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Nate Johnson & Xavier open as road favorites against Butler on January 7, 2022.

The Xavier Musketeers (11-2 SU, 9-4 ATS) are just 1-4 SU and ATS in their last five road games. The Musketeers will try to earn a road win this Friday night when they take on the Butler Bulldogs (8-5 SU, 4-8 ATS) in Indianapolis.

Xavier Muskateers vs Butler Bulldogs
  • Date/Time: January 07, 8:30 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: Hinkle Fieldhouse
  • TV Coverage: FS1
  • Opening Odds: Musketeers -5.5 | O/U 130.5 points (Line History)
  • Muskateers vs Bulldogs Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

The Musketeers opened as 5.5-point road favorites and have since been bet down a point to Xavier -4.5. The total in this Big East showdown has remained steady at 130.5 points. Xavier is 14-6 ATS in its last 20 games against Butler.

Xavier News & Notes

Xavier will be playing in its first game since December 21 on Friday after having each of its last two scheduled opponents pull out of their games due to COVID-19 outbreaks. That game on the 21st was a 71-58 loss on the road to the Villanova Wildcats. Prior to that game, the Musketeers had gone 7-0 SU and 6-1 ATS over their previous seven games and had averaged 86.3 points per game over their last four games.

Three of Xavier’s top four scorers this season are upper-classmen in senior Nate Johnson (13.2 points per game), junior Jack Nunge (12.5 PPG) and senior Paul Scruggs (10.4 PPG). That veteran experience should help the Musketeers be ready to play their best game against Butler despite the long layoff. The Musketeers rank 111th in the nation on offense averaging 75.5 points per game and 48th on defense allowing 62 points per game.

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Butler News & Notes

The Bulldogs will also enter this game coming off of a loss after failing to get much going in a 71-56 loss to the Seton Hall Pirates as 3.5-point home underdogs on Tuesday night. Offensive output has been a major issue for the Bulldogs all season as the team ranks 385th in the nation in scoring with a dismal 62.8 points per game. Chuck Harris leads the team with 10.6 points per game and is one of only two players on the team along with Jayden Taylor (10.5 PPG) averaging more than ten points per game.

Despite its offensive woes, Butler has managed to compile a 5-2 SU and 3-3 ATS record over its last seven games since going 0-3 SU and ATS over its previous three games. The Bulldogs rank 29th in the nation on defense allowing 60.8 points per game.

How Xavier Will Cover

While these two teams are pretty even on defense, Xavier has the clear edge on offense in this matchup. As long as rust isn’t too big of a factor, the Musketeers’ scoring depth should push Xavier to a win and cover.

How Butler Will Cover

Home court advantage will be crucial for Butler here facing a Xavier team that has struggled on the road over the last two seasons. With the home crowd behind them, the Bulldogs can cover the spread or even put themselves in position for an upset with a shutdown performance on defense.

Computer Pick: Xavier -6

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Shark Bites
  • Xavier is 8-3 ATS in their last 11 road games vs Butler
  • Butler is 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games
  • The UNDER is 7-0 in Butler's last 7 home games