Houston Cougars (7-0) vs. Xavier Musketeers (4-3)
Houston Cougars vs. Xavier Musketeers 12/1/23 – In a riveting NCAA Men’s Basketball face-off, the undefeated Houston Cougars (7-0) are set to battle the Xavier Musketeers (4-3) on December 1, 2023, at the Cintas Center. This matchup is not only a test of skill and strategy but also a showcase of resilience and determination. With the Cougars riding high on a perfect start and the Musketeers aiming to bolster their record, this game is brimming with zero-charge NCAAB insights.
The Cougars have been nothing short of dominant to begin the year, winning all seven games by an average of over 10 points per game. Sharpshooting guard LJ Cryer leads the team with 17 points per contest on lethal 42/38/100 shooting splits. His scoring prowess from all over the court opens up the offense and allows Houston to space the floor and attack inside as well.
While not as prolific offensively, Xavier leans on senior guard Desmond Claude and his 16.7 points and 3.6 assists per game to catalyze their attack. Claude delivers from all three levels with consistency, converting close to 49% of his shots. His distribution ability also unlocks the Musketeer offense and allows multiple players to get involved.
Houston Cougars vs. Xavier Musketeers 12/1/23 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 even greater heights as a junior, increasing his scoring average by over 8 points from last season. Beyond just filling it up, he’s economical and careful with the ball, sporting a flawless 1:1 assist to turnover ratio. His unlimited shooting range and quick trigger from three stretch defenses thin, while his craftiness going to the rim prevents overplaying on the perimeter. Teams often throw multiple defenders at Cryer, but he continues producing at an All-American clip.
Like Cryer, Desmond Claude shoulders a heavy load for his squad with over 32 minutes and 16.7 points each night out. Claude has transformed into a true combo guard this year, blending scoring and distributing with nearly 4 dimes per contest as well. He’s unafraid attacking the basket but doesn’t force much either, as evidenced by his strong 49% conversion rate. Claude’s lack of three point prowess remains his only offensive shortcoming currently.
The elite shot-making of Cryer figures to clash directly with Claude’s defensive focus for Xavier. Similarly, Cryer could have his hands full chasing Claude around screens and keeping him out of the lane. These top guards neutralizing each other would force the rest of the rosters to step up immensely.
NCAAB Odds/Point Spread: Houston Cougars -375, Total Odds: 138.5
The Cougars enter as 7-point road favorites, a large spread for two major-conference opponents. Clearly, oddsmakers respect Houston’s perfect record and strong metrics that include blitzing teams by double-digits nightly. Still, Xavier’s sterling 15-2 home record over the past two seasons shows they rarely falter on their own court. The total sits at a reasonable 139 points as well between two offenses netting 75+ points per contest.
Houston Cougars Betting Trends
The Cougars ride a scorching hot 7-0 start both straight up and against the spread. They’ve taken care of business consistently no matter the venue or opponent. With four covers in their last five December clashes, Houston seems to maintain focus amidst the holidays as well. Most impressively, the Cougars have gone a spectacular 10-0 straight up in their last 10 true road matchups dating back to last season.
Xavier Musketeers Betting Trends
Despite three early losses, Xavier has been solid at home as usual with three victories by 10+ points each. Against Big 12 foes specifically, they’ve trended over the total in five consecutive meetings as well. Like Houston, the Musketeers increase their play in December with seven consecutive wins in the year’s final month. They’ve also rewarded bettors in Friday battles, covering at a 60% clip over their last 15 such contests.
Houston Cougars vs. Xavier Musketeers 12/1/23 Betting Picks
Considering the statistics and trends, this game is poised for a competitive showdown. Houston’s defensive prowess and efficient scoring make them a strong pick, but Xavier’s home advantage and resilience should not be underestimated.
For premium sports analysis, while Houston is favored to win, Xavier’s ability to cover the spread in a potentially tight game is worth considering. The over/under at 138.5 might lean towards the under, given Houston’s defensive strength and the under trend in their recent games.
Free Pick and Prediction: Houston Cougars 72, Xavier Musketeers 66