Xavier at Cincinnati Lines, Betting Pick & TV Info

Posted by Kenny Bell on Wednesday,January 25, 2017 8:59, EST in

One of the most heated rivalries in all of college basketball is the battle for bragging rights in the Queen City when private school Xavier and public school Cincinnati square off. It’s the No. 24 Musketeers and No. 19 Bearcats on Thursday night in the annual Crosstown Classic. The Bearcats will home college basketball betting lines favorites.

Xavier at Cincinnati Lines, Betting Pick & TV Info

When: Thursday, Jan. 26, 7 PM ET
Where: Fifth Third Arena, Cincinnati
TV: ESPN2
Stream: WatchESPN
RadioXavier / Cincinnati
Opening NCAA Basketball Lines: Cincinnati favored by TBA

Why Bet On Xavier?

The two schools are separated by 3 miles in Cincinnati, making the rivalry one of the closest major rivalries in the country. The game was first played in 1927, and has been played every year since 1946. In recent years, the game has been sponsored by Skyline Chili, which is a huge deal in Ohio (if you have never eaten their food, do it). UC currently leads the series with a record of 49-34, but Xavier has won 14 of the last 20 meetings.

The Musketeers got some bad news last week when one of their top returning players left the team. That would be senior guard Myles Davis, who announced he was leaving school less than two weeks after being reinstated from a long suspension. Xavier suspended Davis before the start of this season while he faced misdemeanor charges in court for allegedly damaging his former girlfriend’s property.

One charge was dropped and Davis pleaded guilty to one reduced charge of disorderly conduct as part of a plea agreement. He played three games upon returning, averaging 0.7 points in just 11 minutes. Davis was a leader on the Xavier team that was ranked as high as No. 5 last season, when he averaged 10.8 points per game.

Xavier (14-5) ended a three-game losing streak with an 86-75 win over Georgetown on Sunday. Junior Xavier guard Trevon Bluiett made a firm statement to anyone concerned about his recent streaky shooting with 24 points on 7 of 15 shooting. Bluiett hadn’t made a 3-pointer in two games but was 3 of 5 from distance in this game. Junior guard J.P. Macura notched the fourth 20-point game of his career and his third this season. He went for 20 in the game, scoring 10 points from the free-throw line as he attacked the basket aggressively throughout.

“I thought we took a step forward playing a little harder off the ball," Coach Chris Mack said. “That was really good to see because that was something that we talked about, and that’s when you know you have your players’ attention.”

Why Bet On Cincinnati?

The Bearcats won their 10th straight game on Saturday in a 78-61 win at Tulane. UC was leading by only one and starting forwards Kyle Washington and Jacob Evans were both on the bench with two fouls when Quadri Moore entered the game with 11:40 left in the first half. He promptly buried a 3-pointer to steer the Bearcats back on track. By the end of the half he had scored 11 points, making four of five shots from the floor and all three of his attempts from 3-point range to help UC build a 38-22 halftime lead.

“Obviously, Quadri Moore is the star of the game for us with our foul trouble in the first half,” said UC coach Mick Cronin. “Usually you’re just trying to survive with Jacob and Kyle on the bench, your leading two scorers. Instead we pulled away.”

Moore, a 6-foot- 8 junior, scored a career-high 14 points in 20 minutes, also a career high, and he pulled down a season-high six rebounds. He had season highs in eight of 12 categories.

Cincinnati’s 17-2 record through 19 games matches the 2013-14 team for the best start to a season under 11th-year head coach Cronin. That squad started 22-2, finished 27-7 and won a share of The American regular-season crown (with Louisville). The Bearcats’ current 10-game win streak is their longest since a 15-game streak during the 2013-14 season.

UC has won its last 19 home games. It’s tied for the longest home-court win streak of the Cronin era. The Bearcats also won 19 consecutive home from March 2, 2013 through Feb. 15, 2014. Troy Caupain leads a balanced Bearcats’ scoring attack since the start of league play, averaging a team-high 11.9 points, shooting 46.4 percent (26 of 56) from the field and 48.1 percent (13 of 27) from three-point range. He is averaging 5.4 rebounds and a 4.0-to- 1 assist-to- turnover ratio in league action.

Thursday’s matchup marks only the third meeting in series history where both teams enter the game ranked in the AP poll. The only other meetings came on Jan. 19, 1994 when No. 22 Xavier edged No. 19 Cincinnati 82-76 in overtime and last season when No. 12 Xavier topped No. 23 Cincinnati 66-55.

Xavier at Cincinnati Betting Pick: Xavier Musketeers

Xavier has won three straight in the series but that ends Thursday.