The Oakland Golden Grizzlies take on the Xavier Musketeers. Check out our college basketball odds series for our Oakland Xavier prediction and pick. Find how to watch Oakland Xavier.
The Xavier Musketeers have been a fascinating team to watch in the early stages of this college basketball season. You can make a case that Xavier has been really good, and you can make a case that this team will be relatively ordinary in the Big East and won't be part of the top tier of the conference this season.
The optimistic and positive view of Xavier is that it has hammered the cupcake teams on its schedule, including and especially a Bryant team which upset Florida Atlantic earlier this season. Xavier handled Bryant by 25 points, and if Bryant is as good as that win over FAU suggests, that's going to become one of the sneaky-great results of nonconference play. Xavier also scored a 17-point win over a Saint Mary's team many experts thought would be better than Gonzaga this season. Xavier has some upside and is likely to be even better as the season progresses. Coach Sean Miller has been to multiple Elite Eights. He knows what he is doing and should be trusted at Xavier after taking the Musketeers to the Sweet 16 last season.
The pessimistic case for Xavier begins with a loss to a Washington team which was not projected to be an NCAA Tournament team before the season began. Xavier led Washington by seven at halftime but then played an awful second half. The Muskies missed a ton of free throws, committed stacks of turnovers, and sent Washington to the foul line a lot. A very undisciplined performance led to a bad loss which will need to be overcome in the course of time.
It also has to be said that the win over Saint Mary's just doesn't look as impressive as anyone expected it to be. Saint Mary's has lost to Weber State and has been blown out by San Diego State (by 25 points, 79-54). Saint Mary's has been a colossal disappointment and is in real danger of becoming an NIT team without a favorable path to the NCAA Tournament. Xavier beating Saint Mary's by 17 should be a great win, but in terms of the raw numbers, it might not become a special result. There are reasons to be skeptical about the X.
Here are the Oakland-Xavier College Basketball odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
College Basketball Odds: Oakland-Xavier Odds
Oakland Golden Grizzlies: +14.5 (-102)
Xavier Musketeers: -14.5 (-120)
Over: 149.5 (-110)
Under: 149.5 (-110)
How To Watch Oakland vs Xavier
Time: 6:30 pm ET / 3:30 pm PT
TV: Fox Sports 1
Stream: fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why Oakland Could Cover the Spread
The Golden Grizzlies could cover the spread primarily because it is a large spread, but secondly because Xavier and a lot of other teams in the Musketeers' position (playing in a power conference at home in a buy game against a smaller-conference opponent) can drag through the late-November, early-December period before final exams and preparations for the Christmas holiday. It happens so often that in the month before conference play revs up in early January (or at least after Christmas Day), a lot of college basketball teams play far less than their best and are distracted by the other happenings at school and elsewhere. Teams really lock in when conference play gets going, but these buy games in the month before Christmas Day are often mentally challenging. Oakland can take advantage of that.
Why Xavier Could Cover the Spread
Xavier beat Saint Mary's by 17 and Bryant by 25. SMC and Bryant are better than Oakland. That's your answer with Xavier, a good team with some really good performances so far this season.
Final Oakland-Xavier Prediction & Pick
Xavier will win, but the spread is large. The inclination here is to stay away, though if you do pick a team, Xavier is the better play.
Final Oakland-Xavier Prediction & Pick: Xavier -14.5