Xavier vs DePaul Odds & Picks: Blue Demons to Show Fight?
Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Eral Penn
Xavier vs. DePaul Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
The DePaul Blue Demons look to avoid falling even further down the Big East standings on Wednesday night when they host the Xavier Musketeers. DePaul is currently 2-5 in Big East play and coming off of a close to the Seton Hall Pirates on Saturday.
Things are going to be even tougher this time around as they'll be taking on Sean Miller and his Musketeers. Xavier is the only team that remains unbeaten in Big East play and are on an 11-game winning streak that is the fourth-longest active streak in the nation.
The Musketeers may seem unstoppable, but don't overlook this DePaul team — specifically at home. The Blue Demons just pulled off an upset over Villanova on their home court a week ago. And while Xavier may lead the all time series 14-4, last time these two teams met DePaul pulled off the upset on the road in the Cintas Center.
Can they do it once again now with their home crowd behind them?
It's going to take a lot to even slow down this Musketeers team, much less stop them. The Musketeers are the second highest scoring team in the Big East and they've done so by moving the ball around consistently.
No team in the Big East is better than Xavier when it comes to assist, as they average 21.6 per game. However, they are second when it comes to assist to turnover ratio due to giving the ball up an averaged of 13.6 times per contest — something they can't afford to do against the Blue Demons.
The Blue Demons are forcing turnovers on 18.1% of possessions over the last five games while also racking up 16.4 points off of turnovers in that same period.
Xavier should find success on the offensive end against a DePaul team giving up 72.8 points per game over its last five. But the Muskateers can't get complacent, because DePaul is averaging 4.8 blocks per contest and drawing 17.2 fouls per game.
Neither of those stats have been a major issue for the Musketeers, but it's easy to overlook this Blue Demons team when you're 7-0 in conference. Doing so could have them following in Villanova's footsteps.
DePaul has struggled, but this team has the ability to upset anyone at anytime and has proven it can. The Blue Demons will need to do everything they can to throw off the Musketeers' rhythm. Forcing turnovers could be a major part of that.
But there's another key area in which DePaul could have an impact and make this game close. Xavier has allowed opposing team to hit 34.3% from 3-point range in conference play. The Blue Demons are the second-best team in conference when it comes to both 3-point attempts and makes.
DePaul has also improved as of late from beyond the perimeter, cashing in on 34.2% of their shots over their last five games.
Xavier vs. DePaul Betting Pick
The Musketeers have covered the spread in each of their last five games, all of which came against Big East foes. However, I think it's important to recognize not a single one of those spreads was higher than three points.
Xavier is a nine-point favorite on the road at DePaul. And while the Blue Demons may not have the record or lead the conference in what feels like an endless list of stats, they do have determination and a coach that refuses to let off the gas.
DePaul has shown it is a team with fight all season long, and I don't see that stopping anytime soon.
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