Pittsburgh vs Xavier Prediction & Picks (March Madness 2023 Second Round)
Three decades removed from making three March Madness appearances as a point guard for Pittsburgh, Sean Miller will be on the opposite side today as he coaches Xavier in a second-round matchup with his alma mater in Greensboro, North Carolina (12:10 pm ET, CBS).
Miller facing his alma mater is certainly garnering a lot of attention, especially with the high stakes involved.
For Miller and the third-seeded Musketeers, the opportunity is there to reach the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 2017. And for the 11th-seeded Panthers, a first Sweet Sixteen appearance since 2009 will be theirs if they can pull the upset at Greensboro Coliseum.
Will it be the current Big East member or the former Big East member moving on to a matchup with Texas next Friday? Read on for our Pittsburgh vs Xavier prediction and picks.
Looking for More March Madness Picks?
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Pittsburgh vs Xavier Odds
Odds are via FanDuel as of Sunday, March 19, 2023.
- Pittsburgh +4.5 (-102)
- Xavier -4.5 (-120)
- Over 151.5 (-110)
- Under 151.5 (-110)
- Pittsburgh +168
- Xavier -205
Is Xavier Vulnerable After Close Call Against Kennesaw State?
For a while on Friday, it looked like this matchup wouldn’t occur, as #14 seed Kennesaw State had other ideas.
With just under ten minutes left, the Owls, in their first March Madness appearance, took a 61-48 lead. But the Musketeers then woke up, going on a 24-6 run the rest of the way.
It was a tie game in the final minute, but Xavier made the stops they needed to on the defensive end and sank 5 of 6 free throws to pull out the win.
Does that performance make them especially vulnerable today? Pitt has some good momentum going after edging Mississippi State in the final seconds in the First Four and then dominating Iowa State in an 18-point win in the first round.
But there is a key difference between both the Bulldogs and Cyclones and the Musketeers.
Both MSU and ISU are offensively challenged. Xavier, for all that didn’t go well for much of Friday’s game, is statistically one of the best offensive teams in college basketball.
Thus far this season, the Musketeers have yet to go three consecutive games without scoring 80 or more points. So, they might be due for an offensive explosion after scoring just 51 points in the Big East tournament championship game against Marquette and 72 against Kennesaw State.
Stopping the likes of Mississippi State and Iowa State is a different challenge than stopping a team like Xavier, who ranks among the nation’s leaders in scoring (81.1 PPG), field-goal percentage (49.4%), and three-point percentage (39.1%).
And if the Musketeers are able to even match their output from Friday, it might bode well for their chances to advance. When Pittsburgh has allowed 70 or more points this season, they are 6-11 SU and 9-7-1 ATS, compared to 18-0 SU and 16-2-0 ATS when allowing fewer than 70 points.
Pittsburgh vs Xavier Prediction and Picks
Prediction for Pittsburgh vs Xavier: Xavier to win
Picks for Pittsburgh vs Xavier: Xavier to cover (Best Value: -4.5 @ FanDuel) & Pittsburgh/Xavier over 151.5 (Best Value: Caesars Sportsbook)
Sometimes a close call can be a catalyst for an impressive performance. For example, Tennessee had a close call against Louisiana in the first round, then were in control most of the way against Duke in a 13-point win yesterday.
Sometimes you need that wakeup call. Will that prove to be the case for Xavier?
I still have my concerns for what their ceiling is without the injured Zach Freemantle, but Jerome Hunter, his replacement in the lineup, had 24 big points (8 of 11 FG, 8 of 8 FT) in the win over Kennesaw State.
Pitt does have some nice momentum after two wins over power conference teams, but I think we’ll see a much better performance over 40 minutes from Xavier than we saw on Friday or against Marquette in the Big East tourney.
Also, it is worth noting that when Pittsburgh has given up 70 or more points this season, the over is 15-2-0. And when they are going up against a team whose games have a 21-13-1 O/U record this season, there’s a lot of value in backing the over here.
Where to Bet on Pittsburgh vs Xavier
Here are four legal sports betting sites that we highly recommend and have reviewed, where you can bet on this year’s NCAA men’s and women’s tournaments, as well as the 2023 NIT.
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March is always a very popular time to bet on college basketball, and you can get in on the action at any of the top sports betting sites out there.
But these four books are all reputable names, and you can trust them with your betting funds.
Other March Madness Content at Betting News
If you’d like to check out our other March Madness betting content, here’s a rundown of what we have put together to help you with your NCAA Tournament betting.
We’re also doing a lot of NIT coverage, so check out that content as well.
- Men’s March Madness Bracket
- March Madness Odds
- Women’s March Madness Bracket & Odds
- Final Four Odds
- March Madness Sleepers
- March Madness Betting Trends & Stats to Know for 2023
- Where to Find the Best March Madness Betting Picks
- Best March Madness Betting Sites
- Best March Madness Bracket Challenges
- Betting News Bracket Mania (Our FREE March Madness Bracket Challenge! – CLOSED but you can look at the standings and entries)