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College Basketball Betting Free Pick: Seton Hall Pirates at Xavier Musketeers

CBB FREE PICK: Seton Hall Pirates at Xavier Musketeers

#826 UNDER 139.5 (Wednesday, January 8 @ 8:45 pm EST)

Xavier has played a lot of teams that like to play up-tempo: Lipscomb, Green Bay, Wake Forest, Western Carolina, and last time out St. John’s. It’s when they play teams similar to themselves, that emphasize defense over pace, that we start to see some low scoring affairs. Games against Missouri, UConn, Florida, TCU, and Villanova averaged 121 points in regulation.

Seton Hall has also played a pace-friendly schedule of late with 73+ possession games vs. Prairie View A&M, Georgetown, and DePaul. Note that despite the pace, the games scores were a modest 130, 140, and 140 thanks in large part to a Pirate defense that currently ranks ninth nationally in efficiency.

Xavier head coach Travis Steele gives us an idea of what to expect tonight: “When you think of Seton Hall, you always think they’re one of the tougher teams in our league,” Steele said. “Give credit to coach Willard, they take on his personality. It’s going to be a war on the glass.

“They got a couple 7-footers around the rim, they protect the rim really well. I think they’re seventh in the country defensively. They block a lot of shots and turn teams over. They got a really, really, really good defense. So we’re going to have our hands full. We’re excited.”

Seton Hall’s offense is obviously much better now that Myles Powell has returned — some of their ultra-low scores (see: 52-48 win vs. Maryland) were a product of him being injured. But this is still a defense-first team, as is Xavier. Market really helping us out with the UNDER now playable at 139.5.

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