College Basketball Odds, Pick, Prediction: UConn vs. Xavier (Feb. 11)

College Basketball Odds, Pick, Prediction: UConn vs. Xavier (Feb. 11) article feature image

Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: RJ Cole.

  • Xavier and UConn go to battle Friday night in some Big East college basketball action.
  • A win for the Musketeers would move them within a half-game of the Huskies in the conference standings.
  • Check out Alex Hinton's best bet for this Big East battle below.

UConn vs. Xavier Odds

Friday, Feb. 11
7 p.m. ET
UConn Odds
-110o / -110u
Xavier Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

It will be a top-25 battle in Cincinnati when No. 24 UConn goes to battle against No. 25 Xavier. UConn comes in at 16-6 and in third place in the Big East at 7-4, while Xavier is 16-7 and 6-6 in the Big East, good for sixth place.

The game likely won't impact the Big East regular-season title race, but it will have significant implications on both the Big East Conference and NCAA Tournaments. A Xavier win would move the Musketeers a half-game behind UConn in the Big East standings.

Meanwhile, the Bracket Matrix has UConn and Xavier both as sixth seeds for the NCAA tourney. The game will count as a Quad 1 victory with UConn at No. 17 and Xavier at No. 21 in the NCAA NET Rankings. UConn is 3-5 in Quad 1 games, while Xavier is 4-6.

UConn and Xavier have met three times, with UConn holding a 2-1 edge. The Huskies won last year's meeting in Cincinnati, 80-72, the lone meeting as Big East foes.

Can the Huskies make it two in a row on Friday night?

Connecticut Huskies

Last time out, UConn got back in the win column with an 80-72 victory over Marquette on Tuesday following consecutive losses to Creighton and Villanova. Forward Adama Sanogo and guard Tyrese Martin combined for 42 points and 30 rebounds as each posted a double-double.

Sanogo averages 15.4 points and a team-leading 8.4 rebounds, while Martin averages 13.5 points and 6.7 rebounds. However, guard R.J. Cole leads the team in scoring at 16 points and 4.5 assists per. They make up the high-scoring trio in the Big East.

UConn is the second-highest scoring team in the Big East at 78 points per game and is 22nd in adjusted offensive efficiency. The Huskies convert just 48.4% of their 2-point field goals, which is 260th nationally. However, they make up for it by ranking sixth nationally with 13.5 offensive rebounds per game to collect 36.8% of the misses, the second-best mark nationally.

Defensively, the Huskies lock down the interior, ranking third nationally in 2-point field goal defense, fifth in block rate, and second with 6.6 blocks per game. Sanogo and forward Isaiah Whaley each average 2.1 blocks per game.

The Huskies are also 14th nationally in effective field goal percentage defense. It can be exploited from the 3-point line to a degree, ranking 197th in 3-point percentage defense. However, Xavier shoots only 33% from behind the arc as a team.

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Xavier Musketeers

Xavier has lost four of its last six games and is coming off a 73-71 defeat at the hands of Seton Hall. The Musketeers couldn't overcome a 14-point first-half deficit or the extra chances it gave Seton Hall, which took 16 more shots because of offensive rebounds and Xavier turnovers.

Forward Jack Nunge had 22 points, while guard Paul Scruggs put upp 21 in the loss. Nunge and Scruggs lead a balanced attack for the Musketeers. Nunge averages 12.7 points and 7.1 rebounds, and Scruggs records 12.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 4.4 assists.

Guard Colby Jones averages 10.5 points, a team-leading 7.6 rebounds, and 1.5 steals. Additionally, guard Nate Johnson averages 9.7 points, forward Zach Freemantle averages 9.6, and guard Adam Kunkel averages 7.9.

That adds up to the Musketeers ranking 39th in adjusted offensive efficiency.

At the defensive end, Xavier is 44th in adjusted defensive efficiency and 58th in defensive rating. Opponents are shooting just 31.4% from beyond the arc.

Additionally, Xavier does an excellent job of not fouling. It commits the 31st-fewest fouls per game and allows the 15th-fewest free throws per game in the country.

UConn vs. Xavier Betting Pick

Both teams could really use a win, with UConn losing two of its last three and Xavier losing four of its past six. Xavier is favored by one on its homecourt, where it's 11-3. However, this may be a situation in which the wrong team is favored. 

UConn and Xavier are about even on defense, but UConn has the better offense led by the trio of Cole, Sanogo, and Martin. In particular, I like Sanogo to have a big night.

In the loss to Seton Hall, Xavier allowed 17 offensive rebounds. Sanogo is UConn's best offensive rebounder with 3.4 per game, and he might be able to exploit that and get a few putbacks. He has two 20-point and 10-rebound games this season, including 24 and 15 on Tuesday night against Marquette. He will have a chance to get another and lead his Huskies to a win.

I like UConn to pull out the victory outright on the road.

Pick: UConn ML +105

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