Saturday, February 24, 2024

March Madness: Xavier vs. Texas odds, picks and predictions

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The 3rd-seeded Xavier Musketeers (27-9) and No. 2 Texas Longhorns (28-8) meet in a Sweet 16 game Friday in Kansas City. The Midwest Region  battle at the T-Mobile Center tips off at 9:45 p.m. ET (CBS). Let’s analyze Tipico Sportsbook’s lines around the Xavier vs. Texas odds as we make our expert college basketball picks, predictions and best bets.

Xavier, which is No. 14 in the USA TODAY Sports Coaches Poll, enters off bracket wins against 14-seed Kennesaw State and 11-seed Pitt. The Musketeers’ only loss since Feb. 24 was to Marquette in the March 11 Big East Tournament title game. One of the top 3-point-shooting teams in the nation, XU has cranked out a robust 37.2% mark from distance over that stretch.

Seventh-ranked Texas has won 6 straight games. The Longhorns are typically efficient at both ends of the floor, and they often leverage a plus in turnovers into a plus on the scoreboard. UT has scuffled of late from 3-point range (29.9% last 4 games), but the team’s 2-point game has been dialed in and over their last 3 games the ‘Horns have shot an aggregate 51.4% from the floor.

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Xavier vs. Texas odds

Provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 12:46 a.m. ET.

  • Moneyline: Xavier +160 (bet $100 to win $160) | Texas -190 (bet $190 to win $100)
  • Against the spread (ATS): Xavier +4.5 (-115) | Texas -4.5 (-105)
  • Over/Under (O/U): 149.5 (O: -108 | U: -112)

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Xavier vs. Texas picks and predictions

Prediction

Texas 73, Xavier 68

Moneyline

Well-rounded Texas has the much better defense in this matchup, and the Longhorns are trending the right way in defending 3s, which figures as a key factor in this game. Since Feb. 21, UT has held foes to a 29.5% mark from 3-point-land; in the Big 12 title game and 2 NCAA games that figure is 25%.

The Longhorns are the more battle-tested bunch and a near-67% expected win rate is fair. PASS.

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Against the spread

The comps on both sides peg Xavier as the lesser team by about 4-6 points. No room to operate here: AVOID.

Over/Under

Xavier is coming off an 84-73 triumph over Pittsburgh, covering a -5 in that game. The Under is 7-2 in the Musketeers’ last 9 games following an ATS win. The Under is also 6-0 in the Longhorns’ last 6 games against foes playing .600 basketball and 7-0 in UT’s last 7 overall. It is 3-1 in XU’s last 4.

Two veteran teams, Texas on a roll in stopping 3s and a matchup that doesn’t figure to be overloaded with 2nd-chance points or free throws — on neutral floorboards: it all spells strong leverage on the UNDER 149.5 (-112).

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