConn to walk away with a road victory in this one.

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