Tournament Picks: Xavier Will Easily Cover ATS Against Weber State

Joe Gavazzi

Friday, March 18, 2016 1:35 PM GMT

The Weber St. Wildcats of the Big Sky square off with the Xavier Musketeers of the Big East in St. Louis, MO tonight, a site which should clearly favor Xavier. Let's check the NCAAB odds. 

Weber State vs. Xavier 
This contest matches a team from the powerful Big East Conference, who won neither their RS nor CCT, against a team from a lower, mid-major loop that features a Wildcat team that was both, the RS and CCT winner. Normally, this is a look to the champion underdog at this double digit price. But, as you will read in my analysis below, such is not the case in this matchup.

 

Betting Preview
As the result of a 24-12 ATS dog log in last year’s play-in games and Round of 64, the linemaker chopped a couple of points off many of the big numbers for these Thursday/Friday games. In Tuesday through Friday action, the favorite has logged an 11-8-1 ATS record. Thus, should you prefer the favorite in these games (which we do in this case), you are getting some built in value. In this contest, we fade a tried and true theory that shows long-term profit backing underdog teams, who are both RS plus CCT champs against an opponent, who did not wear either crown. Along with this Weber St. team, other underdogs who would qualify in that thinking are Hawaii, S. Dakota St. and SFA (today). Yesterday, this theory went 2-1 ATS with UNC-Wilmington and Little Rock getting the money, but Hampton getting blown out!  

But, the Musketeers from the notably stronger Big East (vs. the Big Sky) have some clear reasons to get our attention. Not only is there a SOS (strength of schedule) advantage, but there are fundamental differences as well. Xavier is a (12.6) 3* fundamental team, meaning they have positives in rebound margin, TO/assist ratio and TO margin that totals 12.6. Weber fails to qualify mainly because they force less than 11 TOs per game. With the inside/outside tandem of Sanglin (18 PPG) and Bolomboy (17/13), the Wildcats shoot 49% from the field and 38% from the arc. But, the superior athletes of Bluiett and Sumner will make life miserable on the perimeter for Wildcat guards, while a +7.5 rebound margin for Xavier implies it will be tough going on the boards for Bolomboy. We like the advantage on the pine as well with Mack who is 8-2 ATS in this Tourney against Randy Rahe, whose Wildcats reached the Peter Principle with their acceptance to this event.  With Xavier off a Semi-Final loss to Seton Hall in the CCT, it sets up further motivation for the X-men. Losing teams from last year (Weber was 13-17 SU) are unreliable plays in this event the following season. As a result, don’t be surprised if it is Xavier in a blowout against a Wildcat team, who is “just happy to be invited.”     

I invite you to put the NCAA tournament odds in your favor and join me in my NCAA tournament pick on Xavier tonight.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Xavier -13
Best Line Offered: at Bet365