No team in tournament history has been kinder to bettors and more hateful to Vegas sportsbooks than the Xavier Musketeers.
Not because they win so often and not because they go deep in the Madness each year. But since 2001, Xavier has played 20 tournament games and they are 17-2-1 ATS in those matches!
‘X’ truly does mark the spot for March Madness bettors when the Musketeers are on the odds menu.
"Not everyone is aware of Xavier’s ATS run and the fact they are just 3-7-1 ATS in their past 11 games overall has more than half of bettors siding with Baylor," explained Mark Presley of OddsShark.com.
Baylor and Xavier each covered both games last week and the predicted score indicates Vegas oddsmakers are bang on with their numbers.
Predicted Score: 79-73 Baylor
ATS Pick: Xavier +6.5 (line updates here at SBNation)
How They Match Up:
When it comes to rebounds, the visiting Musketeers rank No. 73 in NCAA Division 1 with 36.4 per game. That compares with Baylor’s No. 69 ranking in that category. The story is different when it comes to three-point shooting where Baylor is college basketball's No. 99-ranked team at 6.9 per game, while the Musketeers rate No. 294 with 4.9 per game.
Defensively, Xavier features the nation's No. 223-rated defense on the road, allowing 71.6 points per game. Baylor, meanwhile, comes in at No. 66 nationally in scoring at home.
Last time out for Xavier, they were a 70-58 winner as they battled upset masters Lehigh. They covered in the match as a 4-point favorite. The Musketeers got a 25-point performance from Kenny Frease, who added 12 rebounds, as Xavier ran past Lehigh 70-58 on Sunday at Greensboro Coliseum.
Baylor won its last outing, an 80-63 result against Colorado on March 17. They covered in that game as a 7.5-point favorite. The Buffaloes were burned for 27 points by 3-point gunner Brady Heslip on Saturday as the Bears put another game in the win column, 80-63, at The Pit.