Big East Basketball Betting – Xavier seeks to dial up long-distance vs. Creighton

  • In Charles Jay
  • Fri, Mar 10th, 2023 2:10:29 pm
  • By Charles Jay - Exclusive to OSGA

Two national powers will collide as the Creighton Bluejays tackle the Xavier Musketeers in the Big East semifinals on Friday night.

The Xavier Musketeers got a little more than they could handle on Thursday night in the Big East basketball tournament, but their three-point shooting prowess got them through. Meanwhile, the Creighton Bluejays easily got past a hot Villanova team, exhibiting the balance they’ve shown all season long.

Now BetOnline customers will see Creighton and Xavier battle it out in the semifinals of the Big East tournament at 9 PM Eastern time on Friday night at Madison Square Garden. The game will be televised by the folks at Fox Sports 1.

On Thursday, Creighton beat Villanova, 87–74, in a game where all five starters scored in double figures. That’s not a huge surprise, since all five starts have averaged that during the regular season. In this particular game, Ryan Kalkbrenner, the 7–1 center, scored 21 points, while Baylor Sheiermann almost chalked up a triple double, with 12 points, 12 rebounds, and nine assists. Creighton hit 12 triples for the game ion the process of upping their record to 21–11.

Xavier is now 24–8 after defeating Depaul 89–84. The Musketeers actually trailed by nine points at the half, so that was something of a wake-up call. Seven- foot center Jack Nunge had 23 points, and added six offensive rebounds. Colby Jones, the 6-6 wingman, had 22 points, and overall, Xavier hit nine three-pointers.

In the Big East basketball betting odds posted on this game by the folks at BetOnline, Creighton is the favorite:

Creighton Bluejays -3.5
Xavier Musketeers. +3.5

Over 154 points -110
Under 154 points -110

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Xavier is a team that is going to be dangerous for somebody to face when the Big Dance comes. Sean Miller, who was exiled for a year after the Arizona recruiting scandal, and came back to the school he previously mentored, has a team that warmed up for the regular season by giving life and death to opponents like Indiana, Duke and Gonzaga, then got hot. They beat West Virginia and Connecticut by double digits, also scoring wins over Creighton and Marquette.

They did that with hot shooting from the outside. After Thursday’s performance, Xavier has now hit 40% of a three point attempts, which ranks fourth the nation in that category. when they come inside the arc, they are extremely accurate as well, hitting 54.6%. So they can beat you in different ways on offense. And they can conceivably put out a line up at any given time where four of the five players can hit from long range, so opposing defenses do not yet a lot of time to rest. Xavier is averaging over 82 points per game on the season.

But a challenge definitely comes from Creighton, which manages to play defense, without fouling, as evidenced by the fact that only 13.3% of points scored by the opponent are from the free throw line. That’s the fourth best in the country. Also, you’re going to have a hard time getting second shot opportunities against the Blue Jays, since they are eighth in the nation in defensive rebounding. No, they are not necessarily a deadly shooting team, although they can work well inside the arc (55%). They do hit the opposing teams with a lot of balance, which can’t be underestimated.

All things considered, Creighton might offer the value, although we do have some concerns about them playing their third game in three days. Xavier has enough effective size and a little more depth, plus they are never out of it with their shooters. So we'll take the points.

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