Providence vs. Xavier Odds
Providence travels down the road to Xavier on Wednesday in a crucial meeting that could decide who moves to No. 1 in the Big East.
The Friars have been rocking the past two weeks, winning three straight conference play games to move to 9-2 in the league. However, Providence has been doing most of its damage in the dunk, going a perfect 12-0. But away from home or in a neutral ground, it’s only 9-5 a year.
This will be one of the toughest road tests of the season so we’ll see if Ed Cooley’s guys are up for the challenge.
Xavier cracked the top 10 but has now fallen outside of it after being dismantled by Creighton, 84-67, on Saturday. The Knights dropped just two games in conference play and had very impressive wins like a recent road victory at Connecticut and home wins over both Marquette and Creighton.
Can they look after a job as a shortstop favorite at home and continue to build their March resume?
Cooley may not be the best shooting team in the country, but he hits the offensive glass and hits the free throw line better than anyone else in the Big East.
Providence has an offensive rebounding percentage of 35.3% and a free throw rate of 42.1%, both of which are the best in the Big East.
The problem the brothers had was losing to Creighton and Marquette in cold shooting. Providence went 8-for-37 combined from depth in those two games.
Providence doesn’t usually take many Three Pointers. Instead, it plays a large number of isolation groups and takes a lot of edge shots.
cross image the quality.
The Friars finish high on the rim overall, but only hit 55% of their shot attempts at the rim in conference play, which ranks sixth in the Big East.
They also put only 0.85 PPP into isolated groups, which is well below the national average.
The defense was the reason Providence jumped out to 9-2 in conference play. The Friars are third in the Big East in modified defensive efficiency and were elite at 3-point line defense, allowing only 27.7% shooting from depth during conference play.
Xavier doesn’t take too many 3-point shots and plays post-follow ball at one of the highest averages in the country. That’s something Providence has struggled to defend this season.
Many of Xavier’s shot attempts come off the edge though, as Providence played outstanding defense. Brothers only allows 1.11 PPPs, which is the 28th best in the country.
The Knights were great while playing the Big East mainly because of their offense. Xavier ranks second in the conference for modified offensive efficiency because he attacked the rim well and dropped his few attempts from behind the arc.
Xavier plays a great game from the inside out with big guys Jack Nunge and Zach Freemantle, who shoot over 56% from inside the arc.
This team plays postball at the eighth highest frequency in the country, which would be a huge advantage against a Providence team that was very mediocre on upright defense.
Fremantle and Nong are great passers out of position, too. They have the ability to pull off double teams, giving Xavier’s guards plenty of open shots. In fact, the Knights rank first in the Big East in open 3-point average. Guards Sully Baum and Adam Kunkel each hit over 39% from outside the arc this season.
Xavier’s issues came at the end of the defensive floor. He ranks ninth in the Big East in modified defensive efficiency during conference play and sits in the bottom half of the conference in both 2-point and 3-point field goal percentage allowed.
Most important for this game is its ability to defend at the edge and in isolation groups. The Knights did a good job defending at the edge, ranking 77th nationally, but are very mediocre in isolation defense.
Xavier ranks fourth in the Big East in defensive rebound percentage and free throw rate allowed. Therefore, if you can keep Providence off the glass and defend the rim at a high level, it will force the Friars to make many more 3-point attempts.
Providence vs. Xavier Petting Beck
Total is a tad inflated here for two hard-running offenses during conference play.
The question for Providence is simply about offensive rebounding and getting to the free throw line. If you can’t produce in those areas, you’ll have to take a lot of 3s, which he struggled for against Creighton and Marquette.
Offensively, Xavier has a path to success by playing through the post. But it also runs afoul of the Big East’s No. 1 3-point defense, so the offense won’t run smoothly if Fremantle and Nong stop.
The best path to success in Providence is to slow down. Xavier ranked second in the Big East in adjusted tempo, while Providence ranked eighth. If the brothers try to play at the pace of the jockeys, they’ll run out of gymnastics.
So, I like the lower value of 154.5 points, which is currently available at Fandel.
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