Xavier vs. Arizona Prediction
Is Arizona laying too many points to Xavier in tonight's NCAA tournament Sweet 16 matchup at 10:09PM ET?
According to oddsmakers from online sports book Bovada.lv, the Wildcats opened as 7.5-point favorites versus the Musketeers and that's where the spread currently sits. The total, meanwhile, has been bet up to 145 and opening at 143.5.
Xavier sprung upsets in the first two rounds of the tournament, beating Maryland 76-65 as a 2-point underdog, and then upsetting Florida State 91-66 as a 7-point dog in a rout. The Musketeers have now covered the point spread in six consecutive games entering play tonight.
Arizona cruised to a 100-82 win over North Dakota in its opening-round matchup and then soundly defeated St. Mary's 69-60 in round two. The Wildcats pushed as an 18-point favorite versus UND, but covered as a 4.5-point favorite against the Gaels in the second round.
OUR PREDICTION: Xavier has covered the spread in all four of its last four games as an underdog, is 23-5-1 against the spread in its last 29 NCAA tournament games, and is 17-4 at the betting window in its last 21 neutral site games. The Musketeers are also 29-10-1 against the spread in their last 40 neutral site games as an underdog and have covered in 17 of their last 24 non-conference games. Xavier is a covering machine right now, so there's plenty of value in taking the Musketeers with the points.
MARCH MADNESS PREDICTION: XAVIER MUSKETEERS +7.5