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Oakland vs Xavier Odds, Spread, Picks & Predictions (Nov. 27)

Sascha Paruk

by Sascha Paruk in College Basketball

Updated Nov 27, 2023 · 10:51 AM PST

Xavier Musketeers guard Desmond Claude dribbling
Nov 24, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Xavier Musketeers guard Desmond Claude (1) dribbles against the Bryant Bulldogs in the first half at Cintas Center. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports
  • Oakland vs Xaviers kicks off Monday’s college basketball slate
  • Monday’s game already marks Oakland’s third against a Power 6 team
  • See the Oakland vs Xavier odds, picks and best bets for Monday’s game in Cincinnati

The Xavier Musketeers (4-2, 3-0 home, 4-2 ATS) play the second of a six-game homestand on Monday night when they welcome the Oakland Grizzlies (3-3, 0-2 away, 6-0 ATS) to the Cintas Center in Cincinnati at 6:30 pm ET. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1.

Oakland constructed an extremely difficult non-conference schedule for itself, which has already included two Power 6 teams (Ohio State and Illinois). While the Grizzlies didn’t win either straight up, they did cover both games comfortably and are a perfect 6-0 against the spread. They are staring down another big point spread on Monday in Cincinnati.

Oakland Grizzlies vs Xavier Musketeers Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Oakland Grizzlies +15.5 (-115) +800 150.5 (-105)
Xavier Musketeers -15.5 (-105) -1250 150.5 (-115)

Xavier is listed as a 15.5-point home favorite in Monday’s college basketball odds and -1250 on the moneyline to win straight-up. Oakland comes back as a +800 underdog to pull of the upset. The over/under is at a fairly high 150.5, which is motivated by Xavier’s fast pace (37th in the nation in tempo).

 

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Now in Sean Miller’s second season, the Musketeers are in the top-50 favorites in the odds to win March Madness, but just barely (+8667). They aren’t considered real threats to win the Big East in the college basketball conference odds, sitting at +3500. Oakland is +750 to win the Horizon League.

Xavier Dusts Aside Bryant

After opening the year with easy wins over Robert Morris (77-63) and Jacksonville (79-56), Xavier lost its first two real tests of the season. On Nov. 13, the Musketeers fell 83-71 at top-ranked Purdue (covering as 17-point road underdogs). Four days later, they lost 74-71 to Washington in Las Vegas as 2.5-point favorites.

But they shook off that two-game skid with an impressive 66-49 rout of Saint Mary’s (also in Las Vegas) as six-point underdogs on Nov. 19, and followed up with a 100-75 demolition of a dangerous Bryant team as 16.5-point home favorites. (Bryant is the only team that’s handed Florida Atlantic a loss this season.)

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Despite playing at a fast pace, Xavier’s offense isn’t all that prolific. They sit 138th in points per game (77.3) and 60th in offensive efficiency at KenPom. Their defense, however, can be suffocating, as evidenced by the scoreline against Saint Mary’s. The Musketeers currently sit 17th in defensive efficiency at KenPom and 19th at Haslametrics.

The inconsistency on offense is understandable given that not a single one of Miller’s top-six scorers from last season returned. But the recruiting prowess Miller brought to campus is already paying off. Desmond Claude, a top-100 recruit last year who averaged 4.7 PPG, 2.5 RPG, and 1.8 APG as a freshman, has emerged as the team’s leader. As a sophomore, Claude is averaging a team-high 15.5 points along with 3.5 assists per game.

Miller’s transfers acquisitions are also paying early dividends. Quincy Olivary, who led Rice in scoring last year at 18.7 PPG, is second on the team with 13.8 PPG while shooting a respectable 36.1% from three.

The hole in the frontcourt vacated by senior Zach Fremantle is being filled ably by 22-year-old Lithuanian Gytis Nemeiksa, who is listed as a senior due to playing three years of university basketball in his home country. Nemeiksa is third on the team in scoring (10.8 PPG) and first in rebounding (5.5 RPG) while shooting 56.5% from the field and a staggering 46.2% from beyond the arc (6-of-13).

Oakland Highly Competitive Every Time Out (So Far)

Oakland came into the 2023-24 season rated 271st at KenPom out of 362 Division I teams. Despite going just 3-3 straight-up in its first half-dozen games, its rating has improved to 147th, a 124-spot jump. The Grizzlies have significantly more continuity on their roster than Xavier. Last year’s second-leading scorer Trey Townsend is averaging a team-high 14.8 PPG and 8.7 RPG. Once-promising Michigan State freshman Rocket Watts is having his most-productive season in college (11.0 PPG, 2.2 APG, 2.0 RPG), while DII transfer Jack Gohlke sits second on the team in scoring (13.7 PPG) and third in rebounding (4.8 RPG).

Oakland’s first game of the season was a narrow 79-73 loss at Ohio State as 19.5-point underdogs (covering by 13.5 points), a game they actually led by a point at halftime. They proved that was no fluke with a 64-53 setback at Illinois as 24.5-point underdogs (covering by 15.5 points), which was just a one-point game at the break. Oakland’s other loss this season was an eight-point setback on a neutral court to Drake (currently 88th at KenPom), which they also trailed by a point at halftime.

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Their wins have come against Bowling Green (81-62 home), Loyola Marymount (74-69 neutral), and Marshall (78-71 neutral). Those three opponents were rated 201st, 108th, and 180th at KenPom, respectively.

Oakland has only been the betting favorite in one game this season (2.5-point home chalk versus Bowling Green).  They have covered five of six spreads by at least ten points. The closest call came in the Drake game, where they were nine-point underdogs and lost by eight.

Oakland vs Xavier Prediction

Oakland’s first-half prowess is approaching a trend. They have led at halftime in four of six games, and trailed by a single point in the other two. Two of those six games were true road games against top-30, Power 6 competition.

The Grizzlies are currently 8.5-point first-half underdogs tonight and +340 to lead at halftime. Winning the first half is a bridge too far, but I will take Oakland to keep it close once again.

Oakland vs Xavier pick: Oakland +8.5 first half (-110)

Sascha Paruk’s 2023-24 NCAAM betting record:

  • ATS: 5-5 (-0.45 units)
  •  Player props: 1-0 (+0.87 units)

 

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