Xavier Musketeers vs. Butler Bulldogs February 10 Betting Preview
Xavier enters the contest having won four of five games and is a (-7) road favorite, with the total set at 131.5 points. The competition is scheduled for a 7:00 PM EST tip-off from Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN, and will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1.
Butler Bulldogs Team Overview
Head coach Matta's return to the sideline is not going as planned this season. The Bulldogs have limped to a 12-13 record and just 4-10 in league play, albeit in a powerful Big East Conference. The Bulldogs broke a five-game losing streak in their last outing on Tuesday when they defeated St. John's by a count of 68-66.
Center Manny Bates seemed to return to his old self on Tuesday against the Red Storm. The seven-foot senior notched 15 points, six rebounds, and three blocks. It was by far his best performance since returning four games ago after missing three consecutive contests.
Matta's club is one of the worst teams in the Big East against the spread this season at just 11-12-2. The numbers do improve at home. However, Butler is 7-5-1 ATS at home during the campaign but is barely outperforming the number on average at just +0.3 points per contest.
Of note, the Bulldog's third-leading scorer, Chuck Harris, is currently a game-time decision as he deals with a concussion. He has missed two consecutive contests, including Tuesday's victory. He is averaging 11.7 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game on the season.
Xavier Musketeers Team Overview
Sean Miller's team may not have the same shine they did a couple of weeks ago, but they are still an elite eight-level club. The losses to DePaul and Creighton came following a long winning streak but were bound to happen in a difficult Big East. The loss of forward Zach Freemantle is something that is difficult to quantify but can't be considered anything other than a significant blow.
The All-Big East performer from the 2020-21 season is currently out with a foot injury and is expected back towards the end of the season. At the time of the injury, Freemantle was the second-leading scorer on the team at 15.2 points and the teams leading rebounder at 8.1 per contest.
Xavier is an average club on the road this season, covering in four of their seven true road games on the season. They are outperforming the number by just +0.6 points per game on the road and own a margin of victory of just +2.0 points.
The injuries to Harris and Freemantle do not exactly wash each other, but both are important players for their respective teams. Xavier has won just once in their last three conference road games, but that victory did come against Connecticut.
The Musketeer's offense is far better than Butler's defense, and the Bulldogs do not deploy a strong offense either. This is a good opportunity for Xavier to show they can win on the road with their star forward.
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