- The #24 UConn Huskies are 6.5-point home favorites over the Xavier Muskateers in an NCAA men’s basketball game scheduled for Saturday, February 19
- Xavier and UConn have split four previous meetings
- The Muskateers defeated the Huskies 74-68 when they met on Feb. 11
For the second time in nine days, the Xavier Muskateers will be seeking to pull off a college hoops upset against the #24 UConn Huskies. This time, though, the Muskateers will be required to work their magic on the road.
Xavier toppled UConn 74-68 at home on Feb. 11. It was the first win by the Muskateers over the Huskies since 2019.
No school has ever won successive games in this matchup and oddsmakers aren’t anticipating that happening on this occasion, either. The Huskies are established as 6.5-point home favorites. UConn is 1-6 against the spread over the last seven games.
Xavier vs UConn Odds
|Xavier Muskateers||+215||+6.5 (-106)||O 140 (-110)|
|UConn Huskies||-275||-6.5 (-114)||U 140 (-110)|
Odds as of February 18th at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Tipoff for Saturday’s game is set for 12 noon ET at the Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. FOX Sports is carrying the broadcast.
With favorite’s odds of -275, UConn is given an implied probability of victory of 73.33%. A $10 wager on the Huskies would be garnering a return of $13.80. On the flip side, the IP of victory for the Muskateers is 31.75%, based on their underdog moneyline of +215. Bet $10 on Xavier and if the Muskateers win outright, you’ll be pocketing $31.50.
UConn is given a betting line of +8000 in the NCAA championship odds. Xavier is set at odds of +15000 of winning the March Madness title.
Muskateers Showing A Deep Bench
Already this season, eight different players have finished a Xavier game as the team’s top scorer. The Muskateers are listing three players averaging between 10.2 to 13.5 points per game and two others at 9.7 ppg or higher.
Junior forward Jack Nunge has scored 22 points in each of the past three games. He was good for 22 points and nine rebounds in the previous win over UConn. Nunge leads the Mukateers in ppg (13.5), blocks per game (1.5) and is second in rebounds per game (7.2).
— Xavier Basketball (@XavierMBB) February 18, 2022
Senior guard Paul Scruggs is second on the team in scoring. He’s averaging 12.4 ppg. Scruggs is fifth in the Big East with 4.3 assists per game.
Sophomore guard Colby Jones leads the team and is sixth in the conference with 7.6 rebounds per game. He’s third in Xavier scoring, netting 10.2 ppg. Jones dished out six assists in the victory over the Huskies.
Huskies Must Get Back On Boards
In general, UConn is a dominant rebounding squad. The Huskies lead the Big East with a rebound margin of +7.5.
However, in the loss to the Muskateers, Xavier won the rebounding battle from the Huskies by a 35-31 count. Creating part of the problem was UConn sophomore forward Adama Sanogo finding himself in early foul trouble. He is the Huskies’ leading rebounder, pulling down 8.6 boards per game.
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) February 17, 2022
Sophomore guard Andre Jackson (7.5 rpg) and senior guard Tyrese Martin (6.8 rpg) are other key glass cleaners for the Huskies
Overall, Xavier was the better team when it came to the inside game in the first meeting with UConn. The Muskateers finished the night scoring 36 points in the paint.
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Xavier vs UConn Prediction
Xavier (17-8, 7-7) is tied for No. 65 in NCAA Division I with a defensive rating of 106.6. The Muskateers are 1-3 straight up since beating UConn and 3-5 SU in their last eight games. That dropped Xavier out of the top-25 rankings for the first time since December. UConn has won two in a row since suffering that loss to Xavier but are just 3-3 through the past six games.
— UConn Men’s Basketball (@UConnMBB) February 18, 2022
The Mustakeers are 3-2 SU and 4-1 ATS as a betting underdog this season. But Xavier is 3-8 ATS over the past 11 games. They are 38th overall in the KenPom ratings. Xavier is the 41st-rated offense and 51st-rated offense.
The Muskateers could be without guard Nate Johnson (knee injury). He’s shooting a team-leading 39.4% from beyond the arc.
KenPom is rating the Huskies 18th overall. UConn (18-7, 9-5) has shot below 40% from the field in four of the last seven games.
Pick: Xavier Muskateers +6.5 (-106)
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