Xavier vs Cincinnati Picks and Odds

Xavier forward Jason Carter going up for a shot over Butler forward Sean McDermott.

Xavier forward Jason Carter (25) shoots over Butler forward Sean McDermott (22) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, March 7, 2020, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
  • The long-running Crosstown Shootout returns on Sunday, Dec. 6 as Xavier battles Cincinnati
  • The Musketeers have won five of the past seven matchups dating back to 2013
  • Find odds for the game, as well as matchup analysis and a pick, in the article below

College basketball features hundreds of teams and thousands of non-conference matchup permutations, which can lead to all sorts of unpredictability from a betting standpoint. That’s why, when a pair of common foes meets on the hardcourt, it’s worth appreciating that the matchup can be analyzed in a slightly different way.

Xavier and Cincinnati, a pair of southern Ohio schools who’ll tip off Sunday, Dec. 6 at 3 pm ET, face each other every season in the Crosstown Shootout. The Musketeers have had the recent edge, and they retain that edge in the odds for this coming game:

Xavier vs Cincinnati Odds

Team Moneyline Point Spread Over/Under Total
Xavier +134 +2.5 (-102) Over 136.5 (-112)
Cincinnati -158 -2.5 (-120) Under 136.5 (-108)

Odds taken Dec. 5 at FanDuel

Recent History

The Crosstown Shootout has been largely dominated by Xavier in recent years, as the Musketeers have won five of the past seven meetings dating back to 2013 — including last year’s game.

In 2019, Xavier defeated Cincinnati, 73-66, as a 3-point favorite. Naji Marshall, who is no longer with Xavier, led the way with 31 points, eight rebounds and five steals. Cincinnati had five players score double figures in that game (and three of those players are still on the team).

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An interesting thing to note about this matchup is that oddsmakers have been spot on with picking the favorite. Each of the past 10 favorites — dating back to January of 2011 — have won straight up and covered the spread.

ATS Analysis

Xavier has a nice sample size of five games already, where they’ve deployed strong defense to put together a 5-0 record. Against the spread, though, the Musketeers are only 2-3. Extending back to last season, they’ve only covered in two of their past nine games (and they were favored all but once in that span).

Facing Cincinnati will be Xavier’s first road game of the season, but I mean, Cincinnati’s Fifth Third Arena is less than 15 minutes away.

The Bearcats have played just once this season, narrowly failing to cover a 15-point spread in a 67-55 win over Lipscomb. So, yes, Cincinnati is winless against the spread this season, but there’s not a lot of data to apply meaning to that.

Well, not unless you look back to the end of last season. In their past nine games, the Bearcats are 1-8 against the spread (they were favorites in all but one of those games).

So that puts these teams at a combined 3-15 ATS in recent games. Yikes!

Who To Watch For

As stated with Cincinnati, we only have one game to look back on this season and consider. That said, center Chris Vogt stood out with 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting, to go with seven rebounds and three blocks.

The 7-foot-1 senior has at least four inches on everyone in Xavier’s regular rotation, which could make for some interesting mismatches.

Xavier’s main player to watch is the one who’ll likely be tasked with slowing down Vogt: sophomore Zach Freemantle. The 6-foot-9 forward leads the team in scoring (17.4 points/game), while adding 8.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. His presence is a big part of why the Musketeers are 13th in the nation in effective field goal percentage allowed (38.8 percent).

The Musketeers will also have transfer guard Adam Kunkel available for the first time, now that his waiver has been approved by the NCAA. Kunkel was named to the all-Ohio Valley Conference team last year with Belmont, averaging 16.5 points in 33 starts, shooting 39 percent from 3-pt. range.

Overall, we like Xavier’s body of work, which quintuples what Cincinnati has shown so far. Yes, oddsmakers have been on the money with spotting the favorite in recent years — but 2020 is a year unlike any other

Pick: Xavier (+134)

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