Upset Alert: Providence Plus Odds Our NCAA Basketball Pick Over Xavier

Joe Gavazzi

Wednesday, February 17, 2016 6:26 PM UTC

Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016 6:26 PM UTC

The Providence Friars travel to Cincinnati, where they will meet the Xavier Musketeers at the Cintas Center. Who will be our NCAA basketball pick for tonight against the odds.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Providence +9
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle


Providence vs. Xavier 7:00PM ET
Look for another hard-fought game tonight with the value falling to Providence, who broke a 3-game losing streak with a recent victory and who has always been a solid team in this role, as noted below.

Xavier is again having an outstanding season under 7th year HC Chris Mack. Their 22-3 SU mark has guaranteed their 5th 20-win season in the most recent 6 years. Last year, this group went to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA. It would be no surprise, if they finish the year strong and get a protected seed in the upcoming NCAA Tourney. But, a strong 16-1 SU, 12-5 ATS start has left this team a bit overrated. Though they have gone 6-2 SU since that time, the escalated prices have dropped them to 3-5 ATS of late. Most importantly, that includes 0-4 ATS as home favorite, a role in which they have not defeated Georgetown, Seton Hall, St. John’s or Marquette by more than 8 points. In those 4 contests, the Musketeers allowed an average of 81 PPG. Since the Friars may be better than any of those teams, I clearly see value in the avenging road dog.

On paper, the (75-72) Saturday victory by Providence over Georgetown appeared to be a narrow escape, which was the Friars’ 4thconsecutive pointspread loss (though it snapped a 3-game losing streak). In reality, Providence had that game well in hand, leading by as many as 26 points against the Hoyas. A critical note from that box score saw that Bullock stepped up as an all-important 3rdleading scorer to come to the aid of wing player, Bentil, and in one of the nation’s best lead guards, Chris Dunn. With the outstanding coaching of 5th year HC Cooley, a solid defense and these great numbers, I expect Providence to take this game to the wire again tonight. Note that Providence is 6-2 SU ATS on the road this season and is playing in their preferred roles. HC Cooley, in his time at Fairfield and Providence, now stands a remarkable 65-31 ATS on the conference road. His teams also are 57-33 ATS when coming off a confidence-building home win.

At 7-6 SU in league play, this game has huge importance to Providence. With the advantage of revenge from an early season loss to Xavier and all the team and coaching trends favoring the Friars, I invite you to put the NCAA Basketball odds in your favor and join me in my NCAA Basketball pick on Providence as underdog tonight.

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