Shaka Smart will try to lead his team to a sixth straight win in the January 23rd Xavier at Marquette betting contest. The Golden Eagles have not just rattled off five in a row, they’ve done it against #16 Providence, #20 Seton Hall, and #11 Villanova.
#20 Xavier marks another ranked foe that Marquette tries to topple. The Musketeers have won 10 of 12, losing only a couple contests to Villanova over that stretch. One of those victories was an 80-71 win over Marquette on December 18th even though the Golden Eagles did cover the +11 point spread. Oddsmakers have Xavier a -2 point road favorite in the Sunday rematch (2:00 PM ET, FS1).
Xavier Glad to Not Be Playing Villanova
The Musketeers haven’t lost to a team not named Villanova since the end of November when they fell 82-70 against Iowa State at the NIT tip-off in Brooklyn. Their run of 10 wins in 12 games includes road victories at Oklahoma State (77-71) as +3.5 underdogs, at Butler (87-72) to easily cover the -6.5 spread, and at DePaul (68-67) in a much closer game than the -9 point spread would have suggested.
Travis Steele’s squad has a tough challenge in a visit to Fiserv Forum where Marquette is 8-3 on the season, but Xavier also has that earlier win over the Golden Eagles in their back pocket. Dwon Odom had a career high 19 points in that meeting and 7-footer Jack Nunge exploited a mismatch with 13 points and 12 rebounds off the bench.
Nunge was also big (literally) on Wednesday with 23 points to lead the win over DePaul. Xavier is now 4-2 in conference play, just ahead of 5-3 Marquette but still trailing 5-1 Providence and 7-2 Villanova. The Musketeers have also covered the number in just one of their last five games.
Marquette Has Been Here
Another day, another ranked foe for the Golden Eagles heading into the January 23rd Xavier at Marquette betting contest. Smart has his team playing well taking down the 16th, 20th, and 11th ranked teams over their last five games.
A combination of Justin Lewis and the Marquette bench has been what the Golden Eagles have relied on during their impressive stretch. Lewis had 23 vs. Providence, 18 against Seton Hall, and 21 against Marquette so he obviously likes the big game matchup. Oso Ighodaro and Kam Jones combined for 30 off the bench against Providence, Darryl Morsell had 26 against Seton Hall, and Greg Elliott scored 14 off the bench vs. Villanova so this team is potent.
Free January 23rd Xavier at Marquette Betting Pick
Xavier has the win over Marquette earlier this season, but the Golden Eagles are on a sort of a run right now. We thought Marquette would have tripped up against Providence, Seton Hall, or especially Villanova but they’ve answered the bell in each of those challenges en route to a five game win streak. What’s concerning about this matchup is that roughly 3/4 of the public (or more) is on Marquette and yet the line has stayed firm at the Golden Eagles getting +2.
Marquette looks like an easy play for a lot of public bettors, which goes to show that a contrarian play on Xavier giving the -2 is the way to go.
Marquette 71 – Xavier 75
Free Pick: Xavier -2