– Jan 9, 2021 6:09 p.m. PST
The Providence Friars and Xavier Musketeers will meet for the first time this season after their game was postponed on December 12 due to Covid-19 concerns. The Musketeers avenged two straight defeats by beating St. Johns 69-61 the last time they saw action.
The brothers want to get back on track after beating Creighton 67-65 on Jan. 2 The Muskateers have won and covered two of the last three matchups between the two schools, but it was Providence that won the final 80-74 last March. Current odds show Xavier as a 4-point favorite in the game.
The brothers may have fallen to 3-2 in their last game in the Big East game, but it wasn’t without a fight. They battled Creighton in 11th place and it took a dunk at the Blue Jays with 0.8 seconds on the clock to get a win. Providence fell with the loss to fifth place in the Big East standings.
Providence survived a first half in which Creighton seemed to hit every shot they threw at the basket. The Blue Jays went to the locker room halfway through their ages 40-32, but that wasn’t it for the brothers. They kept Creighton down to just 27 points in the second half and almost forced overtime if it wasn’t for the summer-beating dunk.
Don’t be fooled by the absence of the Musketeers in the AP Top 25 poll. You’ve only lost two games all season and have a crime that can score a goal on anyone. Led by Zach Freemantle, they averaged 79.2 points per game, which is good for 45th place in the country, although it was their defense that was shown in their last game against St. Johns.
Loud KenPom currently ranks Xavier 63rd in defensive efficiency in the country and they had to be at their best against St. Johns. The Musketeers missed all 12 of their three-point attempts and only managed 38% overall to shoot from the field. They were able to keep a high-profile St. Johns team at nearly 20 points below their season average, which eased their shooting problems.
Shooting the ball has been a problem for Xavier in the last three games, especially from outside of the bow. In the season they hit 35.5% from the Dreiland, which is in the top third of the country, but in the last three games they hit a dismal 19%. Only two teams across the country are far worse in the last three games.
Xavier’s shooting slump should play straight into Providence’s hands. You’re playing at one of the slowest paces in the nation, which Creighton limited to 67 points last time around. In the previous game, they kept Butler at 55 points. The brothers play a grind-it-out style that seems to work in the Great East.
With the way Xavier has been kicking the ball lately, it’s difficult to match them against one at this point support hungry Providence crew. Despite losing to Creighton, the brothers were impressed when they kept the team with the nation’s 23rd highest percentage of field goals down to just 67 points. Providence will be up for the challenge on Sunday morning and they should cover that number.
John has been betting on daily sports for the past 20 years and is considered by many to be an encyclopedia of walking sports betting. From obscure player props to sides and sums, if there’s a nook and cranny, John will find it.
John has been betting on sports betting daily for the past 20 years and is considered by many to be an encyclopedia of walking sports betting. From obscure player props to sides and sums, if there’s a nook and cranny, John will find it.
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