Kennesaw State vs. Xavier Prediction
Number fourteen seed Kennesaw State and #3 seed Xavier head to Greensboro to face each other at 12:40 PM ET Friday afternoon on truTV in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Can the Musketeers cover the 12.5-point spread as neutral-site favorites?
Kennesaw State is 26-8 on the year with their best wins coming over Florida Gulf Coast and Liberty. Their worst losses came against Campbell and North Florida. The Owls are 20-10-1 against the spread this season.
Xavier is 25-9 this season with their best wins coming over UConn and Marquette. Their worst losses came against Depaul and Butler. The Musketeers are 18-15-1 against the spread this year.
Game Matchup and Betting Odds
787 Kennesaw State Owls (+12.5) vs. 788 Xavier Musketeers (-12.5); O/U 154
12:40 PM ET, Friday, March 17, 2023
Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, NC
Kennesaw State vs. Xavier Public Betting Information
Our CBB Public Betting Information page indicates that the public favors the Owls in this contest. Our public betting data illustrates that 67% of public bets are on Kennesaw State +12.5. Do note that these numbers are subject to change and could be different once tipoff rolls around, so be sure to check the link so you’re receiving the most up-to-date public betting data.
Kennesaw State Game Notes
The Owls’ leading scorer is junior guard Chris Youngblood. The 6’4” native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama is pouring in 14.7 points per game on 46.3% shooting from the field this season. Youngblood is a legitimate deep threat as he’s making 41.1% of his three-pointers on 5.6 attempts per game this year.
Kennesaw State’s best big man is senior forward Demond Robinson. The 6’8” 264-pound Murray State transfer is third on the team in scoring with 11.1 points per game and second on the club in rebounding with 5.8 boards per game. Robinson is the Owls’ most efficient scorer as he has the best field goal percentage (54%) among Kennesaw State players who play 20 minutes or more per game.
Xavier Game Notes
Xavier’s most important player is senior guard Souley Boum. He leads the Musketeers in scoring with 16.5 points per game, and he’s chipping in 4.3 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game to boot. He is the main driver of Xavier’s offense and the team tends to do well when he’s heavily involved in the offense.
Xavier’s Jack Nunge is the Musketeers’ most significant big man. Because Xavier forward Zach Freemantle has been out since the end of January, Nunge has had to step up. Nunge has responded as he’s pouring in 14.1 points per game and pulling down 7.8 rebounds per game for the Musketeers this season.
Kennesaw State vs. Xavier CBB Betting Trends
Kennesaw State is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games against a team with a winning percentage over .600.
Kennesaw State is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Friday games.
Kennesaw State is 10-4-1 ATS in their last 15 games following an outright win.
Kennesaw State is 7-3-1 ATS in their last 11 games following an ATS win.
Kennesaw State vs. Xavier CBB Prediction:
The Kennesaw State Owls have been one of the best teams against the spread all season, with an ATS record of 20-10-1. They are one of only 11 teams in Division I to cover the spread at least ⅔ of the time.
Interestingly, Kennesaw State ranks third in the country in KenPom.com’s “luck” rating, which essentially means they won more actual games than their projected record says they should have won. This may be due to the Owls’ superb three-point shooting. Kennesaw State shoots 37.1% from beyond the arc, a mark that ranks 34th out of 363 Division I teams. Xavier’s three-point defense may be problematic for the Musketeers Friday, as they rank 281st in the country in opponent’s three-point percentage. Combine those factors with the line being double-digits, and I’m taking the Owls and the points on Friday.
CBB BETTING PREDICTION: KENNESAW STATE OWLS +12.5