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UConn at Xavier odds, picks and prediction

The No. 23 UConn Huskies (16-6, 7-4 Big East) travel to Cintas Center in Cincinnati to take on the Xavier Musketeers (16-7, 6-6) Friday. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET. Below, we look at the UConn vs. Xavier odds and lines, and make our expert college basketball picks, predictions and bets.

The Musketeers return home off a 73-71 loss at Seton Hall as 3-point underdogs. Xavier has been much better at home this season, going 11-3 at Cintas Center compared to 4-3 on the road. The Musketeers are just 7-7 against the spread (ATS) at home this season but have covered just three of their last 10 games overall.

UConn is 11-11 ATS on the season and 6-4 ATS over its last 10 outings. The Huskies are led by a high-octane offense that averages 78 points per game (34th nationally). They’re just 3-3 straight up (SU) and ATS on the road as they’ve struggled to keep that heat when not at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion.

Rankings courtesy of the Ferris Mowers Coaches Poll powered by USA TODAY Sports.

UConn at Xavier odds, spread and lines

Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 6:50 a.m. ET.

  • Money line: UConn +102 (bet $100 to win $102) | Xavier -125 (bet $125 to win $100)
  • Against the spread: UConn +1.5 (-110) | Xavier -1.5 (-110)
  • Over/Under (O/U): 140.5 (O: -110 | U: -110)

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UConn at Xavier odds, lines, picks and predictions

Prediction

Xavier 73, UConn 69

Money line

BET XAVIER (-125).

The Musketeers are significantly better at home. Despite that they’re just 7-7 ATS at Cintas they have a plus-2.3 ATS margin there which is relevant with such a short spread.

UConn is sixth nationally in offensive rebounding, but Xavier should be able to dismiss that presumed edge behind 7-foot C Jack Nunge.

The Musketeers simply play better at home and the Huskies haven’t been good on the road, and they should have the edge when you combine the two factors.

Against the spread

PASS on the spread.

I understand the intrigue to take the better odds but it’s only 15 cents more expensive to take the safety of the money line.

The Musketeers have had two 1-point wins this season. One of those games was in Big East play against DePaul and they’ve had several other close conference battles. I’d prefer the money line here.

Over/Under

BET on the OVER 140.5 (-110).

The Musketeers have come out slow several games in a row, but they won’t have the same luxury Friday as the Huskies have one of the best-scoring offenses in the nation.

That dynamic scoring has helped them top the projected over in eight of their last 10 games and go 15-7 O/U this season. UConn is 8-3 O/U in conference matchups.

The Musketeers are averaging 73.1 points per game and should be able to hold up their end of the total despite just a 4-6 O/U record in their last 10 games.

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