The No. 6 Houston Cougars will look to stay undefeated in their first true road test when they visit the Xavier Musketeers on Friday. The teams will meet in the Big East-Big 12 Battle, with Houston representing the Big 12 for the first time and hoping to extend its current seven-game win streak. The Musketeers are seeking the upset, but NCAAB expert picks are taking the favored Cougars on the road.
Houston Shuts It Down
The Houston Cougars won their seventh straight game behind another dominating defensive performance against Montana.
Houston is No. 1 in KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency, limiting opponents to 49 points on a 35.3% field-goal percentage for first and fourth in the nation, respectively. The Cougars have allowed just one team to score over 60 points this season.
In their last win, the Cougars held Montana to 44 points on 32.6% shooting, turning over the Grizzlies 16 times for 21 points while allowing just one player to reach double figures.
Houston will now look to bring its suffocating defense on the road, and with how it has been playing, it should be a good NCAA basketball pick for another strong game.
Xavier Falls in Disappointment
The Musketeers dropped their third game of the season after they couldn’t pull out the win over Oakland.
Although Xavier was on a two-game winning streak following a pair of hot shooting nights against Saint Mary’s and Bryant, averaging 83 points and 52.1% shooting across those games, it couldn’t keep it up against the Golden Grizzlies.
The Musketeers stalled out in their loss to Oakland as they shot 41.1% from the field, below their season average of 46.6%, to finish with 76 points and lose by two despite outrebounding Oakland 37-29.
Xavier will hope to get its shooting back on track against Houston, but against the best defense in the Big 12, bettors may want to see if that’s possible before looking at some live betting odds.
Houston vs Xavier Betting Lines
Houston vs Xavier Best Bet
The sportsbook has Houston as a pretty solid favorite on the road against Xavier. However, just because there’s no value in betting the moneyline doesn’t mean bettors can’t find some in looking at the spread, where college basketball lines favor the Cougars by eight.
Though the Musketeers are at home, the Cougars should still be able to cover, bringing their stifling defense with them. Xavier has shown issues shooting the ball well against stronger teams, and it will have its toughest test yet against the No. 1 defense in the country.
Houston’s offense has also been solid behind veteran Jamal Shead and transfer LJ Cryer, which should help it get going on the road once more. The Cougars have covered in their last three games, and they should make it four straight against Xavier.
College Basketball Pick: Houston Cougars -8 (-110)
Houston vs Xavier Game Information
- Game: Houston (7-0) vs Xavier (4-3)
- Location: Cintas Center, Cincinnati, OH
- Day/Time: Friday, Dec. 1, 6:30 p.m. ET
- Houston vs Xavier Live Stream: TBS.com
Questions Of The Day
Is there any injury update that could affect the outcome of the Houston at Xavier game?
Neither team has any injuries that could affect the outcome of the game.