College Basketball Odds, Picks & Predictions for Xavier vs. Georgetown (Friday, Dec. 16)
Pictured: Colby Jones #3 of the Xavier Musketeers. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
- Xavier takes its four-game winning streak on the road to face off against the Georgetown Hoyas in Big East play.
- The Hoyas have lost three of their past four, but will look to gain a conference win Friday night.
- Shane McNichol digs into the odds and offers up his best bet below.
Xavier vs. Georgetown Odds
Big East play is ready to begin.
This is when college basketball really turns a corner and starts to cook with some gas. Teams start playing true road games, meet their heated rivals and play games with major end-of-season implications.
However, that’s not necessarily true of this matchup between Xavier and Georgetown. The Musketeers have aspirations of making things happen in March, but the Hoyas look destined for another season toiling at the bottom of the conference.
Xavier should be able to take care of business, even on the road. Let’s breakdown the odds and come up with a pick for this game.
The second Sean Miller era is officially underway at Xavier and there seems to be little reason to think he won’t be successful in Cincinnati again.
Miller left Xavier for Arizona after leading the Musketeers to an Elite 8 and a Sweet 16. At Arizona, he built one of the most reliable programs in college basketball with three Elite 8 trips and two more Sweet 16s in 12 seasons.
Miller was fired as Arizona’s coach after the FBI probe into college basketball unveiled recruiting violations. This past week, however, the NCAA made it official that Miller would face no further punishment.
That leaves him free to once again build Xavier into one of the tougher programs in the Midwest, though now in the Big East as opposed to the Atlantic-10.
He starts with plenty to work with. Xavier ranks 51st nationally in minutes continuity from last season and 23rd in D1 basketball experience, per KenPom. Four key members of last season’s rotation returned and they are joined by Souley Boum, a fifth-year player with over 2,000 career points at San Francisco and UTEP.
Boum is a legit scorer and tallied over 20 points 18 times last season. He’s off to a fast start and has hit more than half of his threes in Xavier’s first 11 games.
The questions for Xavier come defensively, where the Musketeers have been allowing a lot of high-quality three-point attempts. That was never more evident than when the Musketeers lost by four to Gonzaga, a game in which the Zags shot 13-of-24 from deep.
Despite that, fans should be happy thus far in Miller’s first year. The Musketeers made it through non-conference play with three losses, all at the hands of top-20 teams.
This is Patrick Ewing’s sixth year as the head coach at his alma mater, and the program is in trouble. Ewing has made just one NCAA Tournament with the Hoyas, and that was when he led a 9-12 team to a miraculous Big East Tournament win, which was promptly follow by a blowout loss in the first round.
Last season was among the low points in Georgetown basketball history. Since joining the Big East in 1979, Georgetown had never won fewer than four games in conference play. Last year, the Hoyas finished a clean 0-19 against Big East competition.
In an attempt to quickly re-vitalize the program, Ewing dove head first into recruiting the transfer portal. He ended up with a hodge-podge of cast offs and mid-major players looking for a chance. Jay Heath is on his third school and Qudus Wahab boomerang transferred from Maryland after leaving Georgetown for Maryland the year prior.
Ewing’s biggest portal prize has turned out to be Primo Spears, who scored 13 points per game as a freshman at Duquesne and leads the Hoyas in scoring this year with over 17 points per night.
However, scoring hasn’t been Georgetown’s main issue. Ewing has four players averaging double figures in an offense that has some inside-outside balance. The trouble has come much more prominently on the defensive end of the floor. This team hasn’t gelled into a cohesive defensive unit and has been beaten soundly on the defensive glass.
Xavier vs. Georgetown Betting Pick
I haven’t seen any evidence that Georgetown is prepared to compete with Xavier, let alone any competent power conference opponent. The Hoyas have played four games against KenPom top-150 competition and are 0-4, with an average margin of defeat of 15.8 points, in those games.
The only time Georgetown even held a second-half lead in any of those four games was when it led Loyola Marymount by 10 points, before utterly collapsing and losing by 18.
The only reason to think Xavier won’t blow out Georgetown is because the Hoyas will be playing at home. The Musketeers have only played one true road game before this trip to D.C., but Xavier won that game (beating rival Cincinnati in the Crosstown Shootout).
Xavier’s more talented, better coached and sharper on both ends of the floor. It’s a decent sized number for a road team in a conference game, but I’m more than willing to lay the points.
What is QuickSlip?
QuickSlip is an Action Network feature that allows users to automatically pre-load their bet slip at FanDuel Sportsbook.