Basketball bettors really want the Xavier Musketeers in the March Madness bracket.
They have managed to cover the posted spread at the sportsbooks in 18 of their last 23 nonconference games, and they'll be up against the ACC's North Carolina State Wolfpack in the First Four in Dayton on Tuesday night.
More importantly, the Musketeers have been the best team to wager on in the tournament over the past decade with a staggering 18-2-1 against-the-spread mark in 21 games.
Spread and total points scored betting line
The Musketeers opened as one-point favorites but were 2.5-point favorites early Tuesday. The total was 143.5. (Compare lines and consensus on the Odds Shark matchup report.)
Odds Shark computer pick
Why pick N.C. State to cover the spread
The Wolfpack did enough to impress the committee and earn an invite after bowing out to Duke in the ACC tournament semifinals. Though N.C. State closed the season just 5-5 straight up, it was a solid pick at the window, as it managed to cover 10 of 12 against the betting line.
Why pick Xavier to cover the spread
The Musketeers, also an at-large bid, have been a smart pick when laying points against the betting line, as they've covered eight of their last 11 games. Xavier, which endured a rugged Big East schedule, is on an impressive 18-2-1 run versus the point spread in NCAA tournament games since 2003.
Smart betting pick
The smart betting pick in this game is the underdog. North Carolina State was in a much more difficult conference than Xavier was, and the Wolfpack’s endurance through their ACC campaign will pay off both on the floor and against the point spread.
N.C. State boasts league player of the year T.J. Warren, who can carry the Pack to a win here.
North Carolina State Wolfpack: No. 177
Xavier Musketeers: No. 180 (per Odds Shark power rankings)
March Madness betting trends
- OVER is 8-1 past nine NC State games
- NC State ended year on 10-2 ATS streak
- UNDER is 8-1 past nine tournament games since 2005
- Xavier 8-3 ATS past 11 games as favorites
- Xavier 18-2-1 ATS past 21 tournament games since 2003
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