Seton Hall Visits Xavier as 3-Point Underdog; Myles Powell Back to Full Health

Seton Hall guard Myles Powell
Myles Powell has scored 42 points in 61 minutes since returning from a concussion.Photo by Shupirates (wikimedia commons).
  • Seton Hall (10-4, 2-0 Big East) is a 3-point underdog at Xavier (12-3, 1-1 Big East) on Wednesday night
  • The Pirates’ Myles Powell has scored 42 points in 61 minutes since returning from a concussion
  • The Musketeers have won and covered the spread in four straight matchups

The Cintas Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, will play host to a huge Big East matchup between Seton Hall (10-4, 2-0 Big East) and Xavier (12-3, 1-1 Big East) on Wednesday, Jan. 8th. The game tips at 8:00 ET and the Seton Hall vs Xavier odds give the slight edge to the Musketeers.

Seton Hall vs Xavier Odds

Team Spread Total
Seton Hall Pirates +3.0 (-110) O 139.5 (-115)
Xavier Musketeers -3.0 (-110) U 139.5 (-105)

Odds taken Jan 8.

Head-to-head, Xavier has won four of the last five matchups against Seton Hall. However, the Pirates won last year and have a chance of making it two in a row on their way to potentially turning the tide in this series.

Title Hopes for These Programs?

Neither Seton Hall nor Xavier is viewed as a high-level national title contender, but they each have a chance to play their way there. Sitting in longshot territory, Seton Hall is +3300 and Xavier is +5000 in the latest 2020 NCAA Tournament odds.

Pirates Sailing Along

Seton Hall, even in dealing with the injury to Myles Powell, has been on a nice run. They’ve now won and covered the spread in four straight contests, and Powell is returning to full strength.

He’s displayed very little drop off since coming back from a concussion, scoring 42 points in 61 minutes during the last two games. In game three tonight, the Pirates can feel confident that Powell is nearly 100%, or at least that he’s playing like it.

Xavier Holding the Fort

Entering the meat of the Big East schedule is going to show the college basketball world exactly what this Xavier team is made of. So far, the numbers make both a positive and negative case, depending on which side you’re looking at.

On the positive side, the Musketeers are 9-0 at home in this young season.

On the other hand, they’re 0-2 against top-50 teams. They’ve yet to be beaten at the Cintas Center, but at the same time, they haven’t faced the toughest schedule. Right now, their best home victory is against an 8-6 Cincinnati team that is off to a tough start in the post-Mick Cronin era.

Seton Hall will give the Musketeers their toughest home test of the year on Wednesday night.

What’s the Best Bet?

There’s an argument to be made for either side in this game, but the best isn’t on either team. Instead, the way to go on Wednesday night is with a play on the total.

Xavier ranks 43rd out of 353 teams nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency (.8507), and 16th in opposing effective field-goal percentage (43.2). Seton Hall is even better in adjusted defensive efficiency, ranking 27th nationally (.8860). They’re also tied with the Musketeers at 16th in opposing effective field-goal percentage at 43.2%.

Both of these teams play great defense, and their records show that. The under has hit in 9 of Xavier’s 15 contests, and 6 of 9 home games this season. The under has also hit in 8 of the Pirates’ 15 games, along with 1 push.

Betting the under is never the most exciting choice, but on Wednesday night, it’s the smart choice.

Pick: Under 139.5

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