Xavier vs. Northern Arizona - 11/14/14 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Northern Arizona Lumberjacks (15-17) at Xavier Musketeers (21-13)
College Basketball: Friday, November 14, 2014 at 7:00 pm (Cintas Center)
The Line: Xavier Musketeers -16.5 -- Over/Under: TBA See the Latest Odds
The Xavier Musketeers and the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks face off on Friday in Cincinnati as they begin their 2014=2015 college basketball seasons.
The Xavier Musketeers went to the NCAA Tournament last season, at least to the play-in game, where they were beaten by NC State though most didn’t predict they would even make it that far. Semoj Christon is gone but they have a ton of talent coming in with small forward Trevon Bluiett who was one of the top players recruited in the nation and he is likely to start. Dee Davis and Myles Davis provide experience in what should be a loaded backcourt. Senior center Matt Stainbrook averaged 10.6 points per game last season and James Farr nailed 38 percent of his shots from beyond the three-point arc. The wildcard is Remy Abell who transfers in from Indiana and he can also hit from the outside. Chris Mack has a better team than he had last year and the expectations are that Xavier takes it up another level.
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The Northern Arizona Lumberlacks always seem to take on all comers early in the season that leaves them battle tested when they get to their Big Sky conference schedule. NAU loses just one senior from last year’s team so they should be much improved and very experienced. The Lumberjacks played a tune up exhibition game against California Baptist and while it wasn’t much of a test six players scored in double digits led by Jordyn Martin who had 14 points and 12 rebounds. Aseem Dixon was the leading scorer with 16 points and Gaellan Bewernick had seven rebounds. While playing a D-II school doesn’t prove much, we did see that Northern Arizona has several options when it cones to scoring and that is something that should serve them well this year.
Xavier is 21-7 against the spread in their last 28 home games, 1-4 against the spread in their last five games, and 13-6 against the spread in their last 19 non-conference games. Northern Arizona is 5-0 against the spread in their last five games, 1-5 against the spread in their last six non-conference games, and 2-5 against the spread in their last seven Friday games.
Xavier is the much better team but 16 ½ points better, I am not so sure. I am going to take the points in what is just a lean.