Providence vs Xavier Expert Pick

Posted by Aaron . on February 16, 2016 in

This Wednesday, the #20 Providence Friars head to Xavier to take on the eighth-ranked Musketeers in Big East play, with the game set to tip off at 7:00pm Eastern time. The Friars (19-7) are in fifth place in the Big East and are coming off a 75-72 home win over Georgetown. Xavier (22-3) is in first place in the Big East and is coming off a 74-57 home win over Butler. Find out more about the latest NCAAB online lines soon.

Providence Friars vs Xavier Musketeers Expert Pick

When: Wednesday, February 17, 7:00 PM ET
Where: Cintas Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
TV: Fox Sports 1
700 WLW
Stream Option: Fox Sports Live
Opening NCAAB Lines: TBA



Why should you take the Musketeers?

Xavier fell to Creighton last week in large part because of their over-reliance on the jump shot. They were more committed to getting to the rim against Butler, and their defense rediscovered its smothering identity to turn the game into a rout. They had only shot 30 percent from the field (and 1 for 21 from behind the arc) in the loss to Creighton, but they bounced back up to 56.9 percent from the field (and 9 for 18 from behind the arc) against Butler, led by J.P. Macura’s 13 points. Remy Abell and Edmond Sumner also put in twelve apiece. It is the defensive that sets Xavier apart, though, and they were at full force against Butler, as they only permitted 36 points in the game’s last 31:30. They had huge advantages on the boards as well. That is the formula for success for Xavier, and they show all signs of having learned their lesson.

Why should you pick the Friars?

One benefit for Providence is that they are NOT playing at home. Why? They are 7-6 in conference play, but only 3-4 in their home arena. They had a big lead on Georgetown on Saturday, but the Hoyas mounted a ferocious comeback, having been down 26 in the first half and then coming within a point in the last minute. Rodney Bullock poured in 23 points and grabbed 10 boards, while Kris Dunn dropped 20 points on Georgetown. Ben Bentil had 16 points and nine rebounds of his own, and Providence ended a three-game losing streak. The Friars scored 49 points in the first half, a season high…and then only 26 in the second half. But their offense appears to be firing again.

Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction

Xavier is on a roll right now, and Providence is struggling to hold off unranked competition. I like the Musketeers to hold serve at home and win in convincing fashion, 80-69.