- The Providence Friars (7-4) visit the Xavier Musketeers (9-2) at 11am ET on January 10th
- Xavier got back into the win column last time out while Providence took a loss
- See the odds, spread, analysis, and best bet, below
The Providence Friars and Xavier Musketeers will meet for the first time this season after their December 12th game was postponed due to Covid-19 concerns. The Musketeers avenged two straight losses by beating St. John’s 69-61 the last time they saw action.
The Friars are looking to get back on track after getting beat by Creighton 67-65 back on January 2nd.
Providence vs Xavier Odds
|Providence Friars||+4 (-104)||+156||Over 142.5 (-108)|
|Xavier Muskateers||-4 (-118)||-186||Under 142.5 (-112)|
Odds as of January 9th at FanDuel.
The Muskateers have won and covered two of the last three matchups between the two schools but it was Providence winning the last one 80-74 last March. The current odds show Xavier as a 4-point favorite in this game.
Providence Is Gritty
The Friars may have fallen to 3-2 in Big East play in their last game but it wasn’t without a fight. They fought tooth and nail with 11th-ranked Creighton and it took a dunk by the Blue Jays with 0.8 seconds on the clock to secure a win. Providence fell to fifth in the Big East Standings with the loss.
It was a fight down to the last second.
Brought to you by @rimirad pic.twitter.com/E5yFSeFqfp
— PC Men’s Basketball (@PCFriarsmbb) January 3, 2021
Providence survived a first half where Creighton seemed to hit every shot they threw at the basket. The Blue Jays took a 40-32 lead into the locker room at the half but that was not it for the Friars. They held Creighton to only 27 second half points and nearly forced overtime had it not been for the buzzer-beating dunk.
Xavier Is A Force
Don’t be fooled by the Musketeers’ absence in the AP Top 25 Poll. They’ve only lost two games all season and have an offense that can score on anyone. Led by Zach Freemantle, they average 79.2 points per game, good for 45th in the country, although it was their defense that was on display in their last game against St. John’s.
⚔️ | Back on track. #LetsGoX pic.twitter.com/Dggbodr6F0
— Xavier Basketball (@XavierMBB) January 7, 2021
Xavier is currently ranked 63rd in defensive efficiency in the nation according to KenPom and they needed to be at their best against St. John’s. The Musketeers missed all 12 of their three-point attempts and only managed 38% shooting overall from the field. They were able to hold a high-scoring St. John’s team to almost 20 points under their season average which mitigated their shooting woes.
Best Betting Angle
Shooting the ball has been an issue for Xavier in the last three games, especially from beyond the arc. On the season they are hitting 35.5% from three-land, which is in the top third of the country but in the last three games they are hitting a dismal 19%. Only two teams in the entire country are worse from distance over their last three games.
Xavier’s shooting slump should play right into the hands of Providence. They play at one of the slowest paces in the nation which limited Creighton to 67 points the last time out. The game before that, they held Butler to 55 points. The Friars play a grind-it-out style that seems to be working in the Big East.
With the way Xavier has been shooting the ball as of late, it is tough to back them in this spot against a hungry Providence side. Even though the Friars lost to Creighton, they still impressed by holding the team with the nation’s 23rd best field goal percentage to only 67 points. Providence will be up for the challenge Sunday morning and they should cover this number.
Pick: Providence +4 (-110)