Xavier is up to No. 3 in this week’s AP poll, the highest ranking in school history. The Musketeers can clinch at least a share of the Big East regular-season title with a win Wednesday night over NCAA Tournament bubble team Providence. Xavier is a solid NCAAB betting favorite vs. Providence.
Providence at Xavier NCAAB Betting Odds & Game Info – February 28thWhen: Wednesday, 6:30 PM ET Where: Cintas Center, Cincinnati TV: Fox Sports 1 Stream: Fox Sports Go Radio: 103.7 FM (Providence) / 700 WLW (Xavier) Opening NCAAB Betting Lines: Xavier -11
First MeetingXavier is looking for some payback here as it was upset at Providence on Jan. 6, 81-72. Kyron Cartwright had 19 points, nine assists and four steals, and Bullock scored 17 with six rebounds and two blocked shots as the Friars ended Xavier’s 10-game winning streak at the time. It was the Friars’ 11th win over a top-5 team, and their first since beating No. 4 Villanova two years ago. To counter a 44-28 rebounding advantage for Xavier — and a 22-0 whitewash in second-chance points — Providence had 11 steals, nine blocks and a 19-6 edge in points off turnovers. Kerem Kanter had 24 points and 12 rebounds in 20 minutes for Xavier. Tyrique Jones, who had 12 points and seven rebounds, was the only other Musketeer to make more than half his shots. Trevon Bluiett, who leads Xavier in scoring, had zero points in the second half. Providence holds a 5-7 mark all-time versus Xavier. The Friars have posted a 5-1 mark all-time versus Xavier in Providence and 0-6 record versus the Musketeers at Xavier. The Friars are 4-5 versus the Musketeers since they joined the Big East.
Why Bet on Providence?At 18-11 overall, the Friars are on the NCAA Tournament bubble – an upset here, especially on the road, would be massive – especially completing the season sweep of Xavier. Providence is off a 74-69 win at Georgetown on Saturday. Senior Kyron Cartwright finished with 16 points and nine assists, while senior Rodney Bullock scored 19 points to go with eight rebounds. Sophomore Alpha Diallo poured in 14 points and dished out nine assists. PC finished the game 10-19 from behind the three-point arc. The win marked the sixth straight season the Friars have won at least 9 league games, which is a team record. The victory also gave the Friars their eighth consecutive win over the Hoyas. Cartwright leads the Big East in assists in overall and conference play at 5.9 apg and 6.1 apg, respectively. If he finishes as the league leader, it will mark the sixth time in the last seven years that a Friar has led the conference in assists. Last year (2016-17), he finished the season leading the league in assists in conference play. The other four Friars that have led the league in assists over that six-year span were Kris Dunn in 2015 (7.7 apg), Bryce Cotton in 2014 (6.1 apg), and Vincent Council in 2013 and 2012 (7.2 apg and 8.0 apg).
How Well Has Alpha Diallo Done This Season?Diallo ranks second on the team in scoring (13.4) and first in rebounding (7.5) in Big East play and is second on the team in scoring (12.2 ppg) and first in rebounding (6.5 rpg) in overall action. He has recorded a team-best five double-doubles this season. The Friars are looking to make their sixth consecutive postseason tournament this season in Ed Cooley’s seventh year as a head coach of the Friars. The school hasn’t gone to the postseason six straight years since Dave Gavitt’s Friars accomplished the feat from 1970-71 to 1977-78 (eight consecutive seasons). season as the Friars’ coach, Cooley led the Friars to the 2013 NIT Quarterfinals. In 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, Cooley guided the team to the NCAA Tournament. Providence would surely get an NIT bid if it doesn’t make the NCAAs.
Why Bet on Xavier?Xavier (25-4) leads Villanova by a game for the Big East lead, but Villanova holds the head-to-head tiebreaker by winning both regular-season meetings. So, Xavier likely needs to win here and then Saturday at DePaul to win the regular-season Big East title and get the No. 1 seed in the Big Dance. The Musketeers will be well-rested as they last played last Wednesday at Georgetown and won 89-77. Naji Marshall led three Musketeers in double figures with a career-high 21 points as team leading scorer Trevon Bluiett failed to reach double-figures for just the second time this season. Bluiett, who averages 19.8 points per game, scored a season low two points on 1 for 10 shooting in 23 minutes. Going back to last season, Bluiett is a combined 1 for 20, including 0 for 11 on 3-pointers on Georgetown’s home court. J.P. Macura added 20 points, including four 3-pointers, while Quentin Goodin had 19 points as the Musketeers swept the season series with Georgetown for the second straight season. Bluiett, Kerem Kanter, Macura, Sean O’Mara and Matt Singleton will be honored on “Senior Night” before this game. Bluiett is seventh in the Big East in scoring at 19.2 ppg. He has scored 2,142 points, good for second on XU’s all-time scoring list. His 303 career 3-pointers are just four shy of the XU record. Macura is 20th on XU’s all-time scoring list with 1,409 points. Goodin, a sophomore who scored a career-high 19 points at Georgetown, has averaged 12.5 ppg. over the last eight games. Goodin is second in the Big East in assists at 5.1 apg. XU is one of only eight schools havec been to at least 11 of the last 12 NCAA tournaments.
Latest NCAA Basketball Betting Trends
- Providence is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games
- Providence is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games when playing Xavier
- The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Providence’s last 8 games
- Xavier is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
- Xavier is 10-1 SU in its last 11 games
- The total has gone OVER in 5 of Xavier’s last 6 games