The matchup between the Cincinnati Bearcats and Xavier Musketeers, known as the Crosstown Shootout, has brought some great finishes and surprise results over the years. But heading into Saturday’s edition, it’s the Bearcats who are rolling right along and off to a strong 7-0 start, while the Musketeers are 4-5 and have dropped three consecutive games.
This game should be a serious test for Cincinnati, though, and we’ve seen Xavier give some good teams a run for their money. The Musketeers lost to then-No. 2 Purdue 83-71 on the road while falling to No. 6 Houston two games ago by six points.
Cincinnati vs Xavier Head-to-Head
Cincinnati and Xavier have a Crosstown Shootout history that dates to 1928. Currently, the Bearcats hold a series lead of 51-38, but it was Xavier who won the last meeting, defeating the Bearcats 80-77 during the 2022-23 season. Xavier has been on a roll the past few years, winning four straight against Cincinnati, along with five of six and eight of the last 10 meetings.
Cincinnati vs Xavier Game Information
- Game: Cincinnati (7-0, 1-0) vs Xavier (4-5, 3-3)
- Date/Time: Dec. 9, 6:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Cintas Center, Cincinnati, OH
- Cincinnati vs. Xavier Live Stream: TBS.com
Cincinnati vs Xavier Betting Lines
Cincinnati vs Xavier Game Prediction
The most interesting aspect of this matchup is the outlook of both teams. Neither has received much belief in terms of predictions to finish high in their respective conferences. Xavier lost all but one of its key rotational players from last season after making a trip to the Sweet 16.
Regardless, both teams will be worth watching as the season rolls on and for this matchup, the Bearcats are getting some love as 1-point favorites.
Cincinnati big man Viktor Lahkin could prove to be a difference maker, as he averages 15.4 points and 8.4 rebounds so the Xavier frontcourt will have its hands full.
As for Xavier, guards Quincy Olivari and Desmond Claude have emerged as the clear-cut top options offensively, as they both average 16.1 points per game and are the only players on the team North of double-digits in scoring.
I think Xavier gives Cincinnati a real run for its money, but the Musketeers are still battling through some early season question marks, and I think the Bearcats pull it out in the end.
Predicted Score: Cincinnati Bearcats 76, Xavier Musketeers 71
Worth Targeting the Total?
This was one is too close to call for my liking. Both teams can score, and Cincinnati averages over 87 points per game, but Xavier will be all-in on both ends and specifically on the defensive end of the floor. While the numbers point to this game being able to clear its over/under of 153½, I’d lean toward the under, but I don’t love this spot all that much.
NCAAB Pick: Slight lean under 153½ (-105)
Worth Betting ATS?
This is one of the toughest NCAA picks today, as the history of this rivalry and the play of Xavier over the years is noteworthy. It’s also terrifying to bet against head coach Sean Miller, but Cincinnati is the better team at this moment. With the Bearcats laying just one point here and already showcasing some serious offensive upside, I’m going to ride that wave and back them in what should be a close game.
Cincinnati pulls it out and remains undefeated through eight games.
NCAAB Pick: Cincinnati Bearcats -1 (-110)
Questions of the Day
Will Sasa Ciani make the difference on this game?
Not one that’ll be noteworthy enough to alter the outcome, barring something unforeseen. The 6-foot-9 freshman has averaged 4.0 points and 3.9 rebounds over 16.9 minutes per game through his first nine played.