Two excellent teams and too many points for the road team in this Big East matchup. Xavier comes into this potential shootout undefeated and having scored 90+ points in three of their previous five games.The Creighton Blue Jays are no strangers to scoring either, as the 13th ranked team in the country is averaging 85 points on the year as well.
The Blue Jays snuck out of Gampel Pavilion with a victory on Sunday despite allowing Player of the Year candidate James Bouknight to drop 40 points for UConn in an overtime thriller. Creighton is lead by Big East Preseason Player of the Year Marcus Zegarowski, and leading scorer Denzel Mahoney. The Blue Jays have a balanced attack of scorers, although their defense has its holes, particularly beyond the arc, where Xavier has proven to be incredibly dangerous. Paul Scruggs and Zach Freemantle lead the way for the Musketeers in terms of scoring, but watch out for Nate Johnson in this one. Johnson is a senior guard with a knack for knocking down the long range bomb, to the tune of nearly 60% from three point land this season.
The total is 155 in this game and I suspect the Over might be a look here as well, considering the expected pace and shooting percentages of both teams. The only thing that scares me off from attacking the total is that this is another of the random, late afternoon tipoffs during Christmas week, where players internal clocks could be off at the start. In the end, I’ll side with Xavier getting this many points in what I expect to be a game decided in the final minute. I grabbed the Musketeers last night at +7.5 and number is down to +7 at the time of this article submission. I’d feel comfortable taking Xavier as long as I was getting at least play +6.5 points.
BET: Xavier +7 @ -110