The Providence Friars are on the road today in Big East College Basketball when they take on the Xavier Musketeers. The game is scheduled for a 1:00 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on FOX Sports 1. Currently the Betting Odds for the game have the Musketeers laying a comfortable margin in this one.
Providence and Butler are each a half-game back of No. 7 Villanova in the Big East standings. The Friars might be one of the best team not many people are paying attention to, battling in the tough Big East and grinding out wins. Providence is just 3-4 in road games this season, but just picked up a big win at Georgetown earlier this week. This road tilt against Xavier ends a three-game road trip that also saw Providence fall to St. John's last week.
Xavier has not had a great season at just 14-9, but they have beaten Georgetown twice and knocked off a ranked Seton Hall Team. The Musketeers have lost two straight games but are laying a solid number in this one, which should give everyone at least some caution before taking Providence today.
The Friars are led in scoring by LaDontae Henton's 20.2 points per game, but both Kris Dunn (15.3 ppg) and Tyler Harris (10.3) have been playing well in Big East games. The Friars don't shoot the ball well, aren't a good rebounding team and have been a mediocre defensive club as well. But with 17 wins on the season already, the Friars can continue to pile up victories by winning gritty and getting it done in crunch time.
Xavier is just 5-6 in the Big East this season and most recently got dumped by Creighton in overtime. Matt Stainbrook leads the Musketeers in scoring at 12.6 points per game, but they also get double-digit scoring from both Trevon Bluiett and Myles Davis. All three will have to play well in this game at home against a Providence team that is looking for an NCAA Tournament bid.
Playing well at home, Xavier has gone 11-1 with the only loss coming against Creighton recently. They'll get it done here against Providence, but this game is going to be a close one.
Free Pick: Xavier 62, Providence 57
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