Creighton's mid-season skid continued on the road, losing in overtime at Providence, and it won't get any easier with a road trip to an NCAA Tournament hopeful Xavier.
The Bluejays knocked off Xavier at home a few weeks back in Omaha, Nebraska, can the team get back on track with a favorable matchup on the road now at the Cintas Center? Here's our full betting preview for Saturday afternoon's matchup in Big East play.
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Creighton vs. Xavier Odds, Spread and Total
Xavier vs. Creighton Betting Trends
- Creighton is 10-13 against the spread (ATS) this season
- Creighton is 3-7 ATS in the last 10 games
- Xavier is 14-9 ATS this season
- Xavier is 6-3 ATS as an underdog, 2-7 straight up (SU)
- Xavier has gone OVER in eight of 10 games
Creighton vs. Xavier How to Watch
- Date: Saturday, February 10th
- Game Time: 12:30 PM EST
- Venue: Cintas Center
- How to Watch (TV): FOX
- Creighton Record: 16-7
- Xavier Record: 13-10
Creighton vs. Xavier Key Players to Watch
Ryan Kalkbrenner: One of the best rim protectors in the country, Kalkbrenner shuts down the interior for opponents, which is incredibly impactful against a Xavier team that needs tries to dominate near the rim and on the glass. He had 16 points and nine rebounds in the first meeting.
Dayvion McKnight: The Western Kentucky transfer is shooting north of 41% from beyond the arc in Big East play, a floor spacer that the Musketeers desperately need. He hit four of his five three-point attempts in the first meeting, scoring 20 points. Can he keep up his fine play on Saturday?
Creighton vs. Xavier Prediction and Pick
While I have mentioned concern about Creighton against defenses that can ramp up the ball pressure against a Bluejays team that struggles to get penetration, I don't believe Xavier is the team to provide that.
The Musketeers are outside the top 250 nationally in terms of turnover percentage, per KenPom, and the team struggles in the half court.
If Xavier can't run, the team is 53rd in adjusted tempo according to KenPom and fifth in transition rate per ShotQuality, Sean Miller's group can't score. In half court offense, the Musketeers are 323rd in points per possession according to SQ.
Now, the team welcomes Creighton to the Cintas Center, who is stewing off a tight loss at Providence in overtime. While some may peg this as a brutal situation for the short bench of the Bluejays to play a second straight road conference game, I believe this matchup suits Greg McDermott's bunch nicely.
Creighton doesn't let you run, 341st in opponent transition frequency, and is elite on the interior with Ryan Kalkbrenner in the paint, 17th in the country in two-point percentage. A lot of Xavier's offense comes from second chances, the team is second in Big East offensive rebounding percentage, but Creighton is the best defensive rebounding team in the league. This can be a slog for the home team.
The Bluejays just missed a cover against Xavier as seven-and-a-half point favorites back on January 23rd in Omaha, winning by seven, but in that game the Musketeers shot 44% on two's and 33% on three's. I believe the defensive structure of Creighton can navigate the team to a win.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
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