Tom Stryker’s Free Basketball Play January 29th


#842 XAVIER (-) over Marquette at 8:30 PM EST
With blemishes in four of its last five battles and with a pair of really tough road games at Seton Hall and DePaul on deck, Xavier needs this victory over Marquette like blood. Fueled by 20-point revenge from an ugly 85-65 beating they suffered at Milwaukee back on January 15th, the Musketeers will be sure to grab this important revenge win and cover.

Counting the loss to the Golden Eagles this season, XU has quietly posted an ugly 0-3 SU and ATS mark in its last three meetings in this series. That fact is noted. Thankfully, the Cintas Center has been a magically place for head coach Travis Steele and his troops. Xavier is a stunning 268-43 SU on this floor and owns a 10-2 SU mark here this season. Also, at home battling with revenge of any kind, the Musketeers hold an eye-popping 83-13 SU and 57-36-3 ATS record dating back to February 12th, 1997 including a highly profitable 38-17-3 ATS provided they are favored by -11.5 points or less. With those two parameters in play and Xavier fighting a foe that holds a team won/loss percentage of .695 or better, this situation cruises to a reliable 24-7 ATS.

This is going to be a difficult spot for MU. As an underdog priced at +14 or less down to pick and matched up against an opponent that holds a team won/loss percentage of .625 or better, the Golden Eagles own a horrible 17-39 SU and 19-35 ATS record. Even worse, since January 31st, 2016, Big East road teams that check in without confidence off a straight up loss hold a woeful 25-46 SU and 26-44-1 ATS record provided their opponent arrives off SU and ATS loss. If our “play against” guest if battling with four or more days of rest, this conference angle falls to a woeful 12-23 SU and 10-24-1 ATS including 6-17 SU and 5-17-1 ATS if their opponent was on the road last.

With a 2-5 SU record in the Big East and with four of their next five on the conference road, the Musketeers have absolutely no margin for error here. Take Xavier. Thanks and best of luck, Tom.

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