NCAAB Friday February 24th #16 Xavier at Seton Hall Betting Preview
Both Clubs Struggling a Bit
The Musketeers are just -1.5 point favorites on Friday night in the Xavier at Seton Hall betting matchup, a number that seems low considering it’s the #16 team in the country on the road against an unranked opponent. Both teams are struggling though as losers of three of their last four.
Public betting is split 50/50 on this game as Xavier is a top 20 team but Seton Hall is a respectable 10-4 at home on the year. The Pirates have won three of the last four in the series, but overall the teams are fairly evenly matched splitting the last 10 games.
Why Xavier Can Cover -1.5 Points
The Musketeers are 20-8 on the season and at 12-5 they are tied for second in the Big East so this is a solid team. They aren’t playing well lately, but their three losses in the last four games have come 69-67 at Butler, 69-68 at Marquette, and most recently 64-63 vs Villanova on Tuesday so by a combined 5 points.
Six of Xavier’s eight losses this season have come by 5 points or less, so even if they don’t pull out a win it’s usually a close game. That doesn’t do any favors with the Musketeers giving 1.5 points in the Xavier at Seton Hall betting matchup, but it’s an example of the overall quality of this team.
The Musketeers strength is their offense, which leads the Big East and is 12th in the entire country with 84.3 ppg. Souley Boom (16.3 ppg) and Zach Freemantle (15.2) are a couple of the four Xavier players averaging at least 14 ppg.
Why Seton Hall Can Cover +1.5 Points
Freemantle has big upside for Xavier with a couple of 29+ point games this season, but he also hasn’t played in the entire month of February after suffering a foot injury. The Musketeers are 3-3 without him and have also been held to 68 points or less in three of their last four, well below their season average.
Seton Hall has the third worst scoring offense in the Big 12 (70.0) but they counter that with the conference’s best defense (62.8 ppg) which is #13 in the country in adjusted efficiency.
The Pirates hung tight at the Cintas Center in December, falling 73-70 to Xavier but covering the +8 point spread. Freemantle had 23 points in that game for the Musketeers so his absence will be felt hard in the rematch. Seton Hall swept the season series last year, dominating 82-66 on the road and squeaking out a 73-71 win at home.
Free Xavier at Seton Hall Betting Pick
The Musketeers have some value here as one of the better scoring teams in the nation even without one of their best players. Xavier has gone for 80+ points in three of the six games that Freemantle has missed this month so they can still put up points.
Seton Hall has clamp down defense and home court advantage. Plus unranked teams at home against ranked conference opponents is a thing so the lean go towards the Pirates in this matchup.
Free Pick: Seton Hall +1.5