College Basketball Betting: Weber State vs. Xavier

College Basketball Betting:  Weber State vs. Xavier

Weber State is a pretty nasty draw for a #15 seed. Could Xavier be ripe for an upset? It wouldn’t be the first time the Wildcats caught an opponent napping against them looking ahead to the second round. They hung tough with Arizona in a lookahead spot in 2014 and Xavier definitely has the opponents to potentially generate the lack of focus we need. Weber State still has a couple of players on the team from that squad. The Musketeers will catch either Wisconsin or Pittsburgh (Pitt is pretty nasty for a #10 seed now that I think about it). Either assignment could be challenging and that could help Weber State hang around here.

Xavier does have a good record against the spread in non-conference play. 9-3 ATS this year, 26-13 last three years. They’ve got a very impressive longterm record in NCAA tournament play. Since 1997, they’re 21-8 ATS in the ‘Big Dance’. A lot of the analysts making the case for Xavier here are (rightfully) citing the struggles that the Big Sky Conference has had in tournament play. That may be true but our concern is more about the level of focus of the favorite.

There’s also a tendency among the betting public to categorically dismiss teams that they ‘haven’t heard of’. That’s a very unwise idea in general. Weber State is no joke. Randy Rahe could be called a ‘poor man’s’ Gregg Marshall–he’s a guy that preaches nasty, tactical defense. This type of team has been a blueprint for early round NCAA covers for years. Weber has the physicality to make life difficult for any team–they’re not an undersized, plucky mid major. They’re precisely the kind of team that can make life miserable for any unfocused opponent.

Xavier does play well on the road both SU and ATS but once again, that doesn’t negate what we see as a situation that is ripe for an unfocused effort. This is the type of matchup that has been very profitable for us over the years and we’ll gladly go to the well this time with a defensive minded, well coached and experienced Weber State team.