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Xavier Musketeers vs. St. John's Red Storm Pick-Odds-Prediction 12/31/13

St. John's Red Storm (9-3) at Xavier Musketeers (10-3)

College Basketball: Tuesday, December 31, 2013 at 12:00 pm (Cintas Center)

The Line: Xavier Musketeers -4.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: Fox Sports One

The 9-3 St. John’s Red Storm visit the Xavier Musketeers to kick off the newly aligned Big East season Tuesday at noon on Fox Sports One.

St. John’s is 1-1 away from home this season and has fallen in their three contests against quality opponents.  The Red Storm are winners of three in a row as conference play kicks off and most recently the Red Storm defeated Columbia 65-59.  St. John’s led by 5-7 throughout in this contest but were unable to pull away given their struggles shooting the ball.  St. John’s finished just 3-8 from deep and 14-26 from the line (53%).  The Lions were able to rally via poor Red Storm defense from deep as well, hitting 9 threes for the contest -- many of which came in the second half.  Orlando Sanchez and D’Angelo Harrison’s combined 27 points to lead the way in the narrow win.

Xavier Musketeers vs. St. John's Red Storm Pick-Odds-Prediction 12/31/13

Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Xavier notched win number 10 this past week with a 68-53 win over a decent Wake Forest squad.  The win made it 10-3 for Xavier.  Matt Stainbrooks play down low paced the Musketeers -- Stainbrook finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds and had his way with the thin Wake Forest front line all game long.  James Farr added 13 and 7 for Xavier off the bench.  The Musketeers rank 54th in the country in rebounds (39.3) and 64th in assists (15 per game) nationally through 13 contests.  Their conference opener against St. John’s Tuesday marks the first of three straight home contests to open conference play.

Some trends to consider -- St. John’s is 1-4 against the spread in their last 5 road games and Xavier is 8-2 against the spread in their last 10 home games.

The difference in this one will be the play of the Musketeer front court.  Xavier has the advantage up from with Stainbrook and the Musketeers play much better team defense than the Red Storm.  Pair these advantages with the edge the Musketeers have at the Cintas Center, Xavier should win this one by 8-12 points and keep their perfect record at home in tact, moving to 1-0 in conference play.


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