21-11 overall, 8-8 conference, 7th Atlantic 10
Against the spread
15-14 (3-9 home, 5-5 away)
(7-5 home, 4-6 away)
2005 Season Summary
The Xavier basketball program had developed a solid reputation over the years with frequent post-season appearances and some major upsets along the way. In 2004-05, however, the Musketeers slipped to a disappointing 17-12 straight up and 14-12 against the spread. While Xavier was slipping straight up, their pointspread problem was additionally due to the fact that they were one of the better known Atlantic 10 Conference programs due to that post season success of previous years, which your more casual college basketball bettors kept in mind and associated the Musketeers with. Therefore, Xavier drew more ignorant money than your typical Atlantic 10 team and it drove down their value.
Looking for a bounceback campaign
Xavier was unaccustomed to losing and failure and missing out on March Madness and they would be looking for a bounce back campaign for 2005-06, which began with a strong 80-35 blowout win and cover over Eastern Illinois as 22-point chalks. The Musketeers next scored an encouraging 74-55 win against Purdue on a neutral court as 5.5-point favorites. An unlined win was followed with a strong effort against Big Ten powerhouse Illinois in a 62-65 loss as 5.5-point dogs. Another unlined win was followed up by a 75-65 win at Miami-Ohio as 3-point chalks as the Musketeers started off 5-1 straight up and a perfect 4-0 against the oddsmakers.
With a national reputation already in hand, Xavier would not retain value against the basketball betting boards for very long as evidenced by their 59-61 loss at Creighton in a pick’em affair. They were next overlays in a 78-54 home win over Troy as 24.5-point chalks in a brutal half-point loss for gamblers as Xavier completed a brief dip with two straight losses against the spread.
Back on track
Xavier next scored another unlined win before heading off to Saint Joseph’s to open Atlantic 10 play with a 62-58 win and cover as 1-point dogs. They next won at home over St. Bonaventure 99-71 as 19-point chalks. This was followed up with another excruciating near miss in an 82-63 win over Eastern Kentucky as 20-point overlays. Xavier came back to get the cash in their next game at Charlotte with an impressive 78-65 win as 2-point chalks as the Musketeers were back on track with three covers in four games.
Xavier had 7 covers in 10 lined games entering the meat of the conference schedule. The hosted rival Cincinnati and scored a 73-71 overtime win as 6-point home chalks which began a free fall against the oddsmakers. In fact, Xavier would struggle to win straight up starting with a 54-59 home loss to Saint Louis as 14-point chalks. This was followed by a 79-81 loss at Temple as 1.5-point favorites. Next was a 60-55 home win over Dayton as 12-point overlays for a fourth consecutive loss against the spread.
Bleeding red ink
Things would get worse before they got better for Xavier as they next lost to George Washington 85-89 as 3.5-point home chalks. The Musketeers continued bleeding red ink with a 47-71 loss at Saint Louis as 5-point chalks. The bleeding finally stopped with a 63-51 win at Richmond as 6.5-point chalks. It proved to be a brief respite.
Red ink continued to flow
Xavier next hosted La Salle and dropped a 70-70 decision as 11.5-point chalks. They rallied to beat Fordham in their next game 84-64 as 10.5-point chalks. The red ink continued to flow in the next game, however, a 91-70 win over Duquesne as 22.5-point overlays. Next came a 62-66 loss at Dayton as 1-point dogs, which was followed by an 85-76 win at Rhode Island as 3.5-point chalks. Xavier closed the regular season with back to back losses both straight up and ATS to St. Joe’s and at UMass.
Post season redemption
Xavier burned a lot of bridges with gamblers during the regular season, which made them a strong value for post-season play. The Musketeers won and covered all four of their Atlantic 10 Conference tournament games, qualifying for the NCAA Tournament. Against Gonzaga as a 5.5-point dog, Xavier’s season ended with a 75-79 loss and fifth straight cover.