Xavier Musketeers (6-3) at Cincinnati Bearcats (8-1)
|Date & Time||Saturday December 8, 2018, 2:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Cincinnati Bearcats -8 -- Over/Under: 135.5
The Xavier Musketeers and the Cincinnati Bearcats meet in college basketball action from Fifth Third Arena on Saturday afternoon.
The Xavier Musketeers will look to build on their 4-game winning streak after an 82-61 win over Ohio in their last outing. Paul Scruggs led the Musketeers with 21 points on 8 of 9 shooting with 3 triples,5 rebounds and a team-high 8 assists and 4 steals. Naji Marshall added 17 points and a team-high 7 rebounds with 4 assists while Tyrique Jones chipped in 15 points and Kyle Castlin added 10 points to round out the quartet of double-digit scorers for the Musketeers in the winning effort. Marshall leads Xavier in scoring with an average of 13.6 points per game while Jones leads the Musketeers on the glass with 8.7 rebounds per game and Scruggs leads Xavier in assists with 3.9 assists per game this season. As a team, Xavier is averaging 79.3 points per game on 49.2% shooting from the field, 34% from behind the arc and 67.2% from the foul line this season.
The Cincinnati Bearcats come into this game looking to add to their current 8-game winning streak after a 78-65 win over Northern Kentucky in their last outing. Tre Scott led Cincinnati with 22 points on 5 of 8 shooting with a 12 of 13 mark from the foul line along with 10 rebounds for the double-double while Jarron Cumberland added 12 points and a team-high 5 assists. Nysier Brooks, Keith Williams and Justin Jenifer each added 10 points to round out the scoring in double-digits for the Bearcats in the win, with Brooks adding 3 blocks while Jenifer added a pair of threes. Cumberland leads Cincinnati in scoring with 14.9 points per game while Scott leads the Bearcats in rebounding with 6.4 rebounds per game and Jenifer leads Cincinnati in assists with 3.8 assists per game this season. As a team, Cincinnati is averaging 74.6 points per game on 48.1% shooting from the field, 35.8% from behind the 3-point line and 70.5% from the foul line this season.
Xavier is 6-2 ATS in their last 8 road games and 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 games against a team with a winning record while the under is 5-0 in their last 5 games overall. Cincinnati is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 home games and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall while the under is 59-25 in their last 84 non-conference games. The home team is 8-1 ATS in the last 9 meetings between these two teams and Xavier is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings between these two teams.
This should be a great game to watch as there is a history of a lot of bad blood between these two programs. With that said, this is the highest that the line has been since 2012, and I think that just speaks to how solid Cincinnati has been defensively this season. I’m not sure how comfortable I am with Xavier as this isn’t the ideal environment for your first road game of the season, but Xavier is no pushover and has the talent to keep this one close so I’ll take a stab at Xavier and the points in this one.