Xavier vs UConn Basketball Prediction & Picks: Will the Huskies prevail at home?
Tonight, Marquette and Providence fans will have an eye on Storrs, Connecticut, as #13 Xavier, who sits atop the Big East standings, visits #19 UConn at Gampel Pavillion (6:30 pm ET, FS1).
The Musketeers (16-4, 8-1) are a half-game ahead of Marquette and a full game ahead of Providence in the standings, so if the Huskies (16-5, 5-5 Big East) can win tonight at home, it will help both the Golden Eagles and the Friars.
It will also help the Huskies themselves, as losing five of six games hurt their hopes of a high NCAA Tournament seed.
Who will come out on top tonight in Storrs? Read on for our Xavier vs UConn prediction, as well as our picks for this tantalizing tilt between two top-20 teams.
Xavier vs UConn Odds
- Xavier +6.5 (-115)
- UConn -6.5 (-105)
- Over 151.5 (-110)
- Under 151.5 (-110)
- Xavier +215
- UConn -260
Will Xavier Be Able to Withstand UConn’s Outside Shooting Again?
UConn’s run of five losses in six games began with an 83-73 loss at Xavier on New Year’s Eve.
In the game, UConn made 13 threes, which is their third-highest total of the season behind 17 against Oregon and 14 against LIU.
But they suffered their only loss to date in a game in which they made 10 or more threes and one of only two losses in a game in which they made at least 35% from three, even though they held the Musketeers to a season-low four threes.
Offensive Statistics and Metrics for UConn
- PPG: 79.3 (33rd in Division I)
- FG%: 45.9% (109th in Division I)
- 3PT%: 35.3% (116th in Division I)
- 2PT%: 53.8% (46th in Division I in D-I games only)
- FT%: 74.5% (62nd in Division I)
- Offensive Efficiency (KenPom): 10th
Even though Xavier, who leads the Big East in three-point percentage had a quiet game against the conference’s premier perimeter defense, they still got a double-digit win.
Why? Along with being +19 from the stripe (23 of 28 to UConn’s 4 of 9), the Musketeers were 24 of 39 (61.5%) on two-point shots. By comparison, the Huskies were 15 of 30 (50%) on twos.
Offensive Statistics and Metrics for Xavier
- PPG: 84.1 (8th in Division I)
- FG%: 50.1% (6th in Division I)
- 3PT%: 39.7% (5th in Division I)
- 2PT%: 54.5% (35th in Division I in D-I games only)
- FT%: 72.8% (135th in Division I)
- Offensive Efficiency (KenPom): 7th
Both teams are coming in off of solid offensive performances against vastly inferior opposition.
After losing at DePaul last Wednesday, Xavier bounced back by putting up 95 in a 13-point win over Georgetown on Saturday.
They shot 54.9% (39 of 71) from the field and made 8 of 14 (57.1%) from three in the win, with Zach Freemantle racking up 30 points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists.
UConn, meanwhile, put up 86 points in a 30-point win over Butler on Sunday, and they shot 36.8% (7 of 19) from three and 48.4% (31 of 64) overall from the field.
The Huskies also took care of the ball against the Bulldogs better than they did in the loss to Xavier (16 turnovers), St. John’s (20 turnovers), and Seton Hall (17 turnovers), coughing it up only eight times.
But Butler is one of the worst teams in the six power conferences–seven if you consider the Mountain West a power conference–while Xavier is one of the best teams in college basketball, even after their stunning loss at DePaul. So, the Huskies are in for a much, much stiffer challenge tonight.
Xavier vs UConn Prediction and Picks
Xavier vs UConn Prediction: UConn to win
Xavier vs UConn Picks: Xavier/UConn over 151.5 & Xavier +6.5
I think the Huskies are going to win tonight, but I also think they are getting a little more love here from the oddsmakers than they really merit at the moment.
Winning on the road isn’t easy, as Xavier’s loss at DePaul showed. But that doesn’t diminish how good the Musketeers are and how well they can hang with the Huskies and anyone else, for that matter.
With all of the scoring threats that the Musketeers have, I expect them to be in this one the entire way, just as they were in their losses to Indiana, Duke, and Gonzaga.
You can get both of these plays at the same odds at a number of places, so any of our recommended sportsbooks is a good option here.
Eddie Griffin has been writing about and Betting on sports for over a decade. For more of his thoughts on sports and sports betting, you can follow him on Twitter.