The Xavier Musketeers visit No. 3 Purdue in a non-conference contest on Monday. The Xavier vs Purdue game will be the first tough game of the season for both teams. Both Xavier and Purdue have cruised to 2-0 starts this year. But the quality of the teams they played leaves a bit to be desired. While the Musketeers have a pretty decent team, the sportsbook isn’t expecting it to be much of a battle for the Boilermakers. Purdue is favored by 17.5 points, and the total on the game is 151.5.
Location: Mackey Arena, West Lafayette, Indiana
Line: Purdue -17.5 | Total: 151.5
Streaming: Fox Sports 1
Musketeers Not All That Impressive Yet
Xavier is 2-0 straight-up and 1-1 vs the college basketball scores and odds. The Musketeers are winning by an average of 18.5 points. But considering they’ve played Robert Morris and Jacksonville, Xavier should be winning by a large margin.
Xavier is shooting 47.9% from the field and just 27.5% from 3-point range through the first two games. It’s a little early to become concerned. But it is something the team needs to do better on. As expected, Desmond Claude and Quincy Olivari are leading the charge. The Musketeers have five players averaging 9.5 points or more, and eight players are playing at least 16 minutes. Only Claude is playing more than 28:30 per game, so Xavier is getting some guys into the game.
Defensively, the Musketeers have been solid, but again, that has to do with the level of competition as much as anything. Xavier is allowing 34.4% field goals and 21.2% on 3-points. But it’s a safe bet both of those numbers will be higher after the Xavier vs Purdue game.
Boilermakers Rolling Over the Opposition
Purdue has been more impressive than Xavier in the early going. The Boilermakers have won their two games, 98-45 and 87-57. Granted, those games were against Samford and Morehead State. But the Boilermakers are 2-0 against the spread, covering by a half-point over Morehead State.
Purdue is shooting 54.7% from the field and 46.2% on 3-points through its first two games. Zach Edey leads the way with 17 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. Much like Xavier, the Boilermakers have gone to their bench a fair amount. The role players are unlikely to see the same amount of playing time as they have been getting.
Purdue’s defense has been solid, holding the opposition to 29.9% shooting and 19.7% on 3-pointers. How much of that is due to Purdue and how much is due to the opposition should become a little clearer after this one.
Who to Bet On?
Both teams are taking a big step up in class, especially Xavier, so things may move slowly at the beginning. It could take several possessions for the teams to settle in and play basketball.
Xavier has been a good underdog the past couple of seasons, going 13-8 against the spread. There’s never a good time to play Purdue, but the Musketeers are catching the Boilermakers right before they play Gonzaga. So it’s possible there’s a bit of a look ahead. But probably not too much, as the game is still a week away.
The line appears to be a little bit on the high side. Xavier isn’t a bad team, and the KenPom rankings have Purdue winning by just 12 points. The recent form likely has little to do with the point spread being where it is. You can’t say the Boilermakers haven’t dominated their opponents so far. You can’t say the same for Xavier. But how much effort were they expending against outmatched foes?
The Xavier vs Purdue game is one of those that appears to be capable of going either way, at least as far as the point spread is concerned. Purdue should win the game outright. But as far as your NCAAB picks against the point spread, it’s tough to pass on Xavier getting 15.5 points.
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