Niagara Purple Eagles (0-0) vs. Xavier Musketeers (0-0)
November 9, 2021 7:30 pm EDT
The Line: Xavier Musketeers -17 ; Over/Under: 140
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The Niagara Purple Eagles and the Xavier Musketeers meet Tuesday in college basketball action from Cintas Center. Niagara put up a 9-11 overall record last year and landed in fifth place among the MAAC. As for Xavier, they put up a 13-8 run a season ago with a seventh-place finish in the Big East. Check back all season long for free college basketball picks at Sports Chat Place.
Niagara took a step back last season, ultimately finishing at 9-11 overall and 7-9 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. That finish put the Eagles in fifth place in the conference standings, behind Siena, Monmouth, Saint Peter’s and Marist.
The Purple Eagles had a three-game win streak going in December, but would win consecutive games just once after that. Niagara showed some life with a 67-62 win over Marist in the Quarterfinals of the MAAC Tournament, then fell to Iona 70-64 in the Semifinals.
Over on the Xavier side, they faltered last season as well. The Musketeers went 13-8 overall with a spotty 6-7 mark in a competitive Big East Conference. Xavier finished in seventh place behind Villanova, Creighton, UConn, St. John’s, Seton Hall and Providence.
Xavier ran the table at 7-0 in non-conference play last year and had a 3-0 run amid a slew of postponements and cancellations. The Musketeers skidded into the postseason with a 2-5 run, then fell to Butler 70-69 in the First Round of the Big East Tournament.
The Eagles are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five overall and 7-20-1 ATS in their last 28 Tuesday games. The over is 4-1 in Niagara’s last five overall.
Meanwhile, the Musketeers are 1-4 ATS in their last five overall and 2-9 ATS in their last 11 Tuesday games. The under is 6-2-1 in Xavier’s last nine Tuesday games.
PICK: I’m probably staying with Xavier. The Musketeers began their 2020-21 season at 11-2, but then folded down the stretch thanks to all the cancellations and schedule reshuffling. The good news is that Xavier gets all their starters back, including leading scorer (16.1 PPG) and rebounder (8.9 RPG) Zach Freemantle. The outlook on the Musketeers seems to be pretty good coming into the season, and I like the team to be in the mix for the Big East title as the season winds down.