Xavier Musketeers vs. Butler Bulldogs Pick-Odds-Prediction 1/4/14
Butler Bulldogs (10-3) at Xavier Musketeers (11-3)
College Basketball: Saturday, January 4, 2014 at 2:00 pm (Cintas Center)
The Line: Xavier Musketeers -6 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
TV: CBS Sports Network
The Butler Bulldogs look for conference win #1 as they hit the road to face the Xavier Musketeers Saturday at 1PM on Fox Sports net.
Butler lost a heartbreaking conference opener this past weekend as the upstart Villanova Wildcats came into town and walked away with the overtime victory. The Bulldogs struggled to control Villanova’s powerful guards and in turn, the Wildcats were able to wear them down in the extra session for the 76-73 win. Kellen Dunham led the way for Butler and knocked down 3 three’s and was perfect at the line on his way to 22 points. The Bulldogs also got a welcomed 19 points off the bench from reserve Elijah Brown. Brown was 4-10 from the field, but added 5 points and 3 rebounds as well.
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Xavier moved to 1-0 in conference play with a solid second half that allowed them to skate past St. John’s 70-60. The Musketeers were paced by the play of starters Justin Martin, Isiaiah Philmore and Semaj Christian. All three players scored in double figures and shot the ball 45% or better. The Xavier offense finished the game at 44.6% and 76% from the free throw line. Xavier was strong on the boards as well totalling 45 to St. John’s 38. The win marked the first big east victory for the school and six overall as they continue to play well.
These two teams are somewhat familiar with each other and are strong candidates to be rivals in the new look Big East. They play a similar brand of ball and I expect this game to be close throughout. Hard not to give the edge to Xavier as they have been playing solidly of late and have a very strong home court advantage. I expect these two to trade baskets all game with the defensive prowess of the Musketeers getting them the cover and win late.