Xavier vs. NC State odds: First Four trends, preview, play-in picks


Xavier has been the best March Madness team over the past decade -- for bettors, anyway. They look to extend that amazing ATS streak against NC State in play-in action.

Since 2003, the best team to bet on during March Madness has been the Xavier Musketeers.

Their astonishing 18-2-1 ATS record over their last 21 tournament games hasn't yielded a national title, but it has yielded many profitable tournaments for bettors.

No surprise then that bettors are cheering for Xavier to win as a 2.5-point favorite against North Carolina State Tuesday in the 12-seed play-in game. The winner gets Saint Louis, a team upset as a No. 5 seed last year.

In Tuesday's other play-in game, Mount St. Mary's and Albany will battle for a 16-seed with Albany going off as the 2.5-point betting favorite.

The Big East's Xavier went 21-12 SU and 18-13 ATS this season including an 8-3 ATS record in its last 11 games as a betting favorite. Sophomore guard Semaj Christon is the team's focal point on offense, leading the team in points with 17.1 PPG and second on the team in assists with 4.2 per game.

The ACC's North Carolina State finished the season with a 21-13 SU and 19-12 ATS record. The Wolfpack were 10-2 ATS down the stretch including outright upsets over Miami as a 5.5-point underdog, Pittsburgh as an 11.5-point underdog and Syracuse as a 9-point underdog.

The total has gone OVER in eight of N.C. State's last nine games.

The Albany Great Danes finished the season on a 6-1 SU run to grab the America East title and earn a spot in tournament play. In the America East tournament, Albany was a perfect 3-0 both SU and ATS, upsetting Vermont and Stony Brook in its last two games. The total went OVER in all three of Albany's conference tournament games.

The Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers entered the Northeast Conference Tournament as a 4-seed with a 13-16 SU record, but got hot at the right time and won all three of its conference tournament games to advance into the NCAA Tournament.

Mount St. Mary's packs some punch on offense, finishing 50th in the nation averaging 76.3 points per game with two players over 17 PPG in Rashad Whack and Julian Norfleet.

The winner of Tuesday's Xavier vs. N.C. State game will earn a 12-seed and a game against the Saint Louis Billikins in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Albany vs. Mount St. Mary's winner squares off against No. 1 Florida in the second round later this week.

See the latest March Madness odds, matchup reports and trends on every game and follow live lines and your bracket picks with the free OddsShark.com odds app.

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