The No. 22 Xavier Musketeers are one of a number of teams experiencing a lengthy hiatus due to COVID issues. They haven’t played since Dec. 21 but are ready to get back on the hardwood Friday when they host the Butler Bulldogs. When they are on the court, the Musketeers have had a lot of success against non-conference opponents with a 10-1 record outside of the Big East. They have played only two conference games due to the postponements but are 1-1 in the Big East with a loss to Villanova but a win over Marquette.
Butler is also 1-1 in the Big East but is just 7-4 in non-conference games. That leaves them with an 8-5 overall record and a fifth-place spot in the Big East rankings. They have lost two of their last three games and were handled by Seton Hall last time out 71-56.
Here are the odds for this Big East brawl, courtesy of WynnBET Sportsbook.
Xavier vs. Butler Odds, Spread, and Total
- Xavier -5.5 (-110)
- Butler +5.5 (-110)
- Xavier -250
- Butler +200
Total: 130.5 (Over -110/Under -110)
Xavier vs. Butler Prediction and Pick
This is a big test for Xavier on the road. On the one hand, they are a ranked team with a great overall record; especially in non-conference games. On the other hand, this is a conference game against a team that, despite five losses, has played a lot of ranked teams so far. Those losses mean a bit less when you realize they were to Houston, Purdue, and Seton Hall.
They have also struggled against Big East foes aside from DePaul. Also, those losses to Purdue and Houston were blowouts of 29 points and 18 points respectively.
The Bulldogs have a pretty good defense but they can’t score and therefore their defensive prowess matters very little. They rank 324th in the nation in overall scoring at 60.4 PPG and 298th in total rebounds. This is bad news because the Musketeers have a top 40 defense and are in the top 20 in total rebounds.
If Xavier wants to be taken seriously in the Big East, this is a game they need to win. They are bigger, faster, stronger, and just plain better than Butler. Therefore, I feel good about laying the 5.5 points on the road.
Pick: Xavier -5.5 (-110)