Wisconsin Badgers at Xavier Musketeers
NCAAB: Tuesday, November 13, 2018 at 6:30 PM EST
Wisconsin and Xavier are no strangers to being in the t4op 25, but neither is ranked, as they face off in one of the Gavitt Tipoff Games. The Badgers won their season opener in a 22-point win over Coppin State and that game was at home and they will be tested more in this road game facing a Xavier team that is off to a 2-0 start.
Xavier has won their first two games and while their defense was not great in their last game their offense was. They scored 91 points in their last game and that was after scoring 82 points in their season opener. This will be the Musketeers first game of the season facing a team from a major conference.
These teams met last season at Wisconsin where the Musketeers beat the Badgers 80-70. Wisconsin Badgers at Xavier Musketeers
Defense gets the job done
In their season opener at home, Wisconsin did not have the best shooting game, but they played good defense in the 85-63 win over Coppin State. The Badgers outscored State by 22 points in the first half and for the game, they held them to 35.6% shooting and only had five turnovers, but did only shoot 41% from the floor. D’Mitrik Trice was the high scorer for Wisconsin going for 21 points on 7/13 shooting and he hit five of his nine 3-pointers. Ethan Happ had a triple-double with 10 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists, and reserve Brevin Pritzl was the only other player going for double figures with 16 points.
Happ is a senior and the big gun for the Badgers and last season he averaged 17.9 ppg and 8 rpg. He and Trice make a very good FW/G combo and Xavier has to play good all-around defense in this non-conference affair.
Not the best D, but the offense comes through
Xavier was at home in their last game beating Evansville where they did not play the best defense, but their offense was legit.
— Xavier Gameday (@XavierGameday) November 10, 2018
They shot 51.6% from the floor and 45.5% from 3-pt land while they allowed the Purple Aces to shoot 45.8% from the field and 51.5% from deep. One of the main reasons the Musketeers got the win is that they had 19 offensive rebounds and they only gave up three. Paul Skruggs went for 24 points to lead Xavier, Tyrique Jones had 19 points, they were a combined 16/27 from the floor, and two reserves went for 14 points apiece. Jones leads the team averaging 18 ppg after two games and three other players are averaging at least 14 ppg. The Musketeers can really shoot the three and the Badgers have to come up and play solid perimeter defense in this game or they will be going home with their first loss of the season.
The Xavier Musketeers are:
- 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall
- 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 non-conference games
- 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win
The Wisconsin Badgers are:
- 6-0 ATS in their last 6 road games
- 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall
- 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up win
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
While Xavier is 2-0 they have failed to cover in each of their two games this season. On top of that Wisconsin has covered the spread in their last six road games. Look for the latter trend to continue. Happ will have a big game in the paint and the Badgers will avenger last season’s loss to Xavier by beating them in this game and moving to 2-0 on the young season.
Prediction: PICK: Wisconsin
Full-Game Total Pick
Taking the Under in this one, as I am taking Wisconsin overall to cover because of their D even though Xavier has a legit offense that can light it up., the Badgers will smother the Musketeers on defense and keep them from putting up a lot of points. That is why the Under is the smart pick in this game.
Prediction: PICK: Under