Hoya's Defense Makes Them A Live Dog On Sunday

Mark Lathrop

Sunday, January 22, 2017 2:39 PM UTC

Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017 2:39 PM UTC

Our expert college basketball handicapper breaks down this nationally televised Big East Conference game between the Xavier Musketeers and Goergetown Hoyas. Can Georgetown keep the game close against a ranked opponent on the road?

Georgetown Hoyas vs Xavier Musketeers  

The 10-9 Georgetown Hoyas look to get themselves out of the basement of the Big East standings on Sunday as they travel to the 22nd ranked 13-5 Xavier Musketeers. With just one win to show for their efforts in conference play so far, the Hoyas had opened as 10.5-point underdogs in this game. That line has since been bet down to -9 in favor of Xavier. The O/U total has opened at 148 at multiple books.

One reason the line has been bet on Georgetown’s side is the injury to one of Xavier’s key players. Junior 6’ 6” guard, Edmond Sumner, played through the injury against Creighton earlier in the week. If he is unable to go the Musketeers will need to make up 15.4 points per game over 33.9 average minutes. Sumner leads the team in assists as well with 4.7 per game, so that would be a bigger blow than the scoring. Xavier does not use a deep rotation either, and they will heavily rely on just 7 players against Georgetown. The senior guard, Myles Davis, also just left the team this week. Davis led the Musketeers in assists last year.

Xavier comes into this game loser of 3 straight SU and ATS. Tough conference games against Villanova, Butler, and Creighton will do that. They have held it together at home, though, going 9-1 SU and 6-3 ATS in that situation.

Georgetown enters this matchup losers of 6 of their last 7 games ATS. In those games, their leading scorer, 6’ 5” senior guard Rodney Pryor, has had a tough stretch. Averaging 17.7 points per game on the year, Pryor hasn’t reached his average in the last five games. However, the last time Pryor went off was on New Year’s Eve against Xavier – a game in which he scored 20 points.

Georgetown uses a rotation that is 10 players deep, which I see as an advantage on the defensive side of the ball in this matchup. They held Xavier to just 39% shooting from the field and 31.6% from behind the arc in their earlier game this year, an 81-76 Xavier win. Georgetown won the first half in that game and also shot 50% from the field, so I like this game to stay within a single digit margin. Edmond Sumner put up 28 points in the first matchup too, so if he is dinged up that will be a bullet dodged for Georgetown.

The road team is 5-0 ATS in the last five games of this series, so I’m taking Georgetown and the 9.5 points as one of my Sunday college basketball picks.


Free NCAAB Picks: Georgetown +9.5Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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2015-16 NCAAB Record: 19-13-2, +4.70 Units 

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