63% Capper Advises You Take Advantage Of Xavier's Desperation For A Win

Mark Lathrop

Sunday, February 26, 2017 1:54 PM UTC

Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017 1:54 PM UTC

Our over 63% ATS college basketball handicapper likes the home underdog in this important Big East match up at Xavier. Read on as he makes his case for a small upset as one of his Sunday college basketball picks.

In a marquee matchup between two Big East contenders, the 22nd ranked 22-6 Butler Bulldogs travel to visit the 18-10 Xavier Musketeers on Sunday afternoon. In a nationally televised game of Fox Sports 1, the Butler Bulldogs have been placed as 2-point favorites at most sportsbooks including 5Dimes. The O/U total has posted at 144.5 over at BookMaker.

With Xavier sitting at 8-7 in the Big East, they are currently ranked 4th in the conference behind a logjam of teams that are 8-8 in conference play. If they lose this game they could drop all the way to 8th in the Big East conference tournament seeding by the time their regular season is over. Win this game; however, and they are tied for 3rd place in the conference with Creighton.

Xavier comes into this game as losers of 4 games SU though, and a lot of the blame has to be placed on ill-timed injuries. The most important, of course, has been to Xavier’s leading scorer, 6’ 6” guard, Trevon Bluiett. Bluiett has averaged 17.8 points and 5.7 rebounds per game on the year, and his offense has been sorely missed over the last few weeks. He’s back for this game though and fully healthy as he picked up 38 minutes in Xavier’s last game at Seton Hall.

Butler comes into this game as winners of 3 straight games, but the biggest was their last one on the road this week against Villanova as a 10-point underdog. Butler rode a 46 point second half to win that game as they shot 50.9% from the floor and hit 40% of their shots from distance. 6’ 7” forward, Kelan Martin, was unstoppable in that game in scoring 22 points – a better than average performance when compared to his 15.7 points and 5.8 rebounds per game on the season.

These teams met earlier this year in mid-January, with Xavier still a ranked team at that point. Butler beat Xavier at home 83-78, in a game that went way over the listed total as Butler squeaked past their 4-point home chalk. Both teams shot close to their average percentages from the floor on the game overall, but Butler shot just 21.1% from distance. That performance was over 16% lower than their season average from 3-point range at home and on the road.

In this game I believe that Xavier has the most to play for, with Butler firmly in the NCAA Tournament and locked into their 2-seed for the Big East conference tourney as well. Xavier should be desperate for a win, and with Bluiett getting the rust off in the last game he should be primed to have a big game here. Expect maximum effort from Xavier here, and I’m taking them as the small home underdog as one of my Sunday college basketball picks.

Free NCAAB Pick: Xavier +2Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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