Houston Cougars (7-0) vs. Xavier Musketeers (4-3)
The undefeated Houston Cougars are set to clash with the Xavier Musketeers in a highly anticipated NCAA Men’s Basketball game. On December 1, 2023, the Cougars, standing strong at 7-0, will face Xavier, who holds a 4-3 record, at the Cintas Center. This matchup is not just a test of skill but also a crucial point for those looking for the NCAAB winning pick.
The Houston Cougars are led by guard LJ Cryer, who is averaging 17 points and shooting lights out from three at nearly 38%. Cryer has been the catalyst for Houston’s high-powered offense that is putting up over 76 points per game. The Cougars are also tenacious on defense, holding opponents to just 52.3 points on average.
The Xavier Musketeers counter with guard Desmond Claude, who is netting 16.7 points along with 3.6 assists per contest. Xavier is scoring over 77 points per game, but their defense has been porous at times. The Musketeers have allowed each of their last five opponents to score at least 74 points.
Houston Cougars vs. Xavier Musketeers Game Info
|Friday, December 1, 2023 at 6:30 PM ET
LJ Cryer (Guard) vs. Desmond Claude (Guard)
LJ Cryer has taken his game to another level as a junior, emerging as Houston’s top scorer after mainly coming off the bench his first two seasons. His three point shooting and quick trigger from deep make Cryer a constant threat to explode for a big night. However, at just 6’1″ he can struggle defending taller guards.
Desmond Claude improved his scoring average significantly from his freshman season a year ago. The sophomore guard has been Xavier’s catalyst offensively. However, he is also turning the ball over 2.4 times per game and can get into foul trouble relying too much on reaching in defensively.
This matchup will be one of contrasting styles, with Cryer looking to push pace and bomb threes versus Claude trying to attack methodically in the half court set. Cryer’s ability to stretch the floor and move without the ball could be an issue for Claude to contain. Meanwhile, Claude will look to use his size advantage to overpower Cryer and get to the rim.
NCAAB Odds/Point Spread: Houston Cougars -375, Total Odds: 138.5
The Cougars are nearly a touchdown favorite on the road against a Xavier team that typically plays well at home. However, Houston’s smothering defense and vastly superior scoring margin indicate they should be able to cover this number. The total is enticing at just 138.5 points as both teams can fill it up offensively.
Houston Cougars Betting Trends
The Cougars have dominated defensively, going under the total in six of their last seven contests. They are on a ten game road winning streak and have won seven straight overall this season. Houston has struggled against the Big East in the past, going just 2-11 straight up in their last 13 matchups.
Xavier Musketeers Betting Trends
Xavier has covered the spread in four of their last six outings. They are 11-5 straight up in their past 16 games. The Musketeers are extremely tough to beat at the Cintas Center, winning 15 of their previous 17 home games. Xavier has seen the over cash in five straight games against Big 12 opponents.
Houston Cougars vs. Xavier Musketeers 12/1/2023 Betting Picks
The Cougars are the superior defensive team, rank higher nationally in every major metric, and have been blowing out quality competition all season. Xavier can score with most teams but their defense is very suspect. We predict Houston’s tenacious man defense will fluster the young Musketeers into turnovers and tough shots all night long. Lay the points on the road with the Cougars as part of any NCAAB parlay at the best sportsbooks.
Our free pick and prediction is for Houston to win 73-62. Back the hot Cougars to stay perfect on the year behind a dominant effort on both ends of the court.
Free Pick and Prediction: Houston Cougars 73, Xavier Musketeers 62