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UConn vs Xavier Odds, Picks: Huskies to Cover, Remain Unbeaten?

UConn vs Xavier Odds, Picks: Huskies to Cover, Remain Unbeaten? article feature image
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Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images. Pictured: Adama Sanogo (UConn)

UConn vs Xavier Odds

Saturday, Dec. 31
12 p.m. ET
FOX
UConn Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-2.5
-105
150.5
-110o / -110u
-138
Xavier Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+2.5
-115
150.5
-110o / -110u
+115
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

The Big East takes center stage on New Year’s Eve as the No. 2 ranked UConn Huskies travel to Cincinnati to take on the No. 22 ranked Xavier Musketeers.

UConn comes into this matchup undefeated with a very impressive resume through 14 games. The Huskies have notched victories over Oregon, Alabama, Iowa and Oklahoma State, to name a few.

As for the Musketeers, they have impressed thus far, as well. However, they have not had the same type of success against the nation’s elite, having already dropped games to Indiana, Duke and Gonzaga.

Can Xavier buck that trend and get a high-quality victory? Or will the Huskies’ string of dominance continue?

Let’s take a closer look to find out.


Connecticut Huskies

This UConn team has vaulted to the top through its outstanding play on both ends of the floor. However, it’s proven to be a cut above the rest when in possession of the ball.

It all starts in the middle with big man Adama Sanogo. Sanogo is not the most physically imposing big, but he’s very skilled around the rim.

So far, he’s averaging 17.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game while shooting over 61% from the floor. He’s a matchup nightmare for opponents, and the added attention has opened up the floor for his teammates.

Jordan Hawkins has become the perfect partner in crime to Sanogo thanks to his outside shooting touch. He’s hitting 41% from beyond the arc and that shooting has become a big part of the offense.

Hawkins and the Huskies’ perimeter shooting figures to be a big part of this matchup. The Musketeers have been burned by the 3-ball, as they’re 327th in 3-point shooting percentage allowed, while 3s have accounted for 31% of the points they’ve given up.

It’ll be interesting to see how Sanogo can impact this game while having the bigger Jack Nunge on him. We may need to see additional contributions from the Huskies’ backcourt, but given Xavier’s struggles defensively, there will be opportunities.

Xavier Musketeers

When looking at the Musketeers on offense, it’s clear they want to use their size and athleticism to their advantage.

Souley Boum is the epitome of that, as the senior guard has shot the lights out this season. Boum is averaging 17 points per game while shooting over 50% from beyond the arc.

But much like the Huskies, Xavier’s big man is a problem in the paint.

Nunge has been a staple of this Xavier team, and this year, he’s playing like a man on a mission. Nunge is averaging 15.2 points and 7.9 rebounds per game with three double-doubles in his last six outings.

However, this will be the toughest test to date for the Musketeers. UConn has proven to be a complete team and has really shown it on the defensive end of the court.

The Huskies are fourth in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency and have done an excellent job of contesting without fouling. They’re seventh in 3-point percentage allowed and 15th in 2-point percentage allowed.

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UConn vs. Xavier Betting Pick

This matchup will be very telling for both squads. Xavier has been incredibly efficient on the offensive end, but the Huskies are the team to force some regression.

However, it will be interesting to see if UConn can execute with Sanogo neutralized by Nunge — though, they do have a significant advantage on the perimeter.

In the end, those two factors will lead to a Huskies victory.

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