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Siena Saints vs. Xavier Musketeers
NCAAB: Friday, November 8, 2019 at 7:00 PM EST
Both Siena and Xavier easily won their season openers, and this is the first road game of the season for the Saints. They beat American 96-80 in their opening game at home and last season the team was 17-16. Siena scored 96 points in their season opener and may have a hard time reaching that in this non-conference game facing a Xavier team that is ranked 19th in the nation.
Xavier had no problem in their season opener beating Jacksonville where they only allowed 76 points.
Last season the Musketeers had a little bit of a down one winning 19 games and they lost to Texas in the 2nd round of the NIT failing to get a Big Dance bid.
These teams have not met since the 2002 season.
6th man comes up bigJalen Pickett is a solid 6th man and after averaging 15.8 ppg last season he was the high scorer in the Saints opening game of the season, which was a 96-80 win over American. He went for 22 points while not having the best shooting game going 7/16 from the floor. Three other starters went for double figures led by Elijah Burns, who had 19 points and nine rebounds. Siena is a guard-oriented team with four of them in the starting lineup with Burns the lone frontcourt starter. Because of this, the Saints have to shoot the rock well and get good paint play from whoever is on the court.
Last season, Siena did not face one ranked team and they lost their only game facing a team from a major conference in Providence from the Big East where Xavier plays. Last season the Saints were a respectable 8-7 on the road.
Defense does the trickIn their opening game of the season, Xavier beat Jacksonville 76-57 where they forced 18 turnovers and held the Dolphins to a FG% of only 41.1. senior forward Tyrique Jones had a double-double in the game going for 17 points and 11 rebounds and was 7/8 from the floor. Fellow forward Naji Marshall also had 17 points and grabbed seven boards and G Paul Scruggs had 12 points. Jason Carter was named as ESPN’s 9th ranked graduate transfer averaging 16.5 ppg and 6.7 rpg for Ohio last season and in the win over Jacksonville he only scored two points in 12 minutes off the bench.
Jones and Marshall are a solid FW duo that can bang inside and score and their play in the paint will be key in this game. They will be facing a guard-oriented team in Siena and if they can impose their will inside it will be a long game for the Saints.
According to the betting trends from Covers.com the Xavier Musketeers are:
- 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games
- 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games overall
- 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games following a straight up win
- 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record
According to the betting trends from Covers.com the Siena Saints are:
- 1-6 ATS in their last 7 Friday games
- 6-14 ATS in their last 20 games following a straight up win
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Xavier failed to cover the big spread at home in their opener over Jacksonville but that will not be the case in this game. The Musketeers have a much better frontcourt and that will be key in this game. This game will not be a high scoring one, but the Saints will not be able to contain Jones and Marshall and Xavier will play solid D and keep Siena from shooting a good FG%. The Musketeers will easily win this game at home covering the spread and staying perfect on the young season
Full-Game Total Pick
The total has gone Under for 10 of Xavier's last 12 non-conference games and look for that trend to continue. The Musketeers defense will be great in this game keeping the Saints in check and not allowing them anywhere near the 96 points they scored in the season opener. The Musketeers will slow it down and while they will win handily it will still be a low scoring game, so the Under is THE pick.